Do you want your child to take his/her very first step into the kingdom of science and take a direct path towards becoming knowledgeable and skilled in chemistry? Are you lost as to where to start to make your child become interested in the subject? Worry not, for this article will take you through a list of experiments you can do with your child to awaken his/her inner chemist.
Let’s admit it, getting your child to be interested in something other than games and playing is quite the hard feat to pull off. You could even count it as Hercules’ 13th task due to the level of difficulty. But what’s more difficult is getting your child interested and involved in something that has anything to do with school.
However, there is one thing you can exploit to make your child become more interested in chemistry, and that is incorporating playtime with fun experiments. By doing so, you will be able to enjoy quality time together with your child while also making him/her realize the wonders of chemistry.
Before we move even further, we shall first discuss why you might want your child to study chemistry. You probably already have a few reasons why you want your child to take a liking to chemistry seeing as to how you stumbled upon this article, but let us discuss a few perks of studying chemistry such the ability to help create new treatment for diseases in a pharmaceutical laboratory which the human race has trouble curing.
Your child can also become a professor in a university teaching young individuals the ins and outs of chemistry to inspire even more people to study chemistry. Plus there is never a shortage of hiring chemists or chemical engineers anywhere as they are needed in most production factories, food establishments, or even perfume companies. Not to mention the pay for these jobs can be very attractive as well.
To incorporate playtime with learning chemistry, you can do these 5 simple experiments to spark the inner chemist within your child. However, do make sure that you follow the safety rules when conducting these experiments such as wearing eye protection and not letting your child put the materials in their mouth.
Everybody knows and loves the baking soda volcano. The go-to experiment to make sure you get an A in your science fair. Almost anyone can do this experiment as long as they are properly supervised by an adult.
To do this experiment you will need a few things namely: an empty bottle, baking soda, and vinegar (you can mold clay around the empty bottle to make it look like a volcano and also add food color to the vinegar to make it look like real lava). The steps are simple and straightforward: first, you need to place the vinegar inside the empty bottle which is now your mini volcano. Next you can ask your child to slowly pour the baking soda into the bottle with vinegar. Then, stand back with your child and watch how the “lava” erupts out of your mini volcano.
The principle behind this experiment is that vinegar is an acidic solvent while the baking soda is a basic solute. Together, these two ingredients of the solution will have a chemical reaction resulting o the release of carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles are what make the solution expand and thus erupt into the flowing “lava” you see after the experiment.
The next fun experiment you could try is kind of similar to the baking soda volcano. The self-inflating balloon experiment is another experiment that relies on the reaction between an acid and a base. However, even if you already know that this is similar to the baking soda volcano, you and your child will still be pretty amazed in the end result.
For this experiment you will need an empty bottle, a balloon, a rubber band, baking soda, and vinegar. Start by pouring the baking soda into the balloon and pouring the vinegar inside the empty bottle. Next is to carefully attach the “mouth” of the balloon into the opening of the bottle while making sure that none of the baking soda gets into the bottle. Then attach the rubber band around the part of the bottle that meets the balloon to make sure no air escapes later on. After that is done, it is finally time to pour the contents of the balloon into the bottle and wait to see the balloon slowly inflate itself.
The principles behind this experiment also rely on the reaction between the vinegar and baking soda’s “acidic and basic” nature to create a chemical reaction. The carbon dioxide produced in this reaction has nowhere else to go other than to where the balloon is because the bottle is really sturdy. This causes he elastic balloon to swell and self-inflate itself to accommodate for the large amount of newly produced carbon dioxide gas due to the chemical reaction which took place.
If your child is interested in those spy movies where they often use invisible ink to hide secret messages, then this experiment is just right for you and your child. There are a lot of ways to make invisible ink; however, we will stick to the simplest variation of invisible ink there is which also happened to be used in the movie “National Treasure”.
For this experiment, you will only need a lemon, a bowl, a few Q-tips, a piece of paper to write on, and a light bulb.
The first step is to squeeze the lemon juice out of the lemon and into a bowl to make the whole process easier. Then you can take a Q-tip and dip it into the lemon juice. After that, you and your child can then start to write your secret message in a piece of paper using the Q-tip dipped in lemon juice. The next step is to wait for the “invisible ink” to dry and become invisible. The final step in this experiment is to place the piece of paper on top of a light bulb and wait for the hidden message to show up.
This works because the lemon juice is a relatively clear acid and once it dries, it almost becomes invisible in the piece of paper. However, when this acid is heated, hence putting it on top of the light bulb to be heated, the lemon juice will show a different color and will become readable. Not quite how they used it in National Treasure, but still pretty interesting in its own way.
If you are tired of the whole acid-base reaction trend and want to try something a little bit more advanced for you and your child, then the instant ice experiment is just the experiment you need. This experiment is perfect once you and your child really want to see chemistry in action. However, do bear in mind that with the increasing complexity of an experiment, the more you need to follow safety measures to make sure no unexpected accident occur while conducting the experiment.
For this experiment you will need a bottle of water, a ceramic bowl, an ice cube, and a freezer.
The instant ice experiment start off by placing a bottle of water into the freezer for about 2 hours or up until it reaches the freezing point of water while making sure that it is still in a liquid state. The next step is to place a ceramic bowl upside down and placing an ice cube on top of that ceramic bowl. Once the preparations are ready, carefully pour the contents of the bottle into the ice cube on top of the ceramic bowl. After that, spectate how the liquid water from the bottle forms a pillar of ice instantly as soon as it hits the ice cube.
This experiment is made possible because of a condition of liquid water where it is in a super cooled state. A super cooled state means that the liquid water has already reached the required temperatures for it to freeze, however, it needs a catalyst to kick start the freezing process. Once the super cooled water molecules hit the surface of the upside down ceramic bowl with an ice cube on top, the impact generated is enough to kick start the freezing process and the liquid water instantly turns into a pillar of ice.
You can also alternatively just hit the boom of the bottle filled with super cooled water and the freezing process would also take place inside the bottle. But let’s be honest, it is way more interesting to have a pillar of ice instantly form than a bottle-shaped solid piece of ice.
Once you have sparked interest in your child for chemistry, it might be the right time to hire a tutor to further propel you child into the world of Chemistry. The good news is that there is a perfect place for you to look for the right tutor for your child. FamilyTutor is the best home tuition agency in Singapore. We have thousands of highly skilled and qualified tutors capable of teaching any individuals from pre-school up to university level. We of course offer tuition for Chemistry, Math, Science, English, and over 200 other subjects.
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