Create your own Chemistry Set
by Beverley Paine
There are quite a few different 'off the shelf' chemistry sets you can buy for children interested in tinkering with chemistry experiments and they're fun and can spark a life long interest. With the incredible access to amazing 'how to' videos and pages on the internet it is possible to put together an exciting learning program focusing on chemistry using materials and resources usually found in the home.
If you need something specific, for example, test tubes (and you haven't bought a chemistry set with some supplied), have a look on ebay or similar.
My husband says if you can't find something on ebay it is probably not available! However, there are sciences suppliers around, eg Selbies (Adelaide). Modern Teaching Aids and other school suppliers often have clearance sales that are worth watching, although they are mostly geared towards selling classroom kits (great for homeschool groups and co-ops).
Put together your own chemistry science box or tray. Fill it with some of the materials and substances from the list below. Look for simple experiments online, print out or develop into activity cards which you can keep with your chemistry 'learning centre'. One family created a science kit as a present for her 8 year old - using a laundry caddie filled bicarb, vinegar, salt, washing up liquid, cornflour, food colouring and various spoons, jugs, funnels and droppers and safety googles and a child's lab coat. What budding chemist wouldn't enjoy this super gift!
Remember, as with any household chemicals, remember to store the chemicals safely, away from young children and pets and label containers appropriately.
ph test strips
universal indicator solution (try garden or pool supply shops)
plasticine (holding things in place)
blutac (patch holes to make things air tight)
instant heat pack (calcium chloride)
clear plastic cups
index cards (or similar)
scales that measure in grams
small glass jars
tea light candles
mentos and cola
seeds (from dry foods section in supermarket)
sugar, salt (growing crystals)
vodka (used as ethanol)
lye (sodium hydroxide - drain cleaner)
milk of magnesia (magnesium sulphate)
monosodium glutamate (MSG)
baby oil (mineral oil)
antacid tablets (Alka Seltzer)
tincture of iodine
Some websites to check out for ideas, lesson plans, etc:
- MelScience https://melscience.com/en/ (UK) ships boxed chemistry experiments and activities and is popular with home educating families. Can work out expensive, watch out for exchange rate fluctuations. The first box is the equipment, each box after is an experiment and activities.
- Guest Hollow, a family of homeschoolers, produce a range of resources including a chemistry program you can purchase. Different from other chemistry resources this program reflects a Charlotte Mason approach to learning combining learning using 'living books' as well as practical experiments and experiences drawn from everyday life. Their list of books and resources is well worth book marking: https://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/science/chemistry_highschool/chemistry_books.html
- Mad About Science sells a huge range of science kits, toys and items https://www.madaboutscience.com.au/shop/
- https://www.sciencebydoing.edu.au/curriculum-units "Science by Doing is a comprehensive online science program for Years 7 to 10 available free to all Australian students and teachers and supported by award winning professional learning modules and a research based professional learning approach. The program provides a practical way of implementing the Australian Curriculum: Science. The curriculum units and professional learning modules are found within the website. " You will need to register and sign in either as a student or a teacher to use.
- Classic Science has a list of free printable science experiments: https://eequalsmcq.com/LabNotesArchive.htm
- Check out Khan Academy's introductory videos on chemistry: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/chemistry/atomic-structure-and-properties
- Compound iNTEREST produce a series of infographics including, including 'This Week in Chemistry'. Hundreds of infographics, great to print out and explore the topic more fully with your child: https://www.compoundchem.com/infographics/
- Fizzics Education has some simple chemistry experiments on this page https://www.fizzicseducation.com.au/Free+experiments/Kitchen+chemistry.html .
- Crash Course Chemistry is another series of entertaining You Tube videos that introduce basic and everyday chemistry: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtPHzzYuWy6fYEaX9mQQ8oGr (after a few seconds you can skip the ads).
- ThoughtCo have a comprehensive section on Chemistry: https://www.thoughtco.com/chemistry-4133594 , including some activities for kids https://www.thoughtco.com/chemistry-activities-for-kids-4133581
- ACS Chemistry for Life have a complete set of lesson plans, available for free, including explanatory videos, on their Middle School Chemistry website http://www.middleschoolchemistry.com/lessonplans/.
- For some more links and experiments you can do at home have a look at IFLSCIENCE: https://www.iflscience.com/chemistry/unfinished-20-fun-science-experiments-you-can-do-home/
- Mystery Science regularly offer free memberships: https://mysteryscience.com.
- To grow your interest in chemistry further connecting up with Science Buddies https://www.sciencebuddies.org
- Education Experience is an Australian online shop selling materials to schools and parents: https://www.edex.com.au
- Modern Teaching Aids is another Australian educational supplier that home educating families recommend https://www.teaching.com.au
- Popular Periodic Table printables: http://elements.wlonk.com/?fbclid=IwAR2S88MadtpAJlK_9jvoa31UsWN8QqYgMEOOFz-GHpC9ZQWJ64aBxXO9YLM and https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/224605807/make-your-own-elements-flashcards-pdf
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you?
Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating
and reassurance to families
better outcomes for their children.
Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people." Vanessa
"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful." Gythaa
Want to learn how to write your own education plans to suit
your unique children's
individual learning needs?
Looking for quality curriculum and teaching tips ?
Over 1000 reassuring and
informative articles to help
build your confidence as an Educating Parent
Welcome to the
World of Home Education and
Learning without School!
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
The information on this website is of
a general nature only and is not intended
as personal or professional advice.
This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
"Your guidance, understanding, support & words of wisdom changed our lives." Leslie
"I feel specially inspired by Beverley's words and, the more I read her comments, the more inspired I feel, since
my need for support, respect for different parenting styles, and information are fully met." Marijo
Advertise with The Educating Parent
||DIY Getting Started with Home Schooling Pack
Beverley Paine's best selling comprehensive common sense manual detailing how to write your own curriculum tailored to your children's educational needs
PLUS 9 of Beverley's popular practical home educating series booklets!
Great value $60
and Unschooling Pack
Each Pack contains a copy of the following:
Natural Learning Answers
A5 or A4
Learning Naturally Diary
Learning Maths Naturally
A Sample Approved Natural Learning Program and Review
Only $29 or $33
Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.
Without revenue from advertising
by educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!