This year, when it comes to a Father’s Day surprise, skip the ballgame and get scientific instead. With just a few supplies and a little prep, you can easily turn your home into a lab for the afternoon. From basic air pressure to freezing sweet treats, scroll down to see five easy experiments the kids can do with Dad.

photo: Shelley Massey

1. Sweet Science
There’s a lot of chemistry when you get salt, milk, and sugar together. Which is why, when Dad and the kids make their own dessert by whipping up a batch of ice cream in a bag, it’s also a great chance to explain all about liquids and the science of freezing points. Wondering what you’ll need to get set up? Check out our easy how-to here.

The lesson: Freezing points.

photo: sherbonbon via Flickr

2. Make Some Static
With a few simple materials, you can use homemade static electricity (essentially electrons moving uber fast) for DIY lightening. Figure how to recreate a family-friendly version of this spark by visiting activity blog Learn Play Imagine.

The lesson: Static electricity.

photo: Ordinary Life Magic

3. Launch Rockets
Blast off! Be sure to get several empty tea bags ready, because this is one experiment your crew will want to do over and over again. What’s going on? When the tea bag is set on fire, the air is trapped, gets hot, and creates a thermal current. Then, poof! It escapes, taking the bag along for the ride. Find out more over at Ordinary Life Magic.

The lesson: Thermal currents.

photo: Shelley Massey

4. Make Icy Eruptions
These ice volcanoes rely on the acid-base reaction of vinegar and baking soda to create an “eruption.” While this experiment does take a little early prep, the fun factor is well worth the effort. Find out how to make them at Reading Confetti, and don’t forget to add color for extra thrills!

The lesson: Acid-base reaction.

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

5. The Pressure’s On
The (air) pressure’s on in this magical experiment that lets kids levitate water over Dad’s head! To try it at home, follow these easy instructions from Steve Spangler Science, and keep a towel at the ready… just to be on the safe side!

The lesson: Air pressure.

Which one of these will your family try? Share with us in a Comment below!

— Gabby Cullen with Allison Sutcliffe, Cristal Yuen, and Shelley Massey

Editor’s Note: Red Tricycle loves all things science, but it’s important to remember kids should be supervised while conducting experiments.