Science fair projects for a five-year-old include "Sniffing Jars," which explores the sense of smell, "Dinosaur Tracks," which explores how fossil imprints are made, and "Why do Plants Wilt?" which teaches kids how to keep plants healthy. These projects are approved for kindergarten classes by Education.com and require adult supervision.
"Sniffing Jar" is a simple experiment that challenges kids to figure out what's in a jar by just smelling it. This experiment requires several jars with tight-fitting lids, construction paper, scissors, tape, pictures of the items to be put in the jars, a blindfold and the actual objects. Items that have obvious, recognizable smells, like bananas, roses, peppermint or an orange, work best. Adults can print out some lists with all the items, and each "sniffer" can match the smell with the item.
"Dinosaur Tracks" is all about fossils. A mixture is made using damp, used coffee grounds, 1/2 cup of cold coffee, 1 cup of flour and a 1/2 cup of salt. Kids can use a spoon or mix things up with their hands. Once mixed, a handful of the mixture is placed on waxed paper and flattened using a rolling pin or hands. When it's flat, the experimenter presses his hand into the clay to make an impression and lets it dry for a few days, creating a hand fossil.
"Why do Plants Wilt?" is a gardening experiment. Two planter boxes are set in a sunny, hot part of the garden. Each one is planted with three lettuce plants. Both get the same amount of water, but one planter is covered by an umbrella, providing shade. By taking the temperature of the soil, comparing soil wetness and checking for wilting, kids can learn how shade protects plants.