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DIY Homemade Thermometer Science Experiment for Kids

If you are looking for a really cool science experiment that will wow kids, you’ve got to try this¬†homemade thermometer. With just a couple simple materials you can make your very own, working¬†homemade thermometer experiment. This¬†diy thermometer is fun to learn about weather, tempearture, and so much more with preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th graders, and up!

If you are looking for a really cool science experiment that will wow kids, you've got to try this homemade thermometer. With just a couple simple materials you can make your very own, working homemade thermometer experiment. This diy thermometer is fun to learn about weather, tempearture, and so much more with preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th graders, and up! 

Homemade Thermometer

You can make a quick and¬†easy homemade thermometer that will tell the temperature of it’s surroundings! This¬†homemade thermometer science project works because the liquid will expand when warmed and contract when cooled. Once you have your temperature markings you will be able to see the rise and fall of temperature using this¬†weather experiment. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or homeschooler – you will love¬†making a homemade thermometer with your preschoolers, kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 students. Get ready to WOW your kids with this¬†easy science experiment!

All you need to try this fun weather activity for kids, teaching them how a thermometerworks, are a few simple materials: empty glass botte (like from starbucks frapaccino) water rubbing alcohol food coloring clear straw modeling clay or playdough marker  

homemade thermometer experiment

All you need to try this fun weather activity for kids, teaching them how a thermometerworks, are a few simple materials:

  • empty glass botte (like from starbucks frapaccino)
  • water
  • rubbing alcohol
  • food coloring
  • clear straw
  • modeling clay or playdough
  • marker
  • instant read thermometer

homemade thermometer project

diy thermometer

Start by adding water to a clean, empty, glass bottle. You want the conatiner to be about ¬ľ full of plain water.

homemade thermometer science project

Cool Science Project

Then, add an equal amount of rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, so that the bottle is half full.

add food coloring to the water and alcohol mixture

homemade thermometer project

Add a few drops of food coloring. It doesn’t¬†have to be red, it can be any color you like. But since a thermometer is typically red, we went with that for kids to more easily make the connection of what we were making.

making a homemade thermometer

homemade thermometer science project

Put your clear straw into the bottle, and holding it so that it does not touch the bottom but is suspended slightly in the liquid, wrap the playdough or modeling clay around the top of the bottle and the straw.  This will hold the straw in place and prevent it from falling farther into the bottle.

homemade thermometer explanation

making a homemade thermometer

Now take your instant read thermometer and note the temperature. Make a mark on your jar with your marker noting the temperatur end height of the liquid in the straw.

weather experiment for kids

Weather Experiment

Move your homemade thermometer bottle to different locations where the temperature is likely to be different. We took our DIY thermometer outside and got a much higher reading. Again, use your digital thermometer to note the actual tempearture and make markings on the bottle.

Notice how the liquid either rises or sinks down in the straw.  In warmer temperatures, the liquid will rise.  In cooler temperatures, it will sink.

weather activities

Easy Science Activity for kids

Try placing the bottle in direct sunlight, on a porch outside on a warm day, or in the refrigerator to see the liquid in the straw rise and fall with the temperature variation.

Homemade thermometer explanation

The liquid in the bottle expands when it is warmed, and contracts when it cools.  There is only so much space at the bottom of the bottle, so when the liquid gets warmer, it rises in the bottle and is forced up into the straw.  When the liquid is in a cooler environment again, it will begin to contract, moving down the straw.  While this experiment won’t give you an exact temperature, only a real thermometer can do that,  it will allow you to generally see which environments are warmer or cooler than others. And the more you lable the bottle, the more you can depend on the readings to tell what the weather is really like!

Learn how to make an EASY, working homemade thermometer. This fun science experiment teaches about weather and more with kids!

Weather Activities

Learn how to make an EASY, working homemade thermometer. This fun science experiment teaches about weather and more with kids!

30 EPIC projects to explore simple machines for kids! These are such fun, hands on science projects for kids of all ages #simplemachines #scienceproject #scienceisfun This fun hands-on human body for kids project is such a fun way to learn about our amazing bodies! These Human Body Playdough Mats are a fun way for kids of all ages to learn about what is inside our body. Learn about human body parts for kids by completing the free printable playdouh mats. Children will learn about body systems for kids as they make bones, skeletal system, muscles, organs, and more! Use these playdough mats as part of a study of anatomy making human body model for kids from toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade students. Simply print the playdoh mats and learn about my body parts for kids with a hands-on science activity. capillary-action-science-experiment-for-kids 100 Amazing Food Experiments for Kids - so many clever edible science projects for kids of all ages to explore chemistry, biology, physics, and earth science! #scienceexperiment #scienceproject #kidsactivities

Fun Science Experiments

Here are some of our most popular lessons and activities or see all our science for kids conveniently sorted!

Make teaching kids about weather fun and EASY with this free weather unit. These Weather Worksheets help kids explore a variety of weather topics as well as some weather themed worksheet for early math and literacy too. Use these free weather printables as preschool, 1st grade, 2nd, grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade and kindergarten weather worksheets. Simply print pdf file with weather worksheets for kids and you are ready to learn! Look-Inside-a-Volcano-Activity  Hands-on activity to learn about constellations using pipe cleaners, beads, and constellation flashcards for an engaging STEM activity! Use to teach preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade and more about stars, solar system, astronomy or as a fun, educational science activity Get ready to WOW your kids with a super EASY science experiment for kids!  This simple rising water experiment uses common household items to demonstrate a couple scientifc principles such as fire and oxygen as well as air pressure for kids. This burning candle in water experiment is fun for preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and  6th graders. Olders students will benefit using the free printable burning Candle in Water Experiment Worksheets as they explore why does the water rise in the candle experiment.

Science Exeriments for Kids

Looking for lots more fun, science experiments for kids? You’ve GOT to try some of these outrageously fun science experiments for kids! We have so many fun, creative and easy science experiments for elementary age children:

Learn how energy is transfered from one object to another in this newton's cradle activity. For this physics experiments for kids, you will make a newton's pendulum to explore how what happens when two objects colide. This newton cradle project is fun for all ages from preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade students. With a few simple materials I will show you how to make a newton's cradle; this is a SUPER cool and easy science experiment. This vinegar and baking soda rocket is an out-of-this-world fun AND educational summer activity for kids! Preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students will enjoy making the baking soda rocket. This how to make a bottle rocket project is one of those really cool science projects your kids will remember forever! Learn about the Parts of the Brain for Kids with this fun brain activity for kids and handy brain worksheets! Children will learn about the functions of the brain for kids as part of our human body lesson. Use this brain project with elementary age students in first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th garde students. Simply print pdf file with brain diagram for kids and you are ready to play and learn with hands-on human body activities for kids! Looking for a super cool kids activity that combines art and science? This super cool drawbot is as fun to make as it is to play with. The scribble bot is quick and simple to put together with things you have laying around the house.  Then make some really cool art projects with the help of your scribble robot. This electronics experient is fun for kids of all ages from preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th graders too. We've included instructions to make this summer activity for kids or use it in your school as an electricity experiment for kids.

Easy Science Experiments

Explore our science projects based on all science for kids, types of free science lessons, or seasonal science experiments.

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

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