A Nanny’s Guide To Becoming The Next Bill Nye

Mind-Blowing Science Experiments For Kids

That Every Nanny Can Pull Off


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Discovering new aspects of our physical world is a source of constant interest for our nanny children.  As a nanny or private educator, you have the distinct privilege of introducing so many new concepts and principles to your charges.  Determining the most engaging, memorable, and educational way to impart this knowledge is absolutely key.  We’ve rounded up some of our favorite experiments that are safe for kids and pique their curiosity for all things science.


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Egg In A Bottle

What you’ll need:  A glass juice bottle with an opening just slightly larger than an egg / a hard-boiled egg / birthday candles / matches

Step 1:  Have your nanny charges put two birthday candles in the wide end of a hard-boiled egg.

Step 2:  Light the candles for the nanny kids and hold them under the inverted bottle to warm the air inside the bottle.

Step 3:  Continue holding the bottle upside down, and place the egg with lit birthday candles into the opening of the bottle, forming a seal.  Continue holding the egg until the candle is extinguished and the egg is ‘pushed’ into the bottle by atmospheric pressure, which is the weight of the air pushing on the egg.

Science Tip:  The flame from the candle heats the air in the bottle.  When the candle goes out from lack of oxygen, the remaining air in the bottle cools rapidly, decreasing the air pressure in the bottle and creating a vacuum.  The outside air (who’s atmospheric pressure is higher), pushes the egg into the bottle as it attempts to equalize the pressure in the bottle.


Magic Beans

What You’ll Need:  Paper towel / scissors / small ziplock bag / uncooked dried beans

Step 1:  Cut the paper towel in half, and fold it several times so that it fits into the plastic bag.

Step 2:  Soak the paper towel with water, squeezing out the excess, and place it into the bag, lining the side and bottom of the bag.

Step 3:  Plant a few of the seeds about 1 1/4 inches from the bottom of the bag.  Don’t worry if they move around a bit, but make sure that some of the paper towel is covering the bottom of the bag too, you don’t want the beans to sit directly in any water.

Step 4:  Partially seal the bag, leaving some room for air to get through.

Step 5:  Tape the bag to the window with the beans facing inside, so your nanny kids can watch as they begin to sprout and grow!

Science Tip:  As a private educator, this is the perfect activity to help the kids monitor the beans’ germination and growth by keeping a scientific notebook.  Have your nanny kids record new data daily to track the sunlight, changes in growth, indoor temperature, etc.  Try placing one bag of beans in a dark closet, and see the changes between the two bags of beans!

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Taste Without Smell

What You’ll Need:  A small piece of peeled raw potato and a similarly shaped small piece of peeled apple so you can’t feel the difference.

Step 1: Have the nanny kids close their eyes and then mix up the pieces of potato and apple so they don’t know which is which.

Step 2:  Guide your nanny charges to close their eyes, hold their noses tightly, breathe only through their mouths, and then taste each item separately.  Can they taste the difference when their sense of smell is diminished?

Science Tip:  Your nose and mouth are connected through the same airway which means that you taste + smell foods at the same time!  Your sense of taste can recognize salty, sweet, bitter and sour, but when you combine this with your sense of smell you can recognize many other individual ‘tastes’.   Take away your smell (and sight) and you limit your brains ability to tell the difference between certain foods!




Nature Walk Wearables

What You’ll Need:  Duct tape / paper bag

Step 1:  Tape duct tape around your nanny kids’ wrist, sticky side facing out.

Step 2:  Head outside and look for interesting bits of nature, leaves, petals, tiny pebbles, acorns, and any other artifacts that you and your charges discover.

Step 3:  Affix each special treasure onto your nanny kids’ bracelet, using your paper bag to collect items that are too large to fit on the wrist and need adjustment.  Now the children have a gorgeous bracelet to remind them of the nature walk, and multiple items to look up and research.

Science Tip:  Use this opportunity to guide your nanny kids towards a deeper understanding of each item they collect.  Help your charges create a scientific notebook detailing each item, where they found it, and what sort of foliage was around it.  


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Source:  Kitchen Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke

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