Water Experiments

Water experiments are fun and inexpensive. Children love to observe and experiment with their world. You can start teaching about water when your child is in preschool. Later you can make the experiments more complex to teach your child more about the properties of water.

Water Experiments to Teach about Surface Tension

Before you try to float a paperclip on water, go over what floats and sinks. If a paperclip is dropped into the water it will also sink. To float a paperclip you will need to place the paperclip gently on the water. Sometimes placing a piece of paper towel the size of the paperclip on the water then adding the paperclip helps the paperclip to float. The paper towel should become saturated with water and sink. Put a couple of drops of dish soap into the water. What happens to the paperclip?

Drop water onto a penny with a medicine dropper. Water molecules attract to each other because of surface tension.

Freezing Point of Water

Does water get bigger or smaller when it freezes? Fill a clear plastic cup half full with water. Mark the water line with masking tape or a permanent marker. Place the cup in the freezer. Wait over night. In the morning check to see if the ice is above or below the line.

Another time have your child fill one cup with water, one cup with fruit juice, and one cup with salt water. Make sure that your child fills all of the cups to the same level. If you want you can have your child add Popsicle sticks to the cups. Place the cups in the freezer. Check the cups every 30 minutes to see if they are frozen. Which Popsicle froze the fastest?

Make a Solar Purifier

This water experiment shows how to purify water and how the water cycle works. Mix salt in water place in a large bowl. Place a small glass in the center. The glass needs to be shorter than the rim of the bowl but taller than the level of the water. Cover the bowl and glass with plastic wrap place a small rock on the plastic wrap over the glass. Place the bowl outside on a sunny day. Water should collect in the glass taste to see if it is salty or not.

Also do the same experiment to show how the water cycle works. For the water cycle you do not need to use salt water.

Filter Water

Punch 5 to 10 holes in a coffee can. Add about 3 inches of sand to the can place the can over another container. Mix some garden dirt into water. Pour the dirty water into the coffee can. Observer the water that goes into the clean container, the water should be clear.


Mix 5 tablespoons of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water. Mix the ingredients. It should be like a thick paste. Have your child try to pick the mixture up with their hand. Have your child squeeze the mixture. The mixture acts like a liquid and a solid because the cornstarch floats in the water.

Make Water

Place a glass over a burning candle when the candle goes out there should be a small amount of water inside the glass

Water Tricks

Tape a mirror a 45 degree angle in a tub of water. Place one finger in the water. Look in the mirror. How many fingers do you see?

Another time give your child an empty clear glass and a sticker. Place the sticker under the glass. See if you can see the sticker. Then fill the glass with water. Look down into the glass. Can you see the sticker? Next have your child look from the side of the glass. Can he see the sticker?

Play music with water. Fill glasses with different amounts of water. Tap the glass with a spoon. Do the glasses make different sounds?

Water experiments can teach a lot about the properties of water. Experiments are also fun for children to do.

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