Did you know the body is about 60%-70% water? Most of that is contained in our skin, inner organs and brain! When we play outside or sweat a lot, we lose lots of our body’s water and need to replenish it. That’s called hydration! Kids can learn about hydration with this quick and easy summer science activity…

Let’s observe the reaction of the potatoes in each type of water to see the effects of hydration vs. dehydration!

Spud Science: Potato Hydration Experiment for kids! - (cool) progeny

DIY Potato Hydration Experiment

This summer science activity focuses on the effects of hydration on the body by using potatoes and household items! Kids can observe and feel the effects of plain, salt, and sugar water on the potatoes and how that effects how much water they retain.

Materials

1 potato
3 small saucers/mason jars for water
Salt
Sugar
Help from a parent or guardian!

Instructions

Spud Science: Potato Hydration Experiment for kids! - (cool) progeny

First have an adult cut the potato into three even pieces. Leave the potato skins attached!

Spud Science: Potato Hydration Experiment for kids! - (cool) progeny

Then add water to each saucer. Make sure it is enough water to cover the entire piece of potato. Label one plain, one salt, and one sugar.

Spud Science: Potato Hydration Experiment for kids! - (cool) progeny

Next, add salt to the saucer labeled salt. Make sure it is at least two tablespoons and stir until it is completely dissolved.

In the third saucer labeled sugar, add the same amount of sugar as you did salt.

Leave the first saucer with plain water.

Spud Science: Potato Hydration Experiment for kids! - (cool) progeny

Leave the potato piece alone in the different types of water for at least 1-2 hours, then come back and observe!

Food for thought:

What do you observe?

Why is the potato in plain water different from the ones in sugar and salt water?

What do you think would happen if you placed the salt water potato back into plain water?

BONUS:  Make a connection! After playing outside for an hour, would soda or water hydrate you faster?

 

Download Experiment PDF