The Kitchen Pantry Scientist shares fun kids experiments with Target.

Summer Science: Easy Outdoor Experiments for Kids

Known to most as The Kitchen Pantry Scientist, Liz Heinecke is an avid blogger, NASA Earth Ambassador, Bacteriologist and former medical researcher. But to her three children, she’s just known as “m­om” — an enthusiastic and curious parent who loves to have as much fun with science as they do. Below, Liz shares three easy, outdoor science experiments for kids (from her upcoming book Kitchen Science Lab for Kids from Quarry Books) with items you can find in Target’s Grocery area.

Summer is here at last, and the world’s greatest science lab is waiting just beyond your door — the great outdoors.

Backyards, driveways and parks are unbeatable venues for exploring the natural world and playing with physics, biology and chemistry. Besides having plenty of space for shooting rockets and testing the science of slingshots, cleanup is even easier when you’re outside — just spray down your area with a garden hose.

Whether you’re hosting a party, planning a play date or just looking for ideas to get your kids away from their screens, pick up a few cartons of eggs, grab a couple of Diet Coke bottles and packs of Mentos mints to turn an ordinary summer afternoon into a memorable one.

Soda Geyser Experiment

Create a foaming fountain of fun. What makes the soda shoot up? When mixed together, carbon dioxide bubble form on the rough, pitted surface of Mentos, which then cause pressure to build in the bottle and sends a jet stream of soda and bubbles shooting into the air.

What You’ll Need:
One 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke
Roll of Mentos mints
Sheet of paper
Safety goggles or sunglasses

Tip: You might want to double up on supplies…kids can’t get enough of this experiment!

What You’ll Do:
Step 1: Remove the lid from the Diet Coke and set the bottle on a flat spot on your lawn or driveway.

Step 2: Roll the paper around the tube of Mentos mints, and tape it into place. The tube should be small enough to fit in the mouth of the bottle. Remove the roll of mints from the paper tube.

Step 3: Use your finger to cover one end of the tube, and fill it with all the mints. (You can add a few more if there’s extra space in the tube.)

Step 4: Put your safety glasses or sunglasses on, and quickly empty the mints, all at once, from the paper tube into the bottle. Stand back!

Throwing Eggs Experiment

Learn about motion and force by tossing eggs. Why doesn’t the egg break? The faster you change the speed of an object, the greater the force applied to the object will be. When you change the speed of the egg slowly, like the sheet in this experiment does, there is less force applied to the egg and it doesn’t break.

What You’ll Need:
An old bed sheet
Clothespins, twisty-ties or string
Raw eggs (always wash your hands after handling raw eggs)
Tree, clothesline or two people to hold the sheet
Two chairs (optional)

What You’ll Do:
Step 1: Hang the sheet from a tree by attaching it to branches using clothespins, twisty-ties or string, or have two assistants hold it up.

Step 2: Tie the bottom of the sheet to two chairs so it makes a “J” shape when you view it from the side, or you can have two people hold the bottom of the sheet.

Step 3: Throw a raw egg at the sheet as hard as you can.

Stand Barefoot on Raw Eggs Experiment

Why don’t the eggs break? When you stand on a carton of eggs barefoot, you equally distribute your weight between all 12 eggs. Their amazing arched structure is strong enough to handle the pressure and keep them from breaking. To see what happens when the pressure isn’t easily distributed, try the same experiment wearing a stiletto heel, soccer cleats or track spikes.

What You’ll Need:
One or two cartons of 12 raw eggs

What You’ll Do:
Step 1: Open a carton(s) of eggs.Turn them so that they’re all pointing in the same direction.

Step 2: Set the carton(s) of eggs on a flat surface, like a driveway.

Step 3: Remove your shoes, and hold on to a chair or someone’s hand. Keeping your feet as flat as possible, carefully step onto the eggs with your entire foot.

Want more cool experiments for kids? Check out Liz’s easy indoor science experiments.

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