5 Household Experiments for KidsAlka-Seltzer Rockets

Ever wanted to hold a rocket in your hand? Well, now you can! These powerful rockets are powered by a reaction of Alka-Seltzer and water that produces gas (carbon dioxide). The gas expands and the rocket lifts off! Carbon dioxide is what is used to keep your sodas fizzy.

Materials Needed:

  • Safety goggles
  • Alka-Seltzer tablets
  • 35mm camera film canisters
  • Water

Please wear safety goggles. Add 1/2 a tablet of Alka-Seltzer to a 35mm camera film canister and add water. Immediately close cap and face upside down. After a few seconds, the camera film canister will shoot up into the air like a rocket.

Bubble_IMG_8128Giant Bubble

Bet you’ve never seen a bubble this big! To get the bubbles to stretch from the water to the hula-hoop, soap is added to water to relax the tension just enough to make them last longer before evaporating.

Materials Needed:

  • 10 cups of Dawn dish soap
  • 5 gallons of water
  • Small kiddie pool
  • Hula hoop
  • Small step stool

Add 10 cups of Dawn dish soap to 5 gallons of water to make the bubble solution. **Make solution at least 12 hours in advance for the best results**  Fill the bottom of a small kiddie pool with the bubble solution. Put a hula hoop in the pool, then place a small step stool in the pool so that it’s centered with the hula hoop.

Help a child onto the step stool, then have two assistants grab the hula hoop, shake it in the bubble solution, and steadily pull it straight up.



Is it a solid or liquid, you ask? It is neither! Impossible? Not at all! This incredible non-Newtonian suspension allows the cornstarch grains to be suspended in the water, allowing it to act like both a liquid and solid at the same time!

Materials Needed:

  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • Food Coloring

Mix 1 part water with every 1.5 – 2 parts cornstarch. You may wish to start with one cup of water and one and a half cups of cornstarch, then work in more cornstarch if you want a more “solid” oobleck. It’ll take about 10 minutes of mixing to get a nice homogeneous oobleck. Mix in a few drops of food coloring if you want a colored oobleck.

Shaving Cream Art


Here’s your chance to make a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that can never be created again! Use shaving cream and food coloring to create a beautiful design with all your favorite colors, demonstrating colloid emulsion!

Materials Needed:

  • Shaving cream
  • Paper plates
  • Utensils: spoon & fork
  • Food coloring
  • Paper
  • Squeegee

Spread a thin layer of shaving cream on a paper plate using a spoon (or your fingers). All you need is a shallow coating. Dot the surface of the shaving cream with food coloring or paint. Use your imagination to pattern the colors. simply run a fork through the colors to make a pattern. Don’t get too enthusiastic in swirling your colors or they will run together. Lay your paper on top of the colored layer and smooth the paper out over the shaving cream. Remove the paper and either squeegee off the shaving cream(wiping between passes) or wipe the shaving cream off with a dry paper towel. If you do this carefully, none of your colors will run or be distorted.

Nail Polish Bookmarks


Customize your very own design and seal it in with a super shiny coat! It looks so professional, it might just make you famous!

Materials Needed:

  • Shallow pan
  • Strips of paper with a hole punched into one end – Card-stock or poster board works best
  • Nail Polish – Clear, with no shimmer or glitter and not a fast-drying formula
  • Pieces of pipe cleaner
  • Colored permanent markers

Please do this activity in a well-ventilated area. Fill the pan halfway with water. Slide the paper into the pan. Make sure it is completely under the water. Use the nail polish brush to drip on a drop of nail polish onto the surface of the water. The polish will spread out into a thin film. Lift the strip of paper out of the water. The film of nail polish will stick to the paper. Set the paper aside to dry.

Note: The information for the above experiments came from the Sigma Pi Chemistry Club, an American Chemical Society Student Chapter at UMHB. If you want to know more, check Sigma Pi out on Facebook.

Please be safe and responsible when trying any of the above experiments. The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and the Sigma Pi Chemistry Club will not be responsible or liable for any accidents that occur as a result these experiments.

Are you interested in pursuing a science degree? We’d like to invite you to stop by for a visit, and see if Mary Hardin-Baylor is a fit for you.