It’s time to turn your home into a laboratory. Learn about static energy and re-create homemade lightning. See a rocket ship launch with the science of chemical reactions. Here are 17 experiments to get those brain gears churning — click through to see them all. We’ve even ranked the messiness factor from one to five sponges so you know what to expect.

Potato Power

A Lesson In: Chemical to Electrical Energy. When these nails and copper wires collide, heat is generated (psst ... heat is a result of expended energy, so you can explain to your little runner why he feels warmer after a race around the house). But with some potato magic, the properties of the nail and copper stay separated, allowing the heat to become the electric energy needed to power up your devices. Build your own potato battery with this tutorial from PBS Kids.

Messiness Factor: One sponge 

photo: Loadmaster via wikimedia

  • Potato Power
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar Volcano
  • Fishing for Ice
  • Homemade Slime
  • Clouds Jars
  • Elephant Toothpaste
  • Dancing Oobleck
  • Film Canister Rocket
  • Homemade Lightning
  • Dry Ice Bubbles
  • Naked Egg
  • Invisible Licorice
  • Dyed Plants
  • Invisible Ink
  • Egg in a Bottle
  • Kid-Safe Lava Lamps
  • Rock Candy

Have you checked out our other really cool DIY projects? Or maybe we missed a classic favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

— Christal Yuen

To find more cool kids experiments, click HERE.