Photographing science experiments for kids
Any creative activity at home activity was bound to involve science experiments for kids.
We searched the internet for easy science experiments we could do at home with basic household items.
The next task was to figure out how we could create a photography project around those ideas.
In the end we shortlisted five different science experiments that would help us create awesome photos.
Oil and water experiments with food colouring
A classic science experiment for kids. All you need is cooking oil, food colouring, water and something to put them in.
We took our inspiration for this experiment from The Dad Lab.
Setting up our mini studio
We began with setting a background using a shoebox and a piece of black paper.
We positioned our glass (a gin glass just happened to be the largest glass we had to hand).
Rather than just using natural light we set up an LED light to add interesting reflections into the glass.
The next stage was to set up our camera on a tripod and to pre-focus on the glass.
The oil and water experiment
First of all we poured out some oil in a separate glass. Then we added some drops of food colouring and mixed it all up.
The oil mixture was then poured into our gin glass which was now full of water.
This did produce some interesting results so we moved on to another technique.
The second experiment used a glass vase full of water. We poured oil on top this time then dropped in food colouring on top.
Milk and food colour with soap
At the beginning of lockdown I saw plenty of videos using pepper in milk to show why you should wash your hands with soap.
We’re nearly out of pepper so I didn’t want to waste what we had.
It’s also important to mention that the only food colouring I was able to find in the shops was blue and red. In the future I would recommend using more than two colours for this.
This is how you should do this experiment
Our results were a little bit different and far more heavy handed but it was still fun to do.
Baking Soda Volcano
Asking a 5 year old if they want to make a volcano is only going to get one answer.
This was the easiest experiment to do. All we needed was bicarbonate of soda, vinegar (we used red wine vinegar because it’s been in our cardboard for years now) and food colouring.
We opted for red colouring and created a setup using a small bowl and a cookie cutter for our volcano base.
We filled the cookie cutter with bicarbonate of soda, put a few drops of colouring colouring in and then poured in the vinegar.
Create an Ink Rainbow
If you’re in lockdown with a small child it’s very likely you’ve been involved in making a rainbow at some point.
My inspiration for this project came from this travelling waters colour mixing experiment.
I had an idea to try and transfer the ink onto paper but it didn’t quite work out like that. The result was good and made some interesting photos.
We began with tearing even stripes of kitchen roll. Each strip is then coloured at one end to make a 1 inch block of colour.
We then filled a large plate with water and lined up the coloured stripes into rainbow order.
The strips were then taped to a sheet of paper so they could be lifted in one go.
Once we dipped the strips into the water the colour began to run.
This on its own produced some really interesting images especially once we lifted the paper strips out of the water.
The next part didn’t really work out but it could do if we’d had not used highlighter pens as our ink.
We tapped two sheets of A4 to some MDF.
Then we dipped in a sheet of kitchen towel into the plate of coloured water to soak up the marbled ink.
The kitchen towel was then lifted out and put on top of one of the tapped A4 sheets.
The plan was that the ink from the paper towel would rather to the clean sheet of paper.
On the other sheet of A4 paper we placed the coloured strips of kitchen towel.
After the clean sheets of A4 had become properly soaked and ink transferred we removed all the wet kitchen towel and let the tapped sheets dry.
Clearly highlighter pens were the wrong choice for this experiment.
Static Electricity photography
Learning and play go together hand in hand especially when it comes to science experiments for kids. This one amused my daughter and I equally.
We have a few giant plastic things in our garden which my daughter still enjoys playing with.
After climbing and sliding around for a few minutes she loves nothing more than running over to give me a static shock.
As amusing as this was I started noticing how her hair would stick up after a couple of minutes in her Little Tikes car.
This prompted a photo and the learning began. Our task was to find other objects that made her hair stand up and to take amusing photos.
I think we achieved our goal.