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Easy Soil Science Experiment with Kids


Have you ever wondered what is in the soil around where you live? Here is a simple hands-on activity that will guide you to the answers. This activity is a twist on the Rainbow Jar science experiment that teaches children about density.

The idea is the same but the materials are different.  The activity requires being outside, moving your body, getting your hands dirty, observing, and, well, patience.  This Soil Science Experiment with Kids is the perfect introduction to botany and gardening for kids.

Soil Experiment with Kids

Social Experiment with Kids

What is soil?

Soil contains sand, silt, and clay. Clay is the smallest mineral component, while sand is the largest. So, the nutrients in sand drain faster than that in clay (and silt). So, plants will rely more on fertilization and watering.  

The ideal combination is called loam. Loam contains 20% clay, 24% sand, and 40% silt.

Soil Experiment with Kids

Soil Science Experiment 

Materials Needed for Soil Science Experiment 

  1. Mason Jars
  2. Dirt
  3. Water

Simple Soil Experiment for Kids

Approach to this Soil Science Experiment 

  • Find dirt from various spots that “look” different
  • Fill the mason jar halfway with dirt from each of the chosen areas
  • Fill almost the remainder of the mason jar with water
  • Label each jar according to the area from which the dirt was obtained
  • Ask the children to shake each jar
  • Place in a “special” spot to settle
  • Visit again in a few days to observe how the dirt has settled

Learning about Soil Extensions

  • Discuss density.
  • Once you and the children have observed the soil and its components. Unless you have the perfect combination as noted above, ask the children what you might do to help the soil get a bit closer to the optimal combination.  Talk about compost and manure, and other materials that may help the soil.
  • Experiment again.

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