13 Easy STEM Experiments Using Household Materials

Briefly speaking, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. They are concepts that are relevant in our everyday lives, from building houses to cooking!

Ranging from Chemistry and Biology to Engineering and Mathematics, here are 13 interesting STEM experiments kids can try out.

What is a STEM Experiment?

STEM experiments for kids are essentially activities that teach them how the world works. It could range from simple crafts made at home to complex experiments conducted at the lab.

The key to a good STEM experiment is that it teaches children real scientific principles in a fun, creative and hands-on approach.

Ref: USNews

13 STEM Experiments for kids to try out!

1. Cloud in a Jar

Cloud in a jar experiment

Snatch a cloud from the sky! This experiment teaches your child to create a real cloud – in a jar! All you need is warm water, matches, a glass jar, a flashlight and a balloon.

Children can learn about evaporation and explore the water cycle in our environment.

Category: Environmental Science

Key Concepts: Water cycles, States of matter

Estimated Duration: 20 minutes

Age Level: 4-5

Ref: giftofcuriosity

2. Sticky Note Number Match

Sticky Note Number Match

Bring maths to life! This simple activity challenges children to match numbers on the wall with its equivalent on a sticky note. All you need is some paper and sticky notes!

This activity challenges children to understand the meaning of numeric values while making the subject fun!

Category: Maths

Key Concepts: Numeric values

Estimated Duration: 20 minutes

Age Level: 3-4

Ref: rasmussen

3. Crystal Sun Catchers

Crystal Sun Catchers

Make your child go “woah”! This experiment teaches children how to make crystals only with simple household items! All you need is salt, a glass jar, a piece of string and some hot water!

Your child also can observe the process of crystallisation with their very own “crystal sun catcher”!

Category: Science (Chemistry)

Key Concepts: Crystallisation

Estimated Duration: 1-2 days

Age level: 7-8

Ref: rasmussen

4. Building a Hand Crank Winch

Hand Crank Winch

A DIY winch! This STEM experiment is perfect for children who like to get crafty! All you need are recycled materials like long toilet rolls, string, a straw and a spool of any kind.

Experiments like this are great exposure for children to learn how simple machines (such as pulleys) influence our daily lives!

Category: Engineering

Key Concepts: Pulley

Estimated Duration: 45 minutes

Age level: 9-11

Ref: rasmussen

5. Magnetic Slime

Magnetic Slime

How cool is a liquid magnetic slime? This STEM experiment adds a scientific twist to the slime kids everywhere all know and love. You would need white glue, liquid starch, iron oxide powder and a strong magnet to make this slime.

Your child can learn of the properties of magnetism with this unique activity.

 

Category: Science (Physics)

Key Concepts: Magnetism, Fluid

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Age level: 9-11

Ref: rasmussen

6. Build-a-Bridge

Is your child fascinated by bridges? This STEM activity challenges children to use different weight-bearing materials to create a bridge. All you need is some household items such as spaghetti, marshmallows, toothpicks, chopsticks etc.

This activity challenges children to think like an engineer and solve problems with limited resources!

Category: Physics & Engineering

Key Concepts: Structure

Estimated Duration: 60-90 minutes

Age level: 10-11

Ref: USNews

7. Build a Balloon Car

Build a balloon car

Enough about electric cars, how about air-power cars? This STEM activity challenges children to use recycled materials and the power of air pressure to create a moving “balloon car”! All you need is some used plastic bottles, some skewers, a plastic straw and a balloon!

Your child can learn about the properties of air pressure while racing others and their cars!

Category: Science (Physics) & Engineering

Key Concepts: Newton’s laws of motion, kinetic energy, potential energy

Activity time: 20-30 minutes

Age Level: 5-8

Ref: Science Buddies

8. Build a Paper Rocket

Paper rockets made of paper

3! 2! 1! Blastoff!

This STEM activity introduces concepts of aerodynamics to children through craft. The main things you’ll need is card paper, straws and an open area to give the rocket a try.

Children could even race and compare whose rocket flew the farthest with different materials!

Category: Science(Physics) & Engineering

Key concepts: Physics, Aerodynamics, Flight, Stability

Activity time: 30 minutes

Age level: 5-8

Ref: Science Buddies

9. Light-up Postcard

A postcard you won’t forget! This STEM activity combines arts and circuits to create a one-of-a-kind light-up postcard. You would mainly need some LEDs, a coin battery, copper tape, card paper and anything else to decorate!

Children can express their creativity while learning about electricity and circuits!

Category: Engineering (Electricity)

Key concepts: Circuit, Electricity, Conductor, Insulator, Battery, LED

Activity Duration: 35 minutes

Age level: 6-9

Ref: Science Buddies

10. “CandyNA” – Make A Candy DNA Model

DNA model made of candy

What’s sweeter than candy and science? Adds a tasty twist to DNA – the genetic blueprints of all lifeforms with this STEM activity. All you need is your child’s favorite candies and some toothpicks.

This activity teaches a valuable lesson about biology while also satisfying your child’s sweet tooth.

Category: Science (Biology)

Key concepts: Genetics

Activity Duration: 30 minutes

Age Level: 6-9

Ref: Science Buddies

11. Rainbow in a Jar

Rainbow in a cup with liquids of different viscosities

You’ve heard of “cloud in a jar” – get ready for “rainbow in a jar”! This STEM experiment challenges children to use concepts of density and viscosity to create the perfect rainbow. All you need is liquids with different viscosities (e.g water, oil, glycerin), food colouring and a glass jar!

Children will have the opportunity to experiment with different liquids until they perfect their own “rainbow in a jar”

Category: Science (Chemistry)

Key Concepts: Solubility, Density

Activity duration: 20 minutes

Age level: 3-5

Ref: 3M

12. Inflation Station

Balloon being inflated by carbon dioxide

There’s more than one way to blow a balloon! Have your child test out an acid-base reaction with this STEM experiment! All you need is some baking soda, citric acid (from vitamin C tablets), a bottle and a balloon.

Let your child hypothesise the results and learn the principle behind the chemical reaction!

Category: Science (Chemistry & Physics)

Key Concepts: Gases, Acid & Bases

Activity duration: 25 minutes

Age level: 4-6

Ref: 3M

13. Walking Water

Food colouring being spread across cups

Science can be colourful! This STEM experiment explains the concept of surface tension to children with pops of colour! All you need is a few plastic cups, food colouring and tissues.

Your child can observe the water travelling between cups while watching the colours mix into a rainbow!

Category: Science (Physics)

Key Concepts: Gravity, Surface tension, Molecules

Activity duration: 30 minutes

Age level: 3-5

Ref: 3M

Big Bang Lab – Explore STEM while having fun!

Big Bang Lab is a hybrid-learning platform that turns abstract science concepts into interactive bite-sized and adventure-based lessons for children. Based on Big Bang Academy’s widely accredited curriculum, you and your child can explore a wide range of science topics from the comfort of your home.

At Big Bang Academy, we value hands-on learning. That is why every lesson on Big Bang Lab comes with an experiment. Children will get a chance to directly interact with the concepts they’ve learnt through hands-on experiments (e.g electricity and conductivity is paired with a circuitry experiment).

To make the best of your child’s science-learning experience, we’ve also created our very own experiment boxes. Designed by educators and researchers, our experiment boxes provide unique materials to be used alongside Big Bang Lab, shipped straight to your doorstep!

You can check out our Dinosaur Box, where your child will work on hands-on experiments (such as excavating fossils and making dinosaur eggs) while uncovering the secrets of the Mesozoic Era.

Related articles:
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2.Authoritative and popular science magazines for kids & adults
3.How to choose STEM toys for kids? Top 10 toys we recommend to parents

Big Bang Lab

Big Bang Lab is an hybrid learning platform that turns science concepts into interactive, adventure-based and bite-sized lessons for children.

Based on Big Bang Academy’s widely accredited curriculum, families can explore the sciences from the comfort of your home!

Learn More

Written By

Maison Li

Maison is a content writer at Big Bang Academy. An avid proponent of educational innovations, Maison strives to showcase the latest science learning solutions to the world.