Toys and Chemistry
Take a look at the toy store shelves and discover the science hiding there! Pick a toy from the assortment below and start exploring. There are giant bubbles, glammed-up slime, squidy divers, and more.
- Celebrating Chemistry—The Joy of Toys
Discover the joy of toys—make your own super shrinking toys and bouncing balls, and launch an air rocket.
- Terrific Science—The Joy of Toys
You know that stuff sitting on the shelf in the toy aisle? It’s packed with science! Explore the chemistry of a whole list of toys from the store.
- Fortune Telling Fish
Watch the fish reveal if you’re jealous… in love… indifferent… or…? Then investigate the science behind the toy.
- Kinetic Sand
Mold it. Cut it. Shape it. It doesn’t dry out! Prep a homemade version of this toy for sand building fun.
- Properties of Magic Sand
It’s wet! No, it’s dry! Learn about the science behind the “magic” of this sand.
- Silicone Super Ball
Forget heading to the dollar store to buy super balls—make your own instead!
- How Super Balls Work
Come into Norman Stingley’s lab and find out how he came up with this super toy when he wasn’t busy with his day job.
- Disappearing Ink
Looking for another interesting chemistry toy? Think ink! Learn about pH and acid–base indicators with this mysterious solution.
- What's That Stuff?—Plasma Globes
This toy that showcases beautiful streamers of light came from someone forgetting to turn off a valve in the lab. Check it out!
- The Amazing Drinking Bird
You won’t be able to tear your eyes away from this toy as it continues to dip and sip. But how does it work? Learn more here.
- The Science of Slime
It’s a cool concoction that helps you learn about polymers. Read about it, then make it.
- Glitter Slime
What’s life without a little sparkle? Glam up your “gluep” with this twist on the usual recipe.
- Magnetic Slime
Try this slime-making twist—make it magnetic! The secret ingredient: iron oxide powder.
- Toy Chemistry
You just got slimed! Whip up a batch of this stretchy, oozy solid, then stretch it, bounce it, flatten it, twist it, jiggle it—take your pick.
- Edible Slime
Looking for a snack? How does slime sound? You can eat the results of this recipe, but the real question is, will you want to?
- Milli's Magnificent Bubble Solution
Experiment to find out what combination will make your bubbles the most magnificent.
- The Science of Soap Bubbles
Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere! Try this collection of experiments to figure out why they’re spheres, bounce a bubble, and more.
- Giant Bubble Experiment
You won’t believe the size of the bubbles you can make. How many kids can you fit inside one?
- Bubble Suspension
Find an empty aquarium and see what happens when you give your freshly blown bubbles a rest on an invisible cushion.
- Freezing Bubbles
Take a look at these cool (literally) photos of frozen bubbles. Then, wait for your own arctic blast and try it yourself.
- Alka Seltzer Rockets
Plop, plop, fizz, fizz… oh, what a rocket it is?? Try out these pint-sized rockets powered with Alka Seltzer tablets.
- Alka Seltzer Rocket Race
3, 2, 1, lift-off! Change up what goes into the rocket and see who wins the race.
- Pop Rocket Inquiry
Hold a mini rocket design and launch competition with this inquiry lesson plan. You probably already have the fuel.
- Shrinky Dink Chemistry
Don’t buy expensive materials at the toy store. Head to your recycling bin instead for this fun experiment.
- Shrinky Dinks Test Lab
Already know the science behind making your own shrinky dinks? This site takes your creations to the next level—get artistic!
- Shrinky Dink Devices
They’re not just a toy, they’re a tool for scientists! See what they can make!
- Chemistry Sets
From “Chemcraft: The Chemical Outfit” to “Harry Potter Spells & Potions,” take a peek inside this collection of chemistry sets through the years.
- Gifts That Keep Giving (if Not Exploding)
These kits are full of scientific exploration and inspiration. Learn about how the latest chemistry kits and science toys make science fun.
- ASU Professor Develops Idea for Bathtub Chemistry Toy
It’s chemistry—in the tub! You won’t find it on the market (yet), but think about what a kid could do with stuff like a plastic Erlenmeyer flask, a syringe, color strip thermometer, and more.
- A Science Toy Spectacular
Hear about a selection of science-based toys, starting with a discussion of the chemistry set.
- Inspired by Music Box, Stanford Bioengineer Creates $5 Chemistry Set
Tiny. Inexpensive. Hand-powered. Self-contained. Programmable. They all describe this kit that is the wave of the future and not just for science toys.
(all sites accessed September 2015)