Non-Newtonian fluids, glue and borax plastic, and cabbage juice pH indicator are all experiments with easily obtainable materials. The experiments themselves are also easy and relatively safe.
Non-Newtonian fluids are fluids that do not behave in accordance with Newton's law of viscosity. Viscosity is a measure of how much a fluid resists flow and, according to Newton, only changes with variation in temperature. Non-Newtonian fluids are affected by temperature and also by pressure. A simple non-Newtonian fluid involves mixing water and cornstarch to the consistency of honey or syrup. This thick liquid temporarily behaves as a solid with the application of pressure, whether through squeezing, poking or slapping the fluid.
Creating a soft polymer plastic is as simple as dissolving borax laundry powder in water and mixing this solution with white glue. White glue, or polyvinyl acetate, is a series of carbon chains with acetate functional groups in between. Borax replaces the acetate groups and turns the long chains into a semi-solid three- dimensional network. The product of the reaction is similar to silly putty and airtight storage between uses allows it to retain its elasticity.
Blending red cabbage and water in a food processor or blender and straining out the solids creates an excellent indicator for acids and bases. This indicator is useful in conjunction with other household products like vinegar, ammonia, baking soda and citrus juice to indicate pH. Cabbage juice appears red in the presence of acids and green upon exposure to bases.