Hands-on Science: Chemicals We Encounter Every Day

My younger girls love it when we do science experiments. I’ll admit that I’m not great at thinking up experiments on my own, but I can at least follow instructions from a good hands-on science curriculum. My favorite experiments are the ones that use easy supplies that I already have around the house and easy directions that we can follow to be able to achieve the results we’re looking for.

chemistry experiment

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Today we pulled out the Christian Kids Explore Chemistry book and explored what kinds of chemicals are contained in ordinary every-day products that we use. Here’s a look at our experiment and what we learned.

chemicals in common products

Materials we used

Suave kids’ shampoo

Aldi brand dishwashing liquid

Frosted Flakes

Printed charts from Christian Kids Explore Chemistry

Chemicals in Suave shampoo

Chemicals in Frosted Flakes

We had intended to use Windex as the cleaner that we examined, but, interestingly, it didn’t have an ingredients list.

What we did

Studying chemicals

Using the chart from the science book we examined each product and listed the chemicals that made it up. There was an example on the chart using the ingredients in Coke.

Chemical ingredient chart

Chemical ingredient chart

After we listed the chemicals in each, there was a question asking the kids to identify any of these chemicals they knew or had heard of.

What we learned

It was very interesting to see how many chemicals make up the things we use every day. The girls and I discussed the fact that not all of these chemicals are manufactured. Some of these are natural such as the iron in the cereal.

Homeschool chemistry

Doing this hands-on exploration was a concrete way to talk about the presence of chemicals in our everyday life. I could have just told the girls the fact that we have chemicals in all of our every day products. But having them explore it in this way was much more meaningful.

You can find this experiment in the Christian Kids Explore Chemistry book from Bright Ideas Press. The book contains hands-on experiments for all of the lessons, and the companion resource CD contains all of the reproducibles you’ll need- including the chart we used for this experiment.

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