35 Fun and Easy Second Grade Science Experiments and Activities

ByAlyssa R. Elliott

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Nothing gets kids more excited about science than getting to try some hands-on activities. These second grade science experiments are easy enough for any teacher or parent to try. Kids will learn basic concepts about physics, chemistry, biology, and more and have fun doing it!

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1. Brew up tie-dye slime

Student playing with neon colored slime (Second Grade Science)

Slime is more than just an ever-popular toy. It’s also got a lot of great science behind it! Mix up some eye-popping tie-dye slime and take the opportunity to learn about polymers and non-Newtonian fluids.

Learn more: I Heart Arts and Crafts

2. Make a bouquet of chromatography flowers

Colorful tissue paper flowers with pipe cleaner stems

Use chromatography to split secondary paint colors into their original hues. The results are both pretty and fascinating!

Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me/Chromatography Flowers

3. Concoct a foaming rainbow

Small paper cups filled with colorful foam with a box of baking soda

Every kid loves the classic baking soda and vinegar chemical reaction experiment. This version makes a foamy rainbow, thanks to some added food coloring.

Learn more: Messy Little Monster

4. Sculpt pipe cleaner constellations

Pipe cleaners and beads bent to form constellations (Second Grade Science)

Help kids find the constellations in the night sky by making these models from pipe cleaners. The little star beads are such a clever touch!

Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me/Pipe Cleaner Constellations

5. Tell time with a sundial

DIY sundial made from a paper plate and a pencil

How did people tell time before clocks and watches? Help second grade science students find out by making your own sundials from paper plates!

Learn more: Paging Supermom

6. Power up a lemon battery

Lemon with a nail and a coil of wire stuck into it (Second Grade Science)

Here’s another classic science experiment every kid should try. They’ll be amazed to learn a citrus fruit can generate an electric current!

Learn more: Education.com/Lemon Battery

7. Race clothespin cars

Simple cars made from clothespins and drinking straws

Explore simple machines by building race cars from basic supplies like clothespins and drinking straws. It’s a really fun way to learn about wheels and axles.

Learn more: The Primary Brain

8. Pollinate like a bee

Pipe cleaner twisted into bee shape on a child's finger, sitting on a paper flower (2nd Grade Science)

Use pipe cleaner bees to discover how these pollinators pick up and move cheese powder “pollen” from one juice box flower to the next. Simple, fun, and adorable!

Learn more: Around the Kampfire/Cheese Powder Pollination Activity

9. Build a body from Play-Doh

Worksheet showing body outline with play dough bones laid on top

Play-Doh activities are always fun to do! Visit the link below for free printable mats to use as you have your second grade science students sculpt the bones, organs, and muscles of the body.

Learn more: 123Homeschool4Me/Play-Doh Body

10. Grow a sprout house

Model house made of colorful sponges with bean sprouts growing from it (2nd Grade Science)

This two-part science project first challenges kids to use their engineering skills to construct a miniature house made of sponges. Then, they plant chia, alfalfa, or other quick-sprouting seeds and keep the sponges moist until they start to grow.

Learn more: The STEM Laboratory

11. Re-create the water cycle in a bag

Plastic bag marked with sun, clouds, and waves, partly filled with blue water

This simple but effective experiment explores the water cycle. Fill a plastic bag partway with water and set it on a sunny windowsill to see how the water evaporates up and eventually “rains” down.

Learn more: Grade School Giggles

12. Turn pom poms into crystal balls

Child's hand holding crystal-covered pom pom balls (2nd Grade Science)

Every kid loves making crystals! They’ll learn about supersaturated solutions as they make these cute little crystal pom pom balls.

Learn more: A Dab of Glue Will Do

13. Conduct a cookie dunk experiment

Handout labeled "The Great Cookie Dunk" with space for question, hypothesis, observation, prediction, and results

Introduce or review the scientific method with a fun and easy experiment to determine which cookies float or sink when dunked in milk. Then you can eat the results! (Find more great edible science experiments here.)

Learn more: Around the Kampfire/Milk and Cookies Scientific Method Experiment

14. Test sunscreen for effectiveness

Black construction paper with gingerbread man outlines covered in sunscreen, showing paper has faded except where protected by sunscreen (2nd Grade Science)

Kids might wonder why they need to wear sunscreen when they’re at the park or playing soccer. This experiment shows them the power of the sun’s rays and the protection sunscreen provides.

Learn more: JDaniel4’s Mom

15. Create an earth model from Play-Doh

Play-Doh model of the earth cut in half to show a red core, yellow mantle, and brown crust

Play-Doh has so many uses in the classroom! Use it to teach second grade science students about the layers of the earth by building a fun and colorful model.

Learn more: The Crafty Classroom

16. Design and build an index card tower

Tower built from rolled and flat index cards, supporting several books (2nd Grade Science)

Challenge your second grade science students to a little early engineering! Given only index cards, how tall and/or strong of a structure can they build?

Learn more: Education to the Core

17. Use bread to learn about hand-washing

Slices of bread in plastic bags showing various amounts of mold

There’s never been a better time for an experiment involving the importance of washing your hands! All you need for this one is bread, plastic bags, and some dirty hands.

Learn more: Parenting Isn’t Easy

18. Explore erosion with sugar cubes

Plastic cup full of colorful pebbles and sugar cubes

Simulate the effects of erosion by shaking sugar cubes in a cup with some pebbles to see what happens. Get more ideas for second grade science activities about erosion and weathering at the link.

Learn more: The First Grade Roundup

19. Find out which liquid is best for growing seeds

Small cups of soil labeled tap, bottled, sugar, and salt (2nd Grade Science)

As you learn about the life cycle of plants, explore how water supports their growth. Plant seeds and water them with a variety of liquids to see which sprout first and grow best.

Learn more: Lessons 4 Little Ones

20. Repel glitter with dish soap

Square dish filled with water and glitter, showing how a drop of dish soap repels the glitter

Every teacher knows that glitter is just like germs … it gets everywhere and is so hard to get rid of! Use that to your advantage, and show students how soap fights glitter and germs.

Learn more: Living Life & Learning

21. Build a folded mountain

Layers of towels pushed together between two green plastic totes

This clever demonstration helps kids understand how some types of mountains are formed. Use layers of towels to represent rock layers and boxes for continents. Then pu-u-u-sh and see what happens!

Learn more: The Chaos and the Clutter/Folded Mountain

22. Drink root beer floats to learn about states of matter

Plastic cup containing root beer and vanilla ice cream (2nd Grade Science)

What’s easy to make, delicious to eat, and demonstrates all three states of matter at once? Root beer floats! This will easily be your students’ favorite science lesson of the year.

Learn more: Learning Lab Resources

23. Learn about osmosis with gummy bears

Two regular-sized gummy bears next to two large bears that have been soaked in water (2nd Grade Science)

This is one of those classic experiments your second grade science students will love to see in action. Soak the gummies in water to watch them grow through the power of osmosis!

Learn more: Nurture Store UK

24. Build magnet-and-paper clip trees

Circular magnets stacked around wood sticks, decorated with paper clips and jingle bells (2nd Grade Science)

Experiment with magnet properties like polarity and strength by building cute little trees! This is also an excellent way for kids to find out which items are magnetic and which are not.

Learn more: Preschool Powol Packets

25. Bend objects to test flexibility

Child's hands bending a blue plastic ruler

Explore one of the properties of matter with this easy experiment. Kids plan how to test flexibility, then try it out with a variety of basic objects.

Learn more: Around the Kampfire/Flexibility Science Experiment

26. Freeze and observe liquid expansion

Clear bottles on a freezer shelf labeled milk, juice, salt water, water, and sugar water (2nd Grade Science)

As you explore the states of matter, experiment to see if some types of liquid expand more than others when frozen.

Learn more: Education.com

27. Discover density with saltwater solutions

Glasses of liquid labeled baking soda water, sugar water, control plain water, and salt water

This simple experiment covers a lot of second grade science concepts. Learn about solutions, density, and even ocean science as you compare and contrast how objects float in different water mixtures.

Learn more: Science Kiddo

28. Explode a balloon seed pod

Children's hands exploding a balloon with seeds flying out

After you learn about pollination, take the next step, and explore how plants disperse their seeds far and wide. One way is with exploding seed pods. Use a balloon to see how it works.

Learn more: Around the Kampfire/Seed Dispersal Activity

29. Watch a leaf “breathe”

Leaf submerged in water with air bubbles

Plants “breathe” through transpiration, and you can see the process in action simply by submerging a leaf in water!

Learn more: Edventures With Kids/Leaf Transpiration

30. Grow a self-sustaining ecosystem

Small plants growing in soil in a plastic bottle

Plant seeds inside a sealed plastic bottle and observe both the water cycle and the plant life cycle in one simple second grade science experiment.

Learn more: Carly and Adam

31. Compare and contrast animal habitats

Pine branches and woodland animal figurines on a tray labeled woodland (2nd Grade Science)

Build a variety of habitats (woodland, arctic, savannah, etc.). Then have kids compare to see how they are similar (all have water) and how they are different (trees, temperatures, etc.).

Learn more: Edventures With Kids/Animal Habitats

32. Use crackers to learn about properties of matter

Child's hand holding magnifying glass over a cracker, with worksheet labeled Cracker Lab in the background (2nd Grade Science)

Practice sorting, comparing, and classifying using properties of matter in this tasty experiment. All you need is a variety of snack crackers and inquiring minds! (These magnifying glasses would be fun too.)

Learn more: Around the Kampfire/Properties of Matter Cracker Lab

33. Discover plate tectonics with graham crackers

Two graham crackers overlapping on a bed of whipped cream

Use graham crackers as the earth’s crust floating on a bed of whipped topping “mantle” to learn about how tectonic plates interact.

Learn more: Playdough to Plato

34. Collect and classify rocks

Small child looking at rocks through a magnifying glass

Take a nature walk to pick up rocks of all kinds. Bring them back and have kids examine them closely and sort them into groups by properties (color, size, shape, texture, and so on). This is a fantastic lead-in to learning about the types of rocks.

Learn more: Rhythms of Play

35. Blast off drinking straw rockets

Student blowing on a drinking straw to launch a tiny rocket

Engineer rockets from drinking straws and have a blast when you send them flying! Kids can tweak the design to see whose can fly the highest.

Learn more: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

Looking for more? Try these 25 Second Grade STEM Challenges To Help Kids Think Creatively.

Plus, 20 Meaningful Second Grade Math Games Kids Will Enjoy.