Things to DO
Engage with your kids by doing fun science-y activities with ingredients you have at home.
Make-Your-Own Telescope Activity
Get a better view of the trees, birds, or nighttime sky in your own backyard!*
- Two empty paper towel tubes
- Masking tape
- Markers, stickers, or crayons (to decorate your telescope)
- 2 convex lenses (old reading glasses will work – make sure an adult is helping to remove the lenses from the frames!)
- Cut one of your paper towel tubes lengthwise (all the way up the side) and wrap one edge of the cut side slightly over the other edge and hold it in place with one hand.
- Insert the cut tube into the other paper towel tube. Let go of the inner tube so that it can expand inside the outer tube.
- Use masking tape to secure one of the lenses to the outer edge of the inner tube. The curve of the lens should be facing the inside of the tube.
- Secure the second lens to the outer edge of the second tube, with the curve of the lens pointing outside of the tube. (Note: Your lenses may be bigger than the tube. Try to tape around the rim of the lenses so you don't cover too much).
- Decorate your telescope with markers, stickers, or crayons.
- Place your eye against the lens of the inner tube. Aim your telescope up at the sky! Focus by sliding the inner tube in and out until the image becomes clear.
Fun fact: You made a refracting telescope! The scope uses two lenses to bend light, which makes an object appear closer than it is.
Note: Parental supervision is advised. *Do NOT use this telescope to look directly at the Sun!
Craft Stick Mummies
Make a Mummy with just a few simple materials!
- Craft stick
- Linen, cut into thin strips
- 2 small wiggle eyes
- Felt glue or glue dots
- Black poster paint
- Paint the stick black and after it dries, glue the wiggle eyes to the craft stick.
- Glue strips of felt around the craft stick - just don’t cover up the eyes.
- Each time you come to the end of a strip of felt, stop it in the back of the stick and glue in place. Trim if needed. This keeps all the oddly cut pieces at the back.
- Glue one last strip of felt to the back of the mummy and wrap it around the front as arms. Cross the arms and glue together, trim ends.
Note: For this project, white craft glue is not recommended because it soaks right through felt.
Fun fact: Egyptian mummies are typically wrapped in linen. Resin, like our glue, keeps the bandages together.
Rain Cloud in a Jar
Make a rain cloud in a jar to learn how clouds and rain form!
- Food coloring
- Clear jar
- Shaving cream
- Plastic pipettes
- Mix a few drops of food coloring with water in a bowl and set aside.
- Fill clear jar about ¾ of the way full with cool water.
- Fill remaining jar with shaving cream.
- Using a pipette, suck up the colored water and squirt it on top of the shaving cream.
- Within minutes, drops of colored rain will appear in your jar.
Six Bricks: Build a Duck Activity
How many ways can you build a duck using LEGO® bricks?
- 4 yellow LEGO bricks
- 2 red LEGO bricks
- Black sharpie marker
- Separate four yellow LEGO bricks and two red LEGO bricks
- Using all six LEGO bricks, build a duck in any way you can
- Once your duck is created, use the black sharpie marker to make the duck’s eye
- See how many ways you can create a LEGO duck!
- This activity introduces the concept of creativity and individual solutions to the same problem!
Rainbow Paper Activity
Make your own rainbow at home with this simple science activity, all while learning about color science!
- A bowl filled with water
- Clear nail polish
- Black construction paper or black card stock
- Paper towels
- Fill a bowl with cool water (about half-way)
- Dab a drop of nail polish into the bowl of water
- Immediately place your black paper into the bowl and remove it
- Place black paper on a paper towel to dry
- Watch in amazement as the colors immediately change on your paper, resembling a rainbow!
- You can try this activity repeatedly to see how your rainbow changes!
Fun fact: The rainbow colors you see are caused by thin-film interference, a natural cause when light waves reflected by the upper and lower boundaries of a thin film interfere with one another, enhancing or reducing light! The color change of the black paper happens when the light hits the paper as you tip it at different angles.
Water Cycle in a Bag Activity
Use these simple materials to educate your early learner about the water cycle process!
- One sandwich-sized Ziploc bag
- Permanent marker
- Blue food coloring
- Clear tape
- Draw a sky in the upper half of your Ziploc bag. Include the Sun and clouds as they are important elements of the water cycle.
- Fill a cup with 1-inch of water. Add a drop of blue food coloring to the water and mix.
- Carefully pour your blue-colored water into the Ziploc bag.
- Seal the Ziploc bag shut completely.
- Tape the Ziploc bag to a window. For the best results, pick a window that gets a lot of sunshine!
- Wait a couple of hours and observe what happens to your bag.
Fun fact: After a few hours, the water turns into a gas through evaporation. In nature, evaporated water vapor goes into the atmosphere, but in the Ziploc bag, it has nowhere to go. It ends up sticking to the sides of the bag, turning back into a liquid as condensation.
Magic Milk Fireworks
This simple, science activity will turn ordinary household items into an explosion of fireworks!
- A bowl or baking dish
- Food coloring (red and blue)
- Liquid dish soap
- Pour milk into dish, coating bottom completely
- Add a few drops of red and blue food coloring to dish
- Add in a drop of liquid dish soap to mixture
- Watch in amazement as the red and blue colors spread out into the dish in all directions, just like fireworks!
Fun fact: Dish soap disrupts the surface tension of milk, so adding the soap to the mixture makes the surface molecules spread out and the colors explode in a bowl like fireworks without the worry of a messy cleanup!
Design a Catapult
A way for the smallest engineers to design and build a small-scale catapult to launch buttons!
- 1 plastic bottle cap
- 4 rubber bands
- 5 craft sticks
- One button
- Hot glue gun
- Take three craft sticks and rubber band them together tightly on both ends
- Take the remaining two craft sticks and tie a rubber band on one of the ends
- Take the three craft sticks banded together and place them in between the two craft sticks
- Tie a rubber band in a cross design joining the two sections of craft sticks
- Hot glue the plastic bottle cap onto the craft stick that is without rubber bands
- After you assemble your catapult, place a button in the bottle cap
- Test and measure how far your button flies when flung from the catapult
Fun fact: A catapult is an example of a simple machine known as a lever. Levers are used to reduce the amount of force needed to move an object.
Note: Parental supervision is advised when using a hot glue gun.
Put those video controllers down, and spring into science fun with our Chromatography Flower Activity!Materials
- White coffee filters
- Water-based markers
- Cup with water
- Clear tape
- Small pipe cleaners
- Using a color marker, draw a quarter-size circle in the middle of the coffee filter. Do not fill in the circle with the marker.
- Fold the coffee filter in half and then in half again, forming a cone shape.
- Fill a cup with a small amount of water, and place the pointy part of the coffee filter cone into the cup submerging the circle.
- Let your coffee filter cone sit for 20 minutes so the water filters to the edge of the cone.
- After the water has reached the outer edge of the coffee filter, place it on a towel to dry leaving the coffee filter unfolded.
- Once dry, fold the coffee filter in half four different times forming a cone shape to make your flower.
- Use scissors to round the edge of the top of your coffee filter.
- Bunch up your coffee filter at the bottom and press the center together to form a mini stem.
- Use the clear tape to connect your flower to a small pipe cleaner.
Fun fact: Chromatography is the separation of a mixture by passing a solution through a medium. In this activity, we are separating the colored ink in markers with water using the white coffee filters.
Naked Egg Science Activity
Learn how to dissolve the eggshell of an egg with these simple steps!
- One egg
- White vinegar
- A glass jar with lid
- Add one egg to a glass jar.
- Pour the vinegar into the jar coating the egg completely.
- Watch in amazement as tiny bubbles form on the egg.
- Put the lid on the glass jar and let sit for three days.
- After the third day, carefully remove the egg from the vinegar.
- Wash and gently remove any remaining eggshell.
Fun fact: The inner membrane of the naked egg stays intact, so the egg may feel rubbery to the touch. You can gently squeeze it. The naked egg is translucent, so you can see the egg yolk at the top.
Note: Parental supervision is advised. Although this is a nontoxic activity, do not ingest the naked egg.
Sound Waves Activity
Explore sound waves and how vibrations make sound!
- Bowl – any size
- Cling wrap large enough to tightly cover top
- Small grains, i.e. uncooked rice, sea salt, or sugar
- Cover the top of the bowl with cling wrap and pour a small amount of grains ontop.
- Use your voice to hum near the bowl and see what happens.
- Also try clapping and making other sounds near the bowl and watch what happens to the granules.
Fun fact: Sound is a vibration which causes waves to travel back and forth through solids, liquids, and gases. The more energy the vibration has, the louder the sound will be.