Seven free and cheap science experiments for kids

IT’S British Science Week and what better way to celebrate than getting kids doing experiments at home.

There are loads of great activities to get them thinking about the physical world and you can do it all for free with household items you have. Here are our top picks.

WHEEL EASY: Design a car from a plastic bottle, with bottle caps for wheels and an axle made from wooden skewers put in straws.

Attach a balloon to it and watch how the escaping air propels the car forward as potential energy converts to kinetic energy.

FLYING COLOURS: Shine a torch into a glass of water while holding it above a piece of white paper.

The water will fracture the light to show all the colours of the rainbow on the paper.

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TWINKLY TORNADOS: Put four tablespoons of glitter in a glass jar, fill three quarters full with water, screw the lid tight and turn upside down. 

Move the bottle in a circular motion and the glitter will reveal a cyclone in a bottle.

SIMPLY THE ZEST: Write secret messages with a paintbrush dipped in lemon juice.

After drying — and with adult supervision — hold the paper near a hot lightbulb and watch the words emerge as the juice oxidises and turns brown.

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PRETTY PENNY: Pour white vinegar into a non-metallic bowl with two teaspoons of salt and mix with a plastic spoon.

Put some dirty pennies in and leave for two minutes. The grimy copper oxide disappears leaving the coins shiny.

SET PRICE: Bag a bargain science set using a price comparison site like Idealo. A Galt Toys slime kit on was down to £7.59, virtually half price.

POSTER COMP: Check out British Science Week’s poster competition for kids aged three to 14. The theme is “growth” and prizes include an Amazon Echo.

Closes April 15. Visit And see the site’s “family science” packs for more activities.

  • Prices correct at time of going to press. Offers subject to availability.

Deal of the day

THE Midnight Luxe hairdryer from BABYLISS is £20, down from £36, at Asda.

SAVE: £16

Cheap treat

CADBURY Heroes are half price at Sainsbury’s – £2, down from £4.

SAVE: £2

What’s new

ORCHARD Toys is reviving its misplaced pieces service for when kids lose bits from games such as Shopping List and Tummy Ache.

Replacement pieces are free for up to three parts with a £1.30 cost to cover postage.

If you need more than three parts additional pieces are £1 each. Visit

Top swap

THE ultra mini Ugg boots from are all the rage but they cost £125 – so swap to Marks & Spencer’s cheaper version for £24.

SAVE: £101

Leah’s little helper

JOIN the Airtime Rewards cashback app to get money off your mobile bill with providers including O2, EE and Vodafone.

Link your bank account and the app tracks your spending at more than 100 retailers, giving you one to ten per cent cashback.

You can also use it alongside other cashback sites such as Topcashback and Quidco.

Shop and save

GET two joints of meat for £18, including Aberdeen Angus beef, smoked gammon and pork loin crackling, from Iceland.

Normally £10 each.

SAVE: £2

Hot right now

THE Co-op has a £5 freezer-filler deal, saving you £7.50, including Birds Eye fish fingers and fish fillets, garden peas, McCain oven chips and a tub of Carte D’or ice cream.

Ends March 29.

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