These chemistry activities for kids are a great introduction to chemistry and the periodic table of the elements. A kids book inspired me to put this chemistry unit together as our first homeschool science unit of the year.
We really dived into some meaty science topics and it was all centered around books.
Chemistry Activities for Kids in Grades K-7
I started teaching more subjects in a whole group format to save time in our homeschool days. Trying to teach 3 different grade levels, and give each of my kids the one on one that I wanted to give them, was causing me to feel too spread out.
Switching to curricula that was developed for multiple grade instruction helped. That was my goal when creating this chemistry unit for multiple grades.
Our chemistry activities for kids incorporated read aloud, hands on learning, free printable worksheets, and some fun hands on experiments.
Read Aloud Chemistry Books for Kids
Reading to children helps make learning calm, fun, and can often explain big concepts in simple ways. I combined books we had, books I ordered for this learning unit, and books I found at the library to round out our learning.
Each book is linked so you can read more about it.
Let’s Learn About Chemistry by Stephanie Ryan, PhD – This book inspired my entire chemistry activities for kids unit! I shared about it in a recent Mom Meetup Monday chat (replay on Facebook or IGTV).
A board book, it takes multiple chemistry concepts and vocabulary terms and explains them simply. This was perfect for engaging my first graders and also great for clearly explaining the foundations of chemistry to my fourth grader and seventh grader.
I know you are thinking, “A board book for 4th and 7th grades?!”
I read this as a read aloud to specifically explain these concepts to my first graders. I was surprised that Let’s Learn About Chemistry really did do a nice job explaining the same concepts to my older kids in a way that would make them think, “This will be easy. It’s a board book!”
A Kids’ Guide to the Periodic Table – This book is really comprehensive. I was very happy with how it presented the periodic table, the history of chemistry, and went into detail on each element.
It is a book we read from multiple times during our chemistry activities for kids unit.
We read a few pages one day and a few pages the next. This was a great book for teaching kids about chemistry, atoms and molecules. So much vocab can be taken from it and the book elaborates beautifully.
Usborne Big Book of Experiments – I love this science resource book! My copy is fairly old, but check with your favorite Usborne representative to grab the newest version.
The Big Book of Experiments had many different hands on learning experiments for chemistry. Most use items you already have in the kitchen or that are easy to obtain. The kids really enjoyed even simple baking soda and vinegar experiments.
The Young Oxford Library of Science: Atoms and Elements – This encyclopedia of atoms and elements was very comprehensive. We read the intro of each page as our read aloud one day. Then we focused on specific pages that connected to atoms one day, and states of matter another day.
You can really use the book in a variety of ways. There is so much information in a book like this which is great for teaching multi-age groups. It gives great real life application as well.
Experiments with Solids, Liquids and Gases – This is essentially a lab book for kids. Perfect simple explanations about multiple experiments that explore states of matter.
We used this book for many group experiments.
Nightlight – In science I like to work in some whimsy. This book combined fiction with non-fiction and was a fun read aloud for the kids.
All about the northern lights and fireflies, the story is told through two bears experiencing nature’s beauty. The scientific explanations at the end were really easy for all my kids to grasp too.
I wrote each key term onto index cards. We reviewed the words each day we studied chemistry. I used the cards to quiz the kids also.
Periodic Table of the Elements Activities
One spring we visited a science museum and I found this periodic table of the elements poster in the gift shop. At the time, I knew it would come in handy during some portion of our school work.
We were able to incorporate the periodic table into a couple different activities throughout our chemistry unit for kids. This poster is a definite asset to chemistry activities for kids and just immersing kids in scientific concepts.
This game of solitaire expands on each element to teach kids more details. Play Elementeo Solitaire while learning about the elements of the periodic table.
Periodic Table Printable Worksheets
After a quick internet search for worksheets to supplement our chemistry unit, I found a couple that were perfect for some hands-on and critical thinking activities.
Matching the Elements Game (Free Printable)
We used the black and white periodic table as the gameboard for our matching game. I also printed the color periodic table worksheet and cut apart each square.
The kids worked to match the element to its spot on the gameboard. This got the kids working together, using pieces of info to learn about each element and begin to learn about how the elements are ordered on the table.
You could do certain elements one day and match another group the next to make this activity less overwhelming for younger kids.
Reading info about each element in A Kids’ Guide to the Periodic Table as the kids match the squares is helpful for increasing knowledge.
Elements Fill-In Worksheet
I only had my 4th and 7th graders complete this worksheet while I worked with the younger two on their reading. The fill-in elements worksheet found at Science Notes really tests problem solving skills and solidifies knowledge on the ordering of the periodic table.
Bits of info are given for a group of elements, but some info is left off of each square. You can download your free printable elements worksheet here .
Using the info given, children need to search the periodic table poster to fill in the missing info on their worksheet. I was so glad to find this free printable elements worksheet for the older kids. It deepened the learning for them.
What are your favorite activities in this unit of chemistry activities for kids in a multi-age group? Which will you be trying with your children this year?
Thank you to Stephanie Ryan for contributing her book to my chemistry activities for kids unit research. Her book inspired the whole unit and was a great tool for making this unit a multi-age approach to learning chemistry.