A Place of Our Own
About the Series Feedback Glossary Search Go Español
Home Topics Activities Resources Episode Guide Active Learning
Science Activities in Your Kitchen
Type: Projects   Skills: Critical ThinkingScience & Environment
Children are natural scientists. If you think about it, the way they explore the world around them is similar to actual scientific investigation. They use observation, comparison, communication and experimentation. By encouraging the skills kids need to process science concepts, they not only learn about their environment, they also develop important abilities like asking questions, predicting, comparing information and expressing their ideas. You donít need a laboratory for your child to investigate science Ė the kitchen is a great place to start. Science Activities in Your Kitchen
What We Learn
Supply List
Butter Making
Heavy whipping cream

Vegetable/Fruit Sort
Basket of various fruits or vegetables

Plant Growing
Avocado pit or sweet potato root
Jar of water
Butter Making
Start with a baby food jar or plastic container. Pour a small amount of heavy whipping cream into the baby food jar and shake, shake and shake!

The heavy whipping cream will become butter when shaken for about 10 minutes.

Little children are always fascinated by things that melt, boil or form a solid. By simply shaking up heavy cream in a jar, kids can make their own butter. Watching the transformation is amazing. Tasting the final product supports scientific investigation by using the five senses.

Vegetable/Fruit Sort
One of the most exciting ways to learn more about using our five senses is about doing a vegetable and fruit sort. You can use whatever is already in the fridge or simply pick up some fruits and veggies on sale at the local market.

Ask children to sort them by color, texture, smell and even taste. You can also use the opportunity to teach children about different plant parts. For example, a carrot is a root, a piece of lettuce is a leaf, broccoli is the flower of a plant, and apples are the fruit of where seeds will form.

Plant Growing
Using seeds or beans, children can grow plants right in the kitchen.

Take the pit of an avocado and place four tooth picks around the middle of the avocado. You can also do this activity with a sweet potato or regular potato. Then fill a jar with water.

Set the avocado (or potato) in the jar with the tooth picks keeping the top half of the avocado above water and the bottom half of the avocado submerged. Then place the jar in a sunny spot.

Over the course of a couple weeks, children will be able to see the avocado sprout roots and shoots.

Have the child keep a growth journal of the plant. You can encourage the child to write or dictate to the adult the different changes that they observe in the avocado pit. Write down the date it starts to split, the date it starts to grow roots and the date it starts to sprout a stem. Using a ruler, children can measure the growth of the roots and stem and keep these measurements in the journal. Children learn how to use scientific tools like rulers to measure the plant as it grows. They also will learn how to document their observations.
Find Activities

Related Episode
Kitchen Science
Related Activities
Home Science Kit
The Science of Smell
© 2007 Community Television of Southern California. All rights reserved.