These easy five-minute science experiments are great when you need a quick science activity or demonstration but don’t have a long time to prepare or run an investigation.

Each quick and easy science experiment uses materials you probably already have and are quick and easy to prepare, carry out and clear up afterwards.

Ten quick and easy science experiments

Test Reaction Time

All you need to test your reaction time is a ruler and a willing helper. This activity takes less than five minutes, even if you do it a few times! If you don’t have a ruler, print my reaction time template and use that!

Make an Optical Illusion

A basic optical illusion is easy to create using paper, pens and a straw or pencil. I also have a handy template you can use to make it even speedier.

Fish tank optical illusion

Refraction reversing experiment

Use a simple glass of water to reverse writing or a drawing. This activity is simple but very impressive and can be themed in many different ways. My favourite is our Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland reversing signs.

Light Refraction Experiment

Is your arm span the same as your height?

Find out if your arm span is the same as your height with a simple investigation. The best thing about this activity is it needs zero resources!!

Another similar idea is to work out how many of your own feet tall you are.

girl measuring her arm span against a fence

Straw Rockets

These simple straw rockets take just a few minutes to build and test and can be used over and over again.

Straw Rocket

Paper spinners

If you haven’t made a paper spinner, you’re missing out! Spinners are very easy to make. You only need paper, scissors and a paperclip, and they always work!

We like to experiment with big and small spinners to find out which falls the fastest.

Paper spinner for a science experiment

Inertia ball drop demonstration

A simple inertia demonstration using a glass and a lemon takes just minutes to set up and always gets a big thumbs up from an audience.

Just pull the yellow card quickly to the side and watch as the lemon drops into the glass!

A pint glass with a sheet of cardboard on top, with a black cardboard cylinder and a lemon on top

Unbreakable egg experiment

Find out how to make an unbreakable egg. This almost always works, but be ready for some mess, just in case.

egg wrapped in cling film for an unbreakable egg demonstration

Make a rainbow

Did you know you can make a rainbow even on a cloudy day? You will need a prism for this, but these are inexpensive to buy.

If the sun is shining, you can use a hosepipe to see a rainbow. Stand with your back to the sun and spray the hosepipe into the air. A rainbow should form in the water droplets.

prism on a window sill splitting light into it's constituent colours

Density Jar

A simple density jar is easy to create and uses just oil and water. Kids love to find different objects to float on each layer, and if you have more time, you can create a density column with more layers.

girl looking through a jar of water and oil where the oil and water have separated

DIY Phone Speaker

Learn about sounds and how they are amplified with a simple DIY mobile phone speaker.

everything you need to make a DIY phone speaker

If you can think of any more five minute science experiments, let me know!

Last Updated on January 8, 2024 by Emma Vanstone

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