Little Shop of Physics Presents: Try It At Home
The Little Shop of Physics team has always believed—and always demonstrated—that you don’t need a fancy lab or fancy equipment to do some cool science that helps you learn about the world around you. Join us for some real-time exploration to make rainbows from sunlight, make color-changing tea, make things move without touching them…. and more!

Here’s a list of topics and activities, along with suggested materials if you want to work along with us at home:

Zoom Magic

You are spending more time than you want to on Zoom…. might as well have some fun with it! We’ll share some really cool “magic” that you can do with Zoom features. Some parts that would be useful—but not necessary:

  • Piece of cloth that is a single, bright color
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Stuffed animal or other object of a similar size

Homemade Spectroscope

You can use an old CD or DVD to make a spectroscope—a device that breaks light up into colors!

  • CD or DVD (or both!)
  • Box or cardboard
  • Scissors & tape that can block light

Color-Changing Tea

The bright colors of certain herbal teas (and certain juices) work as acid-base indicators. You can use them for some colorful kitchen chemistry!

  • Hibiscus tea, or other brightly colored tea.
  • Baking soda and vinegar

Refrigerator Magnet Fun

The flexible magnets that stick to your refrigerator are more complicated than you might think. They have dozens of north and south poles. And you can do some surprising and fun activities with them!

  • Flexible refrigerator magnets

Static Electricity Investigations

You can do some fun tabletop experiments with static electricity that uses items from your recycle bin!

  • Stretchy woven gloves
  • Empty plastic bottles and containers
  • Empty soda cans
  • Styrofoam cups

Bubble Fun

You can make a bubble solution that makes really strong, colorful bubbles with materials in your kitchen.

  • Container to mix solution in
  • Straws to blow bubbles
  • Dish soap
  • Karo syrup / corn syrup

For More Information
If you want more information—and more ideas—check out the following links to LSOP content:

  • Zoom magic
  • Homemade spectroscope
    • Here’s a video in which Heather explains how to create a spectroscope with a box and a CD.
    • Here’s a template for creating the enclosure for the spectroscope.
    • Here is a guide for creating the spectroscope.
  • Color-changing tea
    • Here’s a video in which we show a bunch of different options for this experiment.
  • Static electricity fun
    • Here’s a document that describes a related activity.
  • Bubble fun
    • Here’s a video that shows some more fun things you can do with bubbles!

For Even More Information
Check out our page, and browse our videos, documents, activities…. Also:

  • We have an ongoing Science-Art Connection program. Submit your science-themed artwork and see what others have done.
  • Check out our YouTube channel, and subscribe so you’ll get all of our new videos.

And do keep in touch! We love to hear from people.