Teaching your kids about science can feel like a Sisyphean feat. Sure, you can let Google do the grunt work, but then you still need to boil down the complex topics you read about into lessons a five-year-old kid can grasp. Maybe you should just leave science to the professionals, eh?

The good news is that your white lab coat doesn’t have to sit in the closet collecting dust. There are a lot of fun, simple, and hands-on science projects families can do together to learn and understand some of the basic principals of the natural world. And they’re not just for kids: even moms and dads will get a kick out of these 10 family-friendly science experiments!

1. Magic rotor: How do you even begin to help your kids—or yourself—understand the power of magnets? Try making a magic rotor! This experiment requires only a AA battery, a magnet, and some copper wire.

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After placing the magnet on the battery’s negative side, bend the copper wire to look like the one below. When you place it on the magnet, you’ll have a made a homopolar motor, or a self-sustaining engine, which utilizes opposing magnetic fields!

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2. Walking water: Water works in mysterious ways, and this little dude showed it with family-friendly experiment. He lined up eight plastic cups and filled every other one with some water and a few drops of food coloring. Then?

WhizKidsScience / YouTube

He folded four paper towels into strips and placed the end of one strip into a water-filled cup and the other end into an empty cup. Thanks to absorption—and the flow of time—the water traveled from one cup to the next!

WhizKidsScience / YouTube

3. Fireworks in a glass: With water, two tablespoons of vegetable oil, and food coloring, you can learn a little bit about the weight of different liquids—and make some pretty “fireworks,” too. First? Mix a few drops of food coloring into the oil.

WhizKidScience / YouTube

With your oil and food coloring combined, dump the concoction into a jug of water. The lighter oil will float to the top of the water, and eventually, the heavier coloring works its way out of its oily prison, making pretty patterns on its way through the cup.

WhizKidScience / YouTube

4.  One glass, seven layers: Want another way to show the kids that not all fluids are the same? Try this: grab some honey, Karo syrup, Dawn dish soap, water, vegetable oil, rubbing alcohol, lamp oil, and a container…

Add the ingredients one at a time (and in the order listed in the previous step) into the container. The heavy honey will sit at the bottom, and the slightly-less heavy Karo syrup will rest on that. The ingredients won’t mix but instead form layers!

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5. Floating ketchup: This is a great science trick to fool people into thinking you’re actually a magician or Jedi—and all you need is a bottle filled to the brim with water and a ketchup packet. First, drop the packet into the water bottle…

Mary J. Lockwood / YouTube

Thanks to water displacement, when you squeeze the bottle, the packet will sink, giving you the opportunity to feign mind-control powers over the packet. This makes for an excellent party trick!

Mary J. Lockwood / YouTube

6. The “self-peeling” egg: Dropping an egg on the kitchen floor can be a sanitation disaster, but with this experiment, it’s half the fun! To give yourself the green light to play with your food, all you need is a boiled or raw egg, a cup, and some vinegar.

Anne Helmenstine / YouTube

Put the egg in a cup and cover it with vinegar. Then, let it sit for at least 24 hours. During that time, some magic—err, science—will happen. The vinegar will dissolve the shell and create a weird membrane around the egg that’ll let you bounce it like an oblong ball!

Anne Helmenstine / YouTube

7. Tornado in a glass: This 10-minute experiment is super easy and teaches kids a little bit about the capabilities of Mother Nature. All you need to do is fill a jar about halfway with water and squeeze a bit of dish detergent into it. And then?

Kidspot / YouTube

With the jar’s lid secure, you just shake the thing in a circular pattern—and voila, you’re lookin’ at a tornado in a jar! This experiment satisfies the adolescent desire to see things spin and shows everyone what happens when two unstable air masses meet.

Kidspot / YouTube

8. Tea bag rocket: For this family-friendly science experiment, you only need a tea bag and a lighter. Cut open the tea bag on both ends and dump out the tea leaves, then stand the bag upright…

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All you have to do now is light the top of the bag, then let rising hot air and smoke do the rest of the work for you. If you can count on anything, it’s that a curious kid will love fire and rockets with equal fervor—so why not give ’em a taste of both?

CrazyRussianHacker / YouTube

9. Invisible ink: For this bit of science, mix one-third of a cup of baking soda and one-third of a cup of water together to create a murky-white solution. Next, use Q-tips to write with this stuff on a firm card stock. Obviously, you won’t be able to see it… at first.

Raising Da Vinci / YouTube

Carefully—or probably as messily as possible when kids are involved—spread grape juice over the invisible letters. The acidic juice reacts with the baking soda (a base), revealing your written message, just like invisible ink!

Raising Da Vinci / YouTube

10. Elephant toothpaste: This experiment has taken over the baking soda-vinegar volcano as the coolest way to teach kids about chemical reactions. Pour some yeast into a beaker filled with a bit of 10-percent hydrogen peroxide, drops of dish detergent, and food coloring.

DIY Bama / YouTube

And then? Watch it explode! The reaction, formed by the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide catalyzed by potassium iodide (or, in other words, chemicals doing science stuff) unleashes harmless foam. Isn’t science cool?

DIY Bama / YouTube

Simple, fun, and illuminating, no? Without a doubt, the whole family can have a boatload of fun by just working together on any of these neat experiments!

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