DIY Science Experiments Inspired by Montessori

Children are natural scientists. They have an innate curiosity and a desire to investigate, experiment, imagine, and create. As parents and educators, we can nurture this curiosity by turning our homes into laboratories and conducting fun DIY science experiments with our kids.

Montessori-inspired science experiments are a valuable tool for fostering a lifelong love of science and exploration. Children can learn how to think outside of the box and to approach problems from multiple angles, which can be useful in a wide range of contexts. Here are five Montessori-inspired DIY science experiments that use common household items to teach different scientific principles. You’ll love them as much as your children will!

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Hydrophobic Hot Cocoa Will Make You Rethink Your Favorite Winter Drink

Do cocoa powder and milk really love each other as much as we think they do? Or would the cocoa powder rather be left alone? This DIY science experiment builds on a concept that is introduced in The First Great Lesson: some particles are attracted to each other, and other particles are repulsed by each other. In this experiment, you’ll learn about a certain type of attraction and a certain type of repulsion. More specifically, hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity – whether or not a particle is attracted to or repulsed by water.

To perform this experiment, the process is quite straightforward: take a spoonful of cocoa powder, dip it into milk, and poke it with a toothpick. The milk vanishes from the spoon in a seemingly magical way. It can be quite astonishing the first time you see it. It’s not magic though, it’s science! The milk was never absorbed by the cocoa powder because cocoa powder is hydrophobic. It was just sitting there in a little layer on top of the cocoa powder. By poking a toothpick through the liquid layer of milk, the surface tension is broken, which causes the liquid to fall away and expose the dry powder beneath.

When you’ve finished with this DIY science experiment, don’t forget to reward yourself and your child with a cup of hot cocoa!

Metallic Munchies: Can You Eat Metal?

Breakfast cereals have been fortified with vitamins and minerals since the 1940s. Today, they are a key source of iron for children, particularly for those with limited access to a varied and nutrient-rich diet.

The iron in cereals is added as a powder during production, unlike the naturally occurring iron found in meat and vegetables. Surprisingly, this iron powder looks similar to iron filings. You can even extract it from your cereal using a strong magnet and witness it firsthand. This DIY science experiment is a fun way to show children what is hidden away in their food.

All you need is a little cereal, a plastic bag, a magnet, and some water. Start by crushing the cereal as small as you can make it, put it in a bag, then soak it in water. When it is thoroughly soaked, hold a magnet to the side of the bag and see what happens. You might be surprised to find that there is metal in your cereal! While you should never try to eat metal directly, there are metal powders in some fortified foods, and there are also metal elements in many foods!

Stay Afloat with This DIY Science Experiment on Buoyancy

This DIY science experiment demonstrates a phenomenon known as buoyancy, which is the tendency of an object to float or sink in a fluid. Your job will be to use sugar-water, salt-water, and plain water to create your rainbow, and test the properties of each type of water to see how the solutes (salt and sugar) affect buoyancy. Do your grapes float, sink, or land somewhere in the middle?

To conduct this science experiment, you will need three glasses, food coloring, sugar, salt, water, and grapes. Start by filling the glasses with water and add a different color of food coloring to each glass to create your rainbow. Then, create your sugar-water and salt-water solutions by adding sugar to one of the glasses, and salt to another one. Finally, drop a grape into each glass and observe how they behave in different types of water. You can take this DIY science experiment one step further by adding different quantities of sugar and salt to the glasses to see how it affects the buoyancy of the grapes.

How Much Water is in Snow?

One of the most exciting aspects of science is debunking myths and assumptions. The law of solids and the law of liquids would have us believe that snow takes up less space than water. But is this really true?

You can find out with a simple experiment. First, gather some snow or crushed ice and scoop it into a cup. Measure how much snow you have, then wait for it to melt. Does the water take up more or less space than the snow?

This DIY science experiment can teach children about the properties of solids and liquids, and how they can change states based on temperature. It can also introduce the concept of density and how it a can relate to the amount of space a substance takes up.

Create Your Own Weather with This DIY ‘Frost in a Can’ Science Experiment

Frost is a beautiful natural phenomenon that often captures the attention of children. It is a visible sign of the temperature dropping, and it can create a magical winter wonderland.

You don’t have to wait for the perfect weather to see frost though, you can create your own frosted can with a simple science experiment. All you need are a couple of empty food cans, some ice from the freezer, and salt from the table.

First, fill one of the cans with ice and sprinkle a generous amount of salt on top. Then, place the other can upside down on top of the first can, making sure they are tightly sealed together. Wait for a few minutes, and you should start to see frost forming on the outside of the can.

This DIY science experiment can teach children about how temperature and humidity affect the formation of frost. They can also learn about the properties of salt and how it can lower the freezing point of water.

Keep Exploring with More DIY Science Experiments

These five experiments are a great approach to promoting scientific curiosity and learning in children. Hands-on experimentation is an effective way to engage children in science and help them understand scientific concepts. By participating in these experiments, children can develop critical thinking skills, learn to ask questions, and practice problem-solving.

Moreover, encouraging children to come up with their own ideas for future science experiments can foster creativity and innovation. It can also help children take ownership of their learning, making them more invested in the process. The joy of discovery is one of the most rewarding experiences of childhood, and these DIY science experiments are a great way to cultivate it.

Try Montessori Laboratory’s Hands-on Science Lessons for Free

Are you interested in seeing what Montessori Laboratory’s big-picture lessons, hands-on experiments, and engaging science activities are all about? Check out the free lessons below!

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