Science At Home : 2 Fun Experiments!

It’s high time I posted about fun science at home! I’ve got two experiments outlined below. I admit that it was difficult to come inside. The weather and fall colors are gorgeous.

Fall foliage
No, this is not my yard.

Along with fall comes the inevitable raking. Good thing I have Louie to help! And boys to bribe.

These experiments have minimal supplies, so you won’t even need to to to the store first! Especially if you’ve got as many drawers of junk as I do. (which I also ignore!)

The experiments will make great practical jokes.

Louie on fall clean up
Louie likes fall clean-up

Junk Drawer! Science At Home

In fact, I bet if you rummage around in your junk drawer, you’ll find what you need! These STEM science at home experiments will cost zero dollars! And they’re fun. 

You’ll look like an expert because I’m explaining the ‘why’ behind the science.

Time to impress your posse with science at home! 

Experiment # 1 : Spinning Straws

Spin a straw with no hands!

Supplies that I bet you have in your junk drawer!

I found that a rounded bottom works best, to decrease friction. You’ll see in my video, I use a flat bottomed glass. (Go figure.)

You won’t want to actually use these after the experiment…you’ll see why shortly.

Louie didn’t love this part.

Louie would rather be raking.

Steps to Spinning Straw Science Experiment

1. Place your glass upside down on a smooth surface
2. Use Your Head!
Take the straws and rub them on your head 12 times.
Louie didn't like this part.
3. Set one of the head-rubbed straws on the glass.
4. Bring the other head-rubbed straw near the first one but don't let them touch.
See my video below!
Previous slide
Next slide

Video of Spinning Straws

The Science Behind Spinning Straws

Two words : Static Electricity

Static electricity is the build-up of an electrical charge on the surface of an object. The reason that it’s called static electricity is because the charges stay in one area for some time. They don’t flow or move to a different area.

What are charges, exactly? Electrons!


When you rub the straw on your head –or against Louie’s hair– the electrons jump! Both straws gain electrons from your hair!

Since both straws have extra electrons, they are both negatively charged.  Like charges repel each other. Hence one straw pushes the other away.

Louie and straws
Louie is afraid of losing his electrons!

Since your hair lost electrons to the straws, is your hair now negatively or positively charged?


This science experiment at home is demonstrating the repelling of like charges! 

If you bring the charged straw close to your hair, it will stand up. Why?

Because like charges attract!

Remember your hair is now positive because it lost electrons to the straw.

There are many ways to make electrons jump. 

Rubbing your feet across a carpet causes the electrons to jump onto you. More and more join your trek across the carpet.

Eventually more electrons don’t want to come up on you because you’re so charged up. You end up with a high voltage, about 20,000 to 25,000 volts.

That’s serious power at your fingertips, considering a normal electrical outlet on the wall is only around 100 volts of electricity.

And bolt they do. You touch the more positively charged doorknob–after all you are full up with electrons– and get a shock!

3 Fun experiments
Credit Kelly DeLay

Static electricity works best on cold, dry days. This is why we get more shocks in winter. If it’s humid, the way it is in the summer, there is more water vapor in the air. 

Water molecules are polar, meaning they have a positive and negative side. On a humid day, the electrons from the carpet will jump to the positive side of the water molecules in the air, instead of to you. 

Water molecule
Polar water molecules

I discuss water properties in my book, Chemical Reactions!: With 25 Science Projects for Kids, coming out in 2021. And in this post, too.

Fun Experiment # 2: Do Not Open or The Water Bottle Trick

Who doesn’t love a challenge? The second someone tells me NOT to do something, I’m tempted. I shouldn’t call science a trick, but with this one, you can trick your kids, guests, siblings, anyone you please. With science at home! Time to trick your posse….

Science at Home 2 Fun Experiments

Supplies that I bet you have in your junk drawer or in this case, the recycling bin!

It’s actually not empty. What is inside this bottle?

Materials portable water bottle
Supples for water bottle trick

Steps for Water Bottle Trick

1. Poke a hole into the side of your empty water bottle
(You can put tape over the hole if you're taking this somewhere else, but it's not necessary)
2. Fill the bottle with water and quickly put on the cap
Take the tape off (if you used it) Unscrew the cap!
Previous slide
Next slide

Video of Water Bottle Trick

The Science Behind the Water Bottle Trick

First, let's answer that question

Is the empty water bottle empty?


The empty water bottle is full of air!

When you pour water into the bottle, the molecules of air that once occupied the bottle come rushing out of the top. You don’t notice this because molecules of air are invisible. 

Likewise, when you pour water out of a bottle (thanks to gravity) the water rushes out. The other action that’s occurring is that air rushing into the bottle.

Think of it as an even exchange of water for air.

When the lid is uncapped, air sneaks in through the top of the bottle. The air pushes down on the water (along with some help from the force of gravity), and the water squirts through the holes in the bottle. 

Louie drinking from a bottle
Louie disregarded the warning

This makes a great practical joke for kids. They’re learning science and having fun. 

Surface Tension

You might ask why poking a tiny hole in the side of a bottle would not cause it to leak. It would if  air molecules can sneak into the bottle. However, when the lid is on the bottle, air pressure can’t get into the bottle to push on the surface of the water.

The water molecules work together to form a kind of skin to seal the holes—it’s called surface tension. (I talk about this in that other post, too)

Surface tension occurs because water molecules are attracted to each other! Remember that water molecules are polar, meaning they have a positive and negative side. Opposite charges attract!

This is called cohesion. (the intermolecular attraction between like-molecules)

Science At Home Cohesion facts for kids

Water really is amazing!

Science at Home the power of water
Gorgeous afternoon hike

Some insects use surface tension to stay afloat! They are lightweight enough so they don’t disrupt cohesion. (Larger animals incorporate other adaptations to help them stay on top of the water surface)

Water strider
Water Strider wikimedia commons

I bring a water bottle along on walks with Louie and untape the hole so he can have a little drink. The tape is necessary in this case, because if I grab the bottle, exerting pressure on the side of the bottle will force water out of that hole. 

This science trick is portable!

And there we go! Science at home with 2 fun experiments. Go ahead, trick your friends!

Let me know if you try either of these science experiments at home !

Louie vastly preferred the water bottle experiment to the spinning straws experiment. 


Which experiment do you like best?

alex and a whiteboard
Make Sense of Science with Us! Link to my BOOK!



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Demi Le Huray
Demi Le Huray
November 9, 2020 10:48 am

These look like fab experiments!

Reply to  Demi Le Huray
November 10, 2020 4:43 pm

Interesting! I’ve shared your blog with my great nephew and niece in LA

Retirestyle Travel
Retirestyle Travel
November 9, 2020 12:17 pm

these are cool experiments with great instructions. I prefer the first one.

Unwanted Life
November 9, 2020 1:25 pm

I knew about water tension, but I didn’t know it would stop a leak in a bottle if the caps tightly on

Kelly Diane
November 9, 2020 1:49 pm

Really interesting experiments. I love that its with things that the majority of us have at home.

Anika May
Anika May
November 9, 2020 2:10 pm

Great ideas, they definitely look fun to carry out!

Anika |

November 9, 2020 6:31 pm

These are such great ideas for science experiments! Thanks so much for sharing!

Molly @ Transatlantic Notes
November 9, 2020 6:49 pm

Louie is just amazing and so adorable! I love all these experiments and that I can do them easily!

Lisa's Notebook
November 10, 2020 2:36 am

These are great experiments to try at home. They’re very similar to some in Flora’s bi-monthly Letterbox Lab subscription boxes, but getting kids involved in fun science at home is always a good thing!

November 10, 2020 4:54 am

Hi Sue,

Two more experiments to show the grandsons. You and Louie are providing great content especially during this time of virtual and increased home schooling. Thanks so much.

Jenny in Neverland
November 10, 2020 4:55 am

Ah these are such interesting and fun ideas. Perfect for kids!

November 10, 2020 7:48 am

I love these experiments, especially the static electricity one

November 10, 2020 8:54 am

These look like some really fun experiments to do with our nieces and nephews. I’m going to have to give them a try – especially the water bottle trick. I’m sure that they would have WAY too much fun with that one! Thank you for sharing these… I love that they use nothing but the items we have kicking around the house already.

November 10, 2020 9:47 am

This is great Sue! I always really enjoyed these sorts of things as a kid. I especially love that you don’t have to spend any money to do them. Thank you!

November 10, 2020 10:02 am

These look like so much fun to try! I loved it. I’ll prepare to do this when my nieces and nephews come over 🙂

A Capone Connection
November 10, 2020 12:31 pm

That looks like so much fun. I think it’s something that would definitely keep a child’s attention throughout the experiment!

Spreading Book
Spreading Book
November 10, 2020 1:30 pm

It’s interesting experiments. While I was reading this, I recall my school time as I used to be a science student.

Jane Herrmann
Jane Herrmann
November 10, 2020 5:45 pm

Fun stuff! Thanks, Sue 🙂

November 11, 2020 1:05 am

Those look like so much fun! Really great ideas!

November 11, 2020 2:50 am

Experiments at home sound like fun! So much fun for children. Thank you for sharing.

Mama Luana
November 11, 2020 6:13 am

Interesting experiments! And with this, I just reviewed some chemistry, hahah 🙂 I might try these.

Question, though: since you didn’t fill the bottle with water completely, is the remaining part of the bottle filled with air?


November 11, 2020 7:40 am

My favourite is putting water on a flat plate, placing 3 coins in the water, lighting a match and placing it on the coins and then putting a pint glass over the top. The fire burns all the oxygen and creates a vacume, sucking up the water into the glass.


Eva Apelqvist
Eva Apelqvist
November 11, 2020 8:03 am

Another great post, Sue. Perfect for homeschooling families! Easy but great experiments.

Alexis Farmer
Alexis Farmer
November 11, 2020 9:00 am

These are all awesome! PS: love the dog pictures that come along with these experiments 😊

November 11, 2020 10:16 am

Nice experiments. I like the second one.

Amie Cadwallader
November 11, 2020 12:31 pm

Ooooh these experiments are amazing!

Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan

November 11, 2020 3:37 pm

These all look like really fun experiments to try out at home! 🙂

Natasha Evans
Natasha Evans
November 11, 2020 4:22 pm

Really interesting post with some great ideas. Might have to give some a try now I have more time at home!


November 12, 2020 3:45 am

I love these, they all look like so much fun! Perfect to do in lockdown with kids xx

The LDN Lifestyle
November 12, 2020 8:09 am

Great ideas – these definitely impressed me! I didn’t find science too interesting when I was at school, but when you apply it to fun situations like these it’s much more interesting. P.S. your dog is adorable!

Marshall Medved
Marshall Medved
November 12, 2020 9:14 am

Great blog, great ideas and great fun for everyone.

Luke Slater
November 12, 2020 11:24 am

These are very fun experiments to try out, especially with being in lockdown, it will help people to do something fun rather than doing nothing at all 😁 Science is fun that’s one thing my teacher taught me at school.

November 13, 2020 10:12 pm

You can’t go wrong with some science at home! The static electricity one was always fun – It helps kids understand why we get that shock when we get clothes out of the dryer and such. Love the science with this!! Thanks for sharing!

Nancy ✨

Susan Berk Koch author

My New Book!

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