Safe Science Experiments

young girl pouring liquid into volcano model

Jamie Grill / Getty Images 

Many fun and interesting science experiments are also safe for kids. This is a collection of science experiments and projects that are safe enough for kids to try, even without adult supervision.

Make Your Own Paper

girl holds up handmade blue paper
Sam holds up handmade paper she made from recycled old paper, decorated with flower petals and leaves.

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Learn about recycling and how paper is made by making your own decorative paper. This science experiment/craft project involves non-toxic materials and has a relatively low mess factor.

Mentos and Diet Soda Fountain

kid surprised at soda exploding
Use diet soda for the Mentos geyser because it is a lot less sticky.

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

The mentos and soda fountain, on the other hand, is a project with a high mess factor. Have kids try this one outdoors. It works with regular or diet soda, but clean-up is much easier and less sticky if you use diet soda.

Invisible Ink

blank paper in an envelope
After the ink has dried an invisible ink message becomes invisible.

Marc Espolet Copyright / Getty Images

Any of several safe household substances can be used to make invisible ink. Some of the inks are revealed by other chemicals while others require heat to reveal them. The safest heat source for heat-revealed inks is a light bulb. This project is best for kids age 8 and older.

Alum Crystals

white crystals on black background
Alum crystals are popular crystals to grow because the ingredient may be purchased at the grocery store and the crystals only take a few hours to grow.

ThoughtCo / Todd Helmenstine

This science experiment uses hot tap water and a kitchen space to grow crystals overnight. The crystals are non-toxic, but they aren't good to eat. This is one where adult supervision should be used for very young children since there is hot water involved. Older kids should be fine on their own.

Baking Soda Volcano

girl pouring liquid onto pink foam volcano
The baking soda and vinegar volcano is a classic science fair project demonstration and a fun project for kids to try in the kitchen.

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

A chemical volcano made using baking soda and vinegar is a classic science experiment, appropriate for kids of all ages. You can make the cone of the volcano or can cause the lava to erupt from a bottle.

Lava Lamp Experiment

lava lamp in soda bottle
You can make your own lava lamp using safe household ingredients.

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Experiment with density, gases, and color. This rechargeable 'lava lamp' uses non-toxic household ingredients to create colored globules that rise and fall in a bottle of liquid.

Slime Experiments

girl holding up blue slime
Sam is making a smiley face with her slime, not eating it. Slime isn't exactly toxic, but it isn't food.

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

There are many recipes for slime, ranging from the kitchen ingredient variety to chemistry-lab slime. One of the best types of slime, at least in terms of gooey elasticity, is made from a combination of borax and school glue. This type of slime is best for experimenters who won't eat their slime. The younger crowd can make cornstarch or flour-based slime.

Water Fireworks

blue drops in bottles of water
This blue dye resembles a firework exploding underwater.

gjohnstonphoto / Getty Images

Experiment with color and miscibility by making water fireworks. These "fireworks" don't involve any fire. They simply resemble fireworks, if fireworks were underwater. This is a fun experiment involving oil, water and food coloring that is simple enough for anyone to do and produces interesting results.

Ice Cream Experiment

aerial view of ice cream flavors

Stefan Cristian Cioata / Getty Images

Experiment with freezing point using salt and ice to lower the temperature of the ingredients to make your tasty treat. This is a safe experiment that you can eat!

Milk Color Wheel Experiment

swirl of colors on a dinner plate
Add a few drops of food coloring to a plate of milk. Wet a cotton swab in dishwashing detergent and dip it in the center of the plate. What happens?.

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Experiment with detergents and learn about emulsifiers. This experiment uses milk, food coloring, and dishwashing detergent to make a swirling wheel of color. In addition to learning about chemistry, it gives you a chance to play with color (and your food).

This content is provided in partnership with National 4-H Council. 4-H science programs provide youth the opportunity to learn about STEM through fun, hands-on activities, ​and projects. Learn more by visiting their website.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Safe Science Experiments." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2023, April 5). Safe Science Experiments. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Safe Science Experiments." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).