Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Create a Great Science Kit ... For Free

We had a wonderful weekend.

Urgently needed weeding in the front garden turned into a spontaneous party of 8 under 5s who created a glorious mess stirring up fizzy potions on the front lawn.

By the end of the afternoon we had decimated our's and next door's supplies of vinegar, baking soda and food colouring (and dyed our paths in every colour of the rainbow!)

Before stocking up on more supplies, I had a quick check to see if anything else was running out in our "science kit". It's got over 50 items in it which can be used for hundreds of different static and magnet, potions, density and weather experiments.

Although, when I say "science kit" what I really mean - apart from a very few things - is the contents of the kitchen cupboards :-)

Everything You Need for a Free Science Kit

The lists below of both "magic" ingredients and equipment that you've already got in the house could honestly keep you entertained for a whole year and more of fun science experiments.

The only things that you might possibly need to buy specially are:

  1. Potassium aluminium sulfate (for making crystals) & hydrogen peroxide - although, you can use the hydrogen peroxide for planet friendly laundry and cleaning
  2. Soda drinks & sweets that you might not usually choose to keep in the house - i.e. bottle of diet coke, cans of diet & full coke, mint Mentos, marshmallows, Sweet Hearts, gummy bears
  3. Big bottles of cheap cooking oil & washing liquid as you need lots and lots to make fizzy potions, cool density jars and lava lamps
  4. A good strong pair of old fashioned balance scales - we have some plastic ones for children which are OK but you can't pile really interesting heavy stuff up in them
  5. A variety of different magnets (horse shoe & bar) including some really strong ones - you need bars for e.g. making compasses and some magnet experiments won't work with really weak ones aimed at children

Apart from that, you've got a life time worth of learning FREE in your kitchen cupboard!

Magic Ingredients

  • Potassium aluminium sulfate (for making crystals)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Lots of baking soda (bicarb of soda)
  • Lots of white vinegar - check out this great list of 50 baking soda & vinegar experiments from Growing a Jeweled Rose
  • Lots of food colouring
  • Yeast
  • Alka Seltzer
  • Diet coke in bottle
  • Cans of diet & full sugar cola
  • Mint mentos
  • Marsmallows
  • Sweet hearts
  • Gummy bears
  • Pop corn
  • Clear soda (any lemonade will do)
  • Orange juice
  • Milk
  • Dish washing liquid
  • Shaving foam
  • Raisins
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable oil (worth having a bottle of cheap stuff you might not want to cook with)
  • Celery
  • Eggs
  • Golden syrup 
  • Treacle
  • Sand

***Borax is widely available in the USA and can be used to make crystals, but it comes with significant health warnings in Europe about its potential harm to babies so I can't recommend it on this list.

Creativity kits for kids!


  • Magnets - in toys, horseshoe & bar - different strengths
  • Balance arm scales
  • Plastic jug
  • Plastic funnels in different sizes
  • Jam jars - some with tops
  • Plastic containers cut out of bottles
  • A plastic tray
  • Scientist coat made of old white shirt
  • Different shaped plastic bottles with same capacity
  • Large empty plastic bottles, e.g. squash / oil, with tops on
  • Seives / colanders
  • Hand whisks
  • Balloons
  • Small magnetic items e.g. paper clips, spoons
  • Non magnetic metal items e.g. non magnetic coins
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Light bulb
  • Corks
  • Plastic bricks e.g. duplo / mega bloks for measuring
  • Empty aluminium can
  • Straws
  • Sparkles / glitter
  • Packing peanuts
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic or paper cups

If you enjoyed this post follow my science and play boards on Pinterest ...

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And if you're looking for resources for your science experiments ... everything from test tubes and litmus paper to super science kits that make great gifts... do check out my Science Store.

Fun Science Experiments


  1. Wow what a great idea! I'm pinning this for later!

    Holly at Not Done Growing

  2. I have never heard about potential health risks of borax?? Obviously from the states...what do they warn about in europe? I always thought it was a safe, natural cleaner?

  3. Thanks for the great list! I've been wanting to put together a list of my own recently because so many cool experiments can be done with a few common ingredients!
    -Ana at

  4. This is such a great post. I would like to invite you to link up this post to my Money Saving Monday Link Up so others can find this great idea. Please stop by and link up.

    I hope to see you,
    Thank you,

  5. Yay! We have just cleared a kitchen cupboard this weekend. Rather than being an old Mother Hubbard, I can fill it with fantastic science stuff instead! :-)

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this at Project Inspire{d}! I love doing science experiments with my boys ~ this will be so much fun for the summer.


    Have a great week.

  7. Fantastic!!! Definitely pinning this! Thanks for linking up at One Organic Mama! Hope to see you back on Thursday morning <3

  8. This is so awesome! Thanks so much... I'll be pinning this on my homeschool board!

    Wishing you a lovely day!

  9. My man child husband loved this idea when I showed it to him. Except now I'm scared he's going to make them bigger! :) I hope you'll come share it with us on my linking party today over at Fidlers Under One Roof. This will fit nicely into the title "Fidlin' Fridays!" Hope to see you there!


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