Shopping List for Unit 1

How many of these items do you have?

You’ll find dozens of experiments with every lesson, so you can pick and choose the experiments you want to do. This program has hundreds  of experiments, projects, and activities to choose from depending on your child’s interest, your family budget, and what’s available to you in your area. You don’t need to do them all to get a great science education!

Focus on quality, not quantity when planning your activity list.

Here’s how to use this shopping list:

  1. Look over the list and circle the items you already have on hand.
  2. Browse the experiments and note which ones use the materials you already have. Those are the experiments you can start with.
  3. After working through the experiments, your child might want to expand and do more activities. Make a note of the materials and put them on your next shopping trip OR order them online using the links provided below.

We’ve tried to keep it simple for you by making the majority of the items things most people have within reach (both physically and budget-wise). We’ll be re-using these materials in later units as well.

Shopping List for Unit 1: Force, Gravity, & Friction Click here for Shopping List for Unit 1.

NOTE: Radio Shack part numbers have been replaced. Click here for full chart.

Force Experiments
Balloon (7-9″ Latex works great)
Ping Pong Ball
Tissue paper or newspaper
Handful of packing peanuts or paper confetti
Bubble juice (make your own with 12 cups cold water and 1 cup liquid dish soap)
Ball (any size)
Compass (or make your own from a needle, cup of water, magnet, and a cork)
Paper clips (10-15)
String or yarn (about 2 feet long)
O-shaped cereal (any brand is fine)
Milk (or water)
Spoon and bowl
Rope (about 3′ long)
Paper (copy paper is fine, but if you can find at least one sheet of heavy paper like cardstock, that would be even better)
Two pencils or sticks
Index cards
Disposable cups

OPTIONAL: (These are not required, but still nice to have…)
Fluorescent bulb
Wool sweater
Plastic bag (like from the grocery store)

Gravity Experiments
Ball (any size)
Stopwatch or timer
2 quarters
Ping Pong Ball and Golf Ball (or two different kinds of balls that are the same size but different weight)

OPTIONAL: Hovercraft Project

  • 1 wood skewer
  • 1 wood popsicle stick
  • 1 straw
  • Two 3VDC motors (use this motor for the thruster and this motor for the hover motor)
  • 2  propellers (the ones in the video are 3″ diameter, so check your local hobby store and get a variety to test out) – read over the comments below for ideas on where to find props!
  • 9V battery clip with wires
  • 9V battery (get a good kind, like Duracell or Energizer)
  • 1 SPST switch
  • 16 oz. styrofoam cup (the kind used for sodas). Note that waxed paper cups will not work!
  • 1 foam hamburger container (the one in the video is 5.5? square and 3? high when closed)
  • 1 foam meat tray (the one in the video is approx. 10?x12?x1? – it does not need to be these exact dimensions – try a few different sizes out to see what happens! You can get them for free if you ask for a clean one from your butcher.

Friction Experiments:

  • Paper
  • Pencil or pen
  • Shoes (any shoes with treads will work fine)
  • Yarn or string (about 2’ long)
  • Rubber band
  • Ruler
  • Heavy book
  • 2 magnets (preferably the flimsy business-card style)
  • Rope (3’ or longer)
  • Dowels or round pencils
  • Handful of marbles
  • 2 cookie sheets
  • A board (about 2 feet by 12 inches) or propped up table
  • protractor
  • A board (about 2 feet by 12 inches, but anything about that size will do – watch the video first so you can see what it’s used for. You can also use a table propped up on one end.)

Additional Materials for Advanced Students:

  • Index card or scrap of cardboard
  • 2 small mirrors (like from a craft store)
  • 2 rare earth magnets
  • Nylon filament (thin nylon thread works, too)
  • 4 donut magnets
  • Laser pointer (any kind will work – even the cheap key-chain type)
  • Water glass (or cleaned out pickle jar)
  • Wooden spring-type clothespin
  • Hot glue gun