Dollar Store Science: 10 Easy Experiments You Can Try Right Now


Science doesn’t have to be expensive. With just a few simple items from your local dollar store, you can perform exciting hands-on experiments that will spark curiosity and a love for learning. Here are 10 easy experiments you can try right now with minimal investment.

1. Colorful Crystals

Materials: Epsom salt, jars, food coloring, and pipe cleaners

Instructions: Dissolve Epsom salt in hot water, add some food coloring, and place a pipe cleaner shaped into an interesting design into the jar. Leave it undisturbed and watch as colorful crystals form around the pipe cleaner.

2. Homemade Slime

Materials: Cornstarch, water, food coloring

Instructions: Mix cornstarch and water in a bowl, add food coloring for fun colors, and experiment with the consistency of your slime by adding more or less water.

3. Tornado in a Bottle

Materials: Two empty plastic bottles, water, glitter (optional), duct tape

Instructions: Fill one bottle about halfway with water, add some glitter if desired, then securely tape the two bottles together at their openings. Flip the contraption upside down to create a tornado effect.

4. Invisible Ink

Materials: Lemon juice, cotton swabs or Q-tips, white paper, and a light bulb

Instructions: Write secret messages using lemon juice on white paper. Use a cotton swab to make the writing process easier. Once dry, hold the paper close to a light bulb to reveal the hidden message.

5. Lava Lamp Experiment

Materials: Empty plastic bottle, vegetable oil, water, food coloring, Alka-Seltzer tablets

Instructions: Fill the bottle halfway with oil and add water until it’s almost full. Add several drops of food coloring and drop in an Alka-Seltzer tablet to witness the lava lamp effect.

6. Grow Your Own Bean Plant

Materials: Dry beans, paper towels, plastic zip-top bags, water

Instructions: Wet a paper towel, wring out excess water, and fold it into the bag. Add a few beans and seal the bag. Place the bean-bag setup near a window with sunlight and watch your beans sprout over time.

7. Eggshell Geode

Materials: Clean, empty eggshells, water, alum powder (in the spice aisle), and food coloring

Instructions: Boil the eggshells in alum powder solution with some food coloring added. Let it sit overnight and enjoy your homemade geodes the next day.

8. Balloon Rocket

Materials: Balloons, string or fishing line, tape, straws

Instructions: Thread a straw onto a piece of string and secure each end of the string across a room. Blow up a balloon without tying it off, then tape it to the straw. Let go of the balloon and watch it rocket across the string.

9. Oobleck

Materials: Cornstarch, water

Instructions: Mix equal parts cornstarch and water in a bowl to create oobleck – an unusual substance that acts like both a liquid and a solid.

10. Surface Tension Experiment

Materials: Bowl of water, black pepper or cinnamon, dish soap or hand soap.

Instructions: Sprinkle pepper or cinnamon on top of a bowl of water. Dip your finger coated in soap gently into the center of the bowl to observe surface tension at work.


These easy-to-do experiments can teach kids (and adults) about science without breaking the bank. Grab these inexpensive items from your local dollar store and get experimenting today!

Choose your Reaction!