A child's natural curiosity makes them pretty natural scientists. In this article, find some fun physics activities for kids that provide an entertaining and educational training ground for budding physicists. These activities explore physics principles like gravity, friction, centrifugal force, and rotational pull through hands-on experience. Rather than just reading about these ideas, kids can learn firsthand about the basic principles of physics in the great outdoors.

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Fun Physics Games For Kids At Home

Physics is a complex subject that needs to be taught with dedication. Students might need the support of extra learning methods to understand the concepts and theories of this science subject. Parents often sign their kids up for online physics classes in India. However, physics games are also a good way to teach students physics.

Magnets

Offer your child a magnet, and together, discover magnetic items around the house. Discuss why some items are magnetic, and some aren’t.

Buoyancy

Explore with your child why some objects float and some sink. Fill the sink with water and drop various household objects, such as a paper clip, a sponge, a wooden spoon, and a metal spoon, into the water. Why do some objects, such as a sheet of paper, float initially before they sink? Or make a game of it with the old favorite, “Pooh Sticks,” from “Winnie the Pooh.” Drop sticks from one side of a bridge and race to the other to see which stick appears first.

Gravity

Drop objects, such as socks, shoes, feathers, a flat sheet of paper, and a crumpled piece from a stair landing or high position. Do all things touch the ground eventually? Why do some objects seem to fall faster than others? Make paper airplanes to explore concepts of flight and gravity at the same time. Watch a bird in flight. Why doesn’t it fall to the ground?

If children are already fascinated by mechanics, then Quantum Physics will surely appeal to them.
Engineers use Physics to build components of planes, cars, satellites and more. | Photo on Foter.com

Simple Machines

One of the basic principles of physics is that six simple machines can make our work easier, are found in every aspect of daily life, and include the lever, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, wedge, and pulley. Here’s how to explore each of those:

  • To explore inclined planes, help your child build ramps from PVC pipe or cut a pool noodle in half to race marbles and cars. Do the marbles move faster if the ramp is steeper? Why
  • Learn about wheels and axles as you explore wheelbarrows, tricycles, and scooters. Use a wheelbarrow or toy dump truck to move dirt from one area to another.
  • Explore wedges, screws, and levers with child-size tools. As your child grows, try child-sized versions of the real thing.
  • Make a pulley or purchase one at a hardware store and experiment with lifting buckets of sand, blocks, and other objects.

Motion and Inertia

Try rolling or pushing various objects, such as balls, a block, or a toy car. Why do some objects roll easily while others require more effort? Do heavy objects roll more easily than lightweight ones? Does the surface they roll on make a difference?

Light

Study shadows throughout the day. Why are they longer at certain times of the day than others? Do they look different when the sun shines brightly versus when the day is overcast? Do they ever disappear altogether? Make shadows on a wall with a flashlight or play flashlight tag. Explore why light dispels darkness as soon as a light is turned on. Can darkness dispel light?

Heat/Energy

Keep a thermometer outside and record the temperature over several days or weeks. Notice any other conditions accompanying changes, such as a cloudy or rainy day. Demonstrate what happens to water when it is frozen or heated, and introduce the concept of properties of matter.

Top Physics Resources to Make Learning Easy

There are plenty of physics experiments you can do at home. You might even have a few of the materials just lying around the house. Here are a few easy ways for you to see science in action. Here are a few simple science experiments for kids to explore density, gravity, electricity, and pressure.

Changing the Density of Water

Have you ever seen a lake freeze in winter? When the temperature drops, a sheet of ice forms across the top, but the lake is still there underneath the ice layer. Why does this happen, and why do you think it’s important? We’ll tackle these questions in the following experiment. We’ll closely examine the effects of temperature on water and see what happens when you try to mix differently tempered water.

What You’ll Need:

  • Two containers such as jars or measuring cups
  • Water
  • Food coloring

Directions

  1. Add approximately four cups of water to a container. Add 2-3 drops of blue food coloring and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Heat approximately 1 cup of water to steaming or just boiling. Add 2-3 drops of yellow food coloring and mix well.
  3. Slowly pour ~1/4 cup of cold water into the hot water. Make sure to pour very slowly along the side of the container so minimal mixing. You should see two layers form. Time how long it takes for the two layers to gradually come together to make a single green layer.

Explanation

Changing the temperature of water affects its density. When water heats up, its molecules vibrate and move around. This makes the space between them increase, resulting in a lower density. As the water cools down, its molecules slow down and come closer together. This makes the water denser. The cooled water in our experiment sank to the bottom because it had a higher density than the heated water. It turned green because it touched some hot water on the way down, cooling it down and making it sink.

In nature, this phenomenon is responsible for a process called “turnover.” The sinking of cooler water and the rising of warmer water causes the layers of a lake to mix, allowing nutrients such as oxygen to be dispersed throughout. So why doesn’t a lake freeze solid from the bottom up? The density of water continues to rise until it reaches freezing, but then its density changes again. Ice is far less dense than liquid water, so any water that freezes rises to the top. The ice forms a layer across the surface of the lake, but the lake remains liquid underneath, allowing the plant and animal life to survive through the winter.

Physics looks at all matter, from the smallest atoms to the universe.
From rockets to the solar system, there will be something in the Physics curriculum that will appeal to your child. | Photo on Foter.com

Making a Comb “Magnet”

Chances are, you’ve experienced static electricity at some point. That tiny shock you sometimes feel when you reach for a doorknob, how your hair stands up when you brush it, how your hat clings to your hair – all of these are examples of static electricity.

We’ll use static electricity in this experiment to make a “magnet.” We’ll generate an electric charge on a hair comb and examine how that charge works. By the end of the experiment, we’ll have a better understanding of static electricity, why it behaves the way it does, and what we can do to minimize its effects in our daily life.

What You’ll Need:

  • A hair comb
  • A tissue
  • Scissors

Directions

  1. If your tissue is 2-ply, separate the two layers and use only one. Using scissors, cut the tissue into quarters. Set one of the quarters flat on a tabletop.
  2. Run a comb through your hair several times (at least 12 times) in quick succession. This works best on clean, dry hair and will yield the best results with the finer part of the comb or the end where the teeth are closer together.
  3. Immediately after running the comb through your hair, touch the comb to one edge of the tissue. You’ll know it worked if the tissue rises up to meet the comb as soon as it comes close. Using your new “magnetic” comb, lift the tissue from the table and up into the air.

Explanation

Static electricity is generated when negatively charged particles called “electrons” are transferred to an object and allowed to accumulate. In the case of our experiment, the object was the comb. Electrons “jumped” from our hair onto the comb, giving the comb a temporary negative charge. Because opposites attract, the negative charges on the comb were drawn to the positive charges on the tissue, and the tissue “stuck” to the comb.

Drier conditions are more conducive to static electrical buildup, which is why you tend to get more static shocks in the winter. This is because water is a great conductor. When there’s moisture, the static electrical charges that naturally build up on a surface can be absorbed by water particles suspended in the air. These water particles aren’t present during dry conditions. Hence, the charges accumulate, only dissipating all at once when they come into contact with another object, such as your hand on a doorknob.

Find The Right Physics Tutors for Kids

How do you explain physics to a child? Physics teachers can tap into brain-compatible learning and applications to provide new and innovative ways to reach students. Here are some great places where you may find online physics resources and Physics tutors in India.

Most games are free or relatively cheap to download.
Look out for fun apps or games your kids can enjoy while learning something very important about the world. | Photo credit: Thijs Knaap on Foter.com / CC BY

Edcraft

Edcraft provides interactive online courses with storytelling and craft mechanics to engage kids in real science and experiments. Students can start from just 10 minutes a day. Units are developed based on the best sources, the expertise of methodologists and psychologists, and divided into 10 lessons with gamified tasks.

The child solves plot game problems to learn new topics and consolidate what he has learned in each course. No boredom! All the tasks are unique! At the end of each course, the child takes a test or completes a game, receiving a diploma if successful.

Unit 1. “What does everything consist of?”

As part of the course, the child will learn about the specifics of the molecular structure of various substances and master the basic terms of physics.

Unit 2. “Move and act”

In this unit of the course, the child will get acquainted with the basic laws of mechanical movement and the interaction of physical bodies and learn what inertia is and how friction affects a person’s life.

Unit 3. “Energy and heat”

In the third unit, the child will learn how one type of energy is converted into another, how the law of conservation of energy works, and why it is impossible to build an eternal engine.

Unit 4. “Fields and waves”

During the last unit of the course, kids learn what sound and light have in common and how and why electric current is generated. They will even build simple optical devices!

Young Scientist

Young-Scientist (YS) is a start-up specializing in science education for children, making it fun and interesting. They employ visual learning techniques in a stress-free, hands-on environment where science is brought to life through experiments and activities. The start-up has already partnered with schools, Montessori learning centers, MNCs, and non-profit organizations to expand its reach to as many children as possible. They conduct weekly Math, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, and Robotics workshops at Chennai's Indian Institute of Technology.Brain It On!

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Shreyanjana

Shreyanjana is an archaeologist who ironically finds the written word to be the most powerful means of storytelling. A travel buff and a photography enthusiast, she has been writing and sharing stories of all sorts ever since she can remember.