Top Chemistry Projects for Bored Kids

Kid-Friendly Educational Projects

Kids at eye level with laboratory glassware
Sergei Kozak / Getty Images

"I'm Bored!" This chant will drive any parent to distraction. What can you do about it? How about some fun and educational projects that are suitable for kids? Don't worry, chemistry is here to save the day. Here is a list of some great chemistry activities and projects to get you started.

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Make Slime

Child playing with slime

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Slime is a classic chemistry project. If you are a slime connoisseur, there are several versions, but this white glue and borax recipe a kids' favorite.

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Crystal Spikes

Epsom salt crystals

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

This is the quickest crystal project, plus it's easy and inexpensive. Evaporate a solution of Epsom salts on construction paper, which can give the crystals brilliant colors. The crystals develop as the paper dries, so you will get quicker results if you lay the paper out in the sun or in an area with good air circulation. Feel free to try this project using other chemicals, such as table salt, sugar, or borax.

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Baking Soda Volcano

Adding vinegar into a volcano project

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Part of the popularity of this project is that it's easy and inexpensive. If you sculpt a cone for the volcano it can be a project that takes up a whole afternoon. If you just use a 2-liter bottle and pretend it's a cinder cone volcano, you can have an eruption in minutes.

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Mentos & Diet Soda Fountain

Children putting mentos into soda

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

This is a backyard activity, best accompanied by a garden hose. The Mentos fountain is more spectacular than a baking soda volcano. In fact, if you make the volcano and find the eruption to be disappointing, try substituting these ingredients.

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Rock Candy

Close up of rock candy

bhofack2 / Getty Images

Sugar crystals do not grow overnight, so this project takes some time. However, it's a great way to learn about crystal-growing techniques and the rock candy result is edible.

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Seven Layer Density Column

Layered liquid science experiment

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Make a density column with many liquid layers using common household liquids. This is an easy, fun and colorful science project that illustrates the concepts of density and miscibility.

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Ice Cream in a Baggie

Homemade ice cream

AnnaPustynnikova / Getty Images

Learn about freezing point depression, or not. The ice cream tastes good either way. This cooking chemistry project potentially uses no dishes, so clean up can be very easy.

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Cabbage pH Paper

Homemade PH strips

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Make your own pH paper test strips from cabbage juice and then test the acidity of common household chemicals. Can you predict which chemicals are acids and which are bases?

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Sharpie Tie-Dye

Permanent marker tie dye art
Wagner Campelo / Getty Images

Decorate a T-shirt with "tie-dye" from a collection of permanent Sharpie pens. This is a fun project that illustrates diffusion and chromatography plus produces wearable art.

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Make Flubber

Flubber type slime

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Flubber is made from soluble fiber and water. It's a less-sticky sort of slime that is so safe you could eat it. It doesn't taste great (though you can flavor it), but it's edible. Kids will need adult supervision making this type of slime, but it's the best recipe for making a slime very young kids can play with and examine.

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Invisible Ink

Invisible ink on a letter
Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

Invisible inks either react with another chemical to become visible or else weaken the structure of the paper so the message appears if you hold it over a heat source. We're not talking about fire here. The heat of a normal light bulb is all that's required to darken the lettering. This baking soda recipe is nice because if you don't want to use a light bulb to reveal the message, you can just swab the paper with grape juice instead.

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Bouncing Ball

Jelly Marbles

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Polymer balls are a variation on the slime recipe. These instructions describe how to make the ball and then go on to explain how you can alter the recipe to change the characteristics of the ball. Learn how to make the ball clear or opaque and how to make it bounce higher.

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Iron from Cereal

Cereal with berries

Debby Lewis-Harrison / Getty Images

This experiment doesn't necessarily require cereal. All you need is any iron-fortified food and a magnet. Remember, iron in large amounts is toxic so you won't pull huge quantities out of food. The best way to see the iron is to use the magnet to stir the food, rinse it with water, then wipe it with a white paper towel or napkin to see the tiny black filings.

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Candy Chromatography

Close-up of multicolored candies

Eddy Zecchinon / EyeEm / Getty Images

Examine the pigments in colored candies (or food coloring or marker ink) using a coffee filter and a saltwater solution. Compare dyes from different products and explore how color works.

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Recycle Paper

Child holding up handmade paper

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

It's easy to recycle used paper to make beautiful cardstock for cards or other crafts. This project is a good way to learn about papermaking and recycling.

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Vinegar & Baking Soda Foam Fight

Kids having a foam party
Juergen Richter / LOOK-foto / Getty Images

The foam fight is a natural extension of the baking soda volcano. It's a lot of fun and a little messy, but it's easy to clean up as long as you don't add food coloring to the foam.

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Alum Crystals

Frosty diamonds in a Smithsonian kit

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

Alum is sold with pickling spices in the grocery store. Alum crystals are among the quickest, easiest, and most reliable crystals you can grow so they are a great choice for kids.

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Rubber Egg & Rubber Chicken Bones

A rubberized egg

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

The magic ingredient for this fun kid's chemistry project is vinegar. You can make chicken bones flexible as if they were made of rubber. If you soak a hard-boiled or raw egg in vinegar, the eggshell will dissolve and you'll be left with a rubbery egg. You can even bounce the egg like a ball.

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Ivory Soap in the Microwave

A soap sculpture

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

This project will leave your kitchen smelly soapy, which could be good or bad, depending on whether you like Ivory soap fragrance. The soap bubbles up in the microwave, sort of resembling shaving cream. You can still use the soap, too.

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Egg in a Bottle

Egg in a bottle

ThoughtCo / Anne Helmenstine

If you set a hard-boiled egg on top of an open glass bottle it just sits there, looking pretty. You can apply science to get the egg to fall into the bottle. See if you can figure out how to get the egg in the bottle before reading the instructions.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Top Chemistry Projects for Bored Kids." ThoughtCo, Sep. 7, 2021, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2021, September 7). Top Chemistry Projects for Bored Kids. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Top Chemistry Projects for Bored Kids." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 31, 2023).

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