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Something to READ

Something to WATCH

Things to DO

Engage with your kids by doing fun science-y activities with ingredients you have at home.


The Universe

Make your own universe slime:

https://go.nasa.gov/2WlA86d opens in a new window 


Birds

Explore all kinds of birds with this video playlist from National Geographic Kids opens in a new window

https://bit.ly/35LJ47R opens in a new window


Star Chart

Explore the night sky with our May Star Chart!

https://bit.ly/csc-may-star-chart opens in a new window


Hand holding beets

Gardening Projects

Get your kiddos growing with these 4 easy kids’ gardening projects: 
https://yhoo.it/35CXCa1 opens in a new window


Bubbles

Make a bubble-powered rocket:

https://go.nasa.gov/2W6PFqn opens in a new window


rubber-band-powered cardboard rover

Build a rubber-band-powered cardboard rover

https://go.nasa.gov/35vQj3O opens in a new window


Space with stars

Make a galactic mobile

https://go.nasa.gov/3fhwxxy opens in a new window 


Rainbow in a Jar

Make a “stained glass” Earth

Make a “stained glass” Earth with this cool craft from NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration: opens in a new window 
https://go.nasa.gov/3d38noq opens in a new window 


Colorful dyed paper

Make a Rainbow

Materials:

  • A small piece of white cardboard or a note card
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Drinking glass filled to the very top with water
  • Pencil
  • A sheet of plain white paper
  • A sunny spot to do your experiment

Steps:

  • Use the ruler to mark a rectangle ½ inch wide and 1 ½ inches tall in the middle of the white cardboard or note card. Use the scissors to cut the rectangle out.
  • Tape the cardboard to the side of the glass so that the cut-out part is about one inch above the top of the glass. 
  • Place the glass on top of the white piece of paper in a sunny place so that the sun shines through the cut of part of the cardboard and then through the water in the glass. 
  • As the light passes through the water, will be broken up into a rainbow which will appear in the paper. Adjust the height of the cardboard on the glass if the rainbow is reflected too far away from the glass.

Source: Explore and Learn Volume 1: Earth and Space, published by The Southwestern Company in 2005, page 53


Crayon Resist Painting

Crayon Resist Painting

Materials:

  • Drawing paper
  • Light-colored crayons or oil pastels
  • Watercolor or tempura paint
  • Water
  • Paint brush

Steps:

  • Use the light-colored crayons or oil pastels to draw a picture on the paper. 
  • Use the watercolor paints or diluted water-based tempura paints to paint over your drawing.
  • What does your paint do when you paint over the spaces you drew on with the crayon? What do the different colors of crayons look like under the paint? 
  • Try again with different colors of crayons.

Source: Tinkerlab: A hands-on guide for little inventors by Rachelle Doorley, published by Roost Books, 2014


A Garden Lampshade

Make a Garden Lampshade:

https://go.nasa.gov/2VYFAKE opens in a new window 

Image: NASA Climate Kids


Rainbow in a Jar

Bubble Balloons

Materials:

  • A balloon (not inflated)
  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Plastic funnel
  • Tablespoon

Steps:

  • Pour 5 tablespoons of vinegar into the plastic bottle.
  • Insert the skinny end of the funnel into the opening of the balloon. Carefully add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the balloon.
  • Pinch the neck of the balloon to prevent the baking soda from spilling into the bottle while you roll the opening of the balloon onto the top of the bottle. 
  • When the balloon is securely attached to the bottle, empty the baking soda from the balloon into the bottle.
  • Watch the vinegar and baking soda react and form bubbles. The bubbles will inflate the balloon.

Icy sun catchers

Icy sun catchers

Materials:

  • Water
  • 12 inches of yarn, string, or thread
  • Plate
  • Salt
  • Food dye

Steps:

  • Pour water onto a round plate. Cut a piece of yarn (string or thread will also work) about 12 inches long. Fold the yarn in half and place a few inches of each end in the water. Leave the top of the loop of yarn out of the water. Have an adult help you place the plate in the freezer.
  • Once the water has frozen, take your plate out of the freezer and allow it to thaw just enough that it slides off of the plate without breaking. You can hold the piece of ice by the loop of yarn.
  • Sprinkle the round sides of the piece of ice with salt and add drops of food dye over the surface.
  • Hang your sun catcher outside in the sun and watch the colors move and mix as the ice melts. If you hang your sun catcher inside, make sure you put something under it to catch the drips.

    Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman, Page 19.

Family Mural

Family Mural

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Glue/tape
  • Paint, colored pencils, crayons
  • Recycled materials (Ex. string, buttons, dried beans, dried noodles, old magazines)

Steps:

  • As a family, discuss what kind of symbols represent your family dynamic/relationship.
  • Once your family has settled on a design, give everyone 10 minutes to gather their materials.
  • When the time is up, everyone will take a seat around the paper.
  • Take turns, giving each family member 2-5 minutes to add an element to the mural.
  • Go around however many times it takes for the family to collectively be happy with the finished art piece.

Follow-up:

  • Once it is finished, allow time for each family member to discuss what they added and why they chose to do so.
  • Discuss how it represents your family and how each member is very important.
  • Find a meaningful area to display the master piece!

Child Development Fact: Doing activities together as a family exposes children to teamwork, which is important to build children’s social skills such as patience and compromising. For more fun activities you can try together, check out Bedtime Math: http://bedtimemath.org/fun-math-at-home/ opens in a new window


Friction Experiment

Friction Experiment

Materials:

  • At least one wooden board or stiff piece of cardboard
  • Something to roll down the board (a marble, a toy car or train etc.)
  • A variety of materials to cover the board with (aluminum foil, sandpaper, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, tissue paper, bubble wrap or anything else you have in the house)
  • Tape

Steps:

  • Set up your board so that one end is higher than the other. Roll your object down the board. Notice how fast it goes. You can time it if the ramp is long enough and you have a stopwatch.
  • Adjust the ramp so that it is a steeper slope.Try rolling the object again. What did you notice about the speed of the movement?
  • Cover the ramp with a smooth material (like foil) and secure the cover in place with tape. Roll the object down the ramp again. Did it go faster or slower than it did when the board wasn’t covered?
  • Cover the ramp with a rough material (like sandpaper) and secure the cover in place with tape. Roll the object down the ramp again. Did it go faster or slower than it did when the board wasn’t covered?
  • Cover the ramp with bumps (toothpicks, popsicles sticks etc.). You might need to glue these down to get them to stick. Roll the object down the ramp again. Did it go faster or slower than it did when the board wasn’t covered?
  • Keep trying with all of the materials you have on hand.

The science behind this: When two objects rub against each other, there is a force called friction which slows movement and creates heat. Rough materials cause more friction than smooth materials do which means that your object will roll more slowly when the ramp is covered with rough materials.

Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman, Page 15.


Rainbow in a Jar

At-Home Taste Test

Materials: 

  • Container with separate compartments or individual cups
  • Assortment of foods:
    • Salty: pretzels, chips, crackers
    • Sour: sour candies, lemons
    • Sweet: marshmallows, gum drop candies, milk chocolat picy: hot sauce, salsa
    • Bitter: baking chocolate, cranberries, brussels sprouts

Steps:

  • Place one type of each food in a section of the container.
  • Observe and taste each type of food and describe how it looks, smells, and tastes.
  • During the taste test you can:
    • Make comparisons. 
    • Place the foods in order of which ones you liked the best to the ones you liked the least or did not like.

Follow-up:

  • At a meal, have your family explain how the foods taste and explain what category they think the foods would fall under.

Child Development Fact: Children need to taste foods 10-15 times before they are willing to eat it. Here’s a helpful link: 
https://bit.ly/2K3wgjf opens in a new window

Notes:

  • Be careful to avoid choking hazards during the taste test.
  • You may choose to include whichever categories of foods based on your family’s palate.

Rainbow in a Jar

Make it balance

Materials:

  • Ruler, a yardstick, or a long stick
  • String
  • Two small balls

Steps:

  • Tie a one piece of string around each of the balls.
  • Tie the other end of each string to the two ends of the ruler.
  • Tie a third piece of string around the middle of the ruler and hang the ruler from its center.
  • Can you move the strings so that the ruler balances and each of the balls remains suspended?
  • How does the size of the ball compare to the position it needs to occupy on the ruler?
  • Remove the strings from the ruler and try the same experiment with the yardstick. 

How does using a longer stick change the relative positions for each ball?

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman).


Rainbow in a Jar

DIY Shaker Eggs

Materials:

  • Plastic eggs or any containers you can close
  • Beads or any small items that fit inside of the container
  • Washi tape

Steps:

  • Open egg and place small items inside.
  • Securely place the lid on the egg.
  • You can give it a quick shake to see if you like the sound.
  • When satisfied, use the washi tape to wrap around the seam of the egg and also around the egg in the opposite direction.

Follow-up:

  • Use your new instruments to enhance a family dance party or sing-along.

Child Development Fact: Children are able to follow the beat of a song before understanding the words. Also, moving to the rhythm promotes gross motor development. For further reading:
https://bit.ly/3ebDkrQ opens in a new window

Notes:

  • Be careful to avoid choking hazards.

Rainbow in a Jar

Pick Up an Ice Cube

Materials:

  • Ice cubes
  • Plate
  • Piece of string or thread
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Steps:

  • Place an ice cube on a plate. 
  • Lay one end of a wet piece of string or thread on top of the ice cube.
  • Gently pour ½ teaspoon of salt on top of the string.
  • Wait for 20 seconds and then gently pick up the string. You should be able to pick up the ice cube stuck to the end of the string.

The science behind this: Salt lowers the melting point of ice so putting the salt on the top of the ice cube melts the top layer of the ice. The middle of the ice cube is still very cold though so the water on the string freezes and sticks to the cold ice in the middle of the ice cube.


Paperclips

Paperclip Chains

Materials:

  • Straws or short sticks
  • Paperclips
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pens/pencils/markers/crayons

Steps:

  • Draw, decorate and cut out paper decorations to hang from your mobile. Make a small hole in the middle of each piece to use to hang it from the mobile. You can use a pencil, a hole punch or one of the paperclips to make the hole.
  • Join the paperclips into short chains – 3 to 6 paperclips per chain.
  • Attach the decorations to some of the paperclip chains.
  • Feed one straw through a paperclip at one end of one of the remaining paperclip chains. Use this paperclip chain to hang the straw.
  • Attach two more straws to the first straw using two more paperclip chains. Hang one straw from each end of the original straw so they balance.
  • Hang the decorations from the straws so that each straw balances on its paperclip chain.
  • How many levels can you add?
  • How does the size of the decoration affect where you need to position its paperclipchain on the straw above it?
  • How does the length of the paperclip chain affect where you need to position it on the straw above it?

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


A mobile

Make a Mobile

Materials:

  • Several short sticks (about 12 inches long)
  • Yarn, cardboard or card stock paper
  • Scissors
  • Pens/pencils/markers/crayons

Steps:

  • Draw, decorate and cut out at least 4 decorations for your mobile. You can use your favorite shapes (hearts, stars etc.), ideas from nature (flowers, birds etc.) or any other shape which you like.
  • Make a small hole in the top of each object with a hole punch or a pencil. Tie a piece of yarn (12-24 inches) through the top of each decoration.
  • Tie the other end of the yarn to a stick to attach two decorations to each stick – one on each end. Do this for two sticks.
  • Tie a piece of yarn in the middle of each of your decorated sticks. Tie the other end of each of those pieces of yarn to either end of a third stick. Hang the mobile and adjust the positions of the pieces of yarn to make it balance.
  • Add as many more levels to your mobile as you want. Does it get more difficult to make it balance when you add more levels? Do heavier objects need to be hung closer to or further away from the mid-point to make the mobile balance?

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman).


Marbles

Make a Marble Run

Materials:

  • An empty box (at least as big as a shoe box)
  • An extra piece of cardboard bigger than the empty box
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Yardstick or other straight edge
  • Tape
  • A marble or other small ball

Step 1 - Make the ramps:

  • Place the empty box on its side on a large piece of cardboard so the opening of the box faces the side (not the top or the bottom).
  • Trace the outline of the bottom of the box on the large piece of cardboard three times to make three ramps.
  • Add an extra inch of length to each end of each tracing so that the tracings are longer than the cardboard box. This will allow you to attach the ramps to the inside of the box.
  • Cut out each tracing (plus the extra inch on each end) with a pair of scissors. Cut a notch slightly larger than the marble out of one corner of each ramp. This will allow the marble to fall through from one ramp to the next.
  • Fold the extra cardboard on each end down so that the ramps fit into the box.

Step 2 - Mount the ramps:

  • Tape the folded end of first ramp to the side of the box near the top of the box so that the left side is higher than the right side and the corner you cut out of the ramp is placed on the right side and at the back of the box. This will allow the marble to roll downhill from left to right and then fall through the notch to the next ramp. Hint: Tilt your ramps slightly toward the back of the box so your marble doesn’t fall off of the front of the ramp.
  • Tape the next ramp near the middle of the box so that the right side is higher than the left side and the corner you cut out of the ramp is placed on the left side and at the back of the box.
  • Repeat with the last ramp. Tape this ramp near the bottom of the box with the left side higher than the right and the notch in the lowest corner on the right side.

Step 3 - Test your ramps with a marble:

  • Gently place a marble at the highest point on the top ramp and let it go. Adjust the placement and tilt of your ramps until the marble makes it all the way to the bottom of the box.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)

Color and learn about faraway worlds with these coloring pages from NASA: https://go.nasa.gov/2V1HlYi opens in a new window


Jelly Beans

Build a Jelly Bean Home for Your Peeps

Materials:

  • Jelly beans
  • Marshmallow Peeps
  • Toothpicks

Steps:

  • Push the ends of the toothpicks into the jelly beans to attach them together. Create a line of two toothpicks and three jelly beans. Make a second line of jelly beans and toothpicks.
  • Attach the two parts together with one toothpick on each end.
  • Start building up with toothpicks and jelly beans by pushing the toothpicks into lower jelly beans and adding new jelly beans to the top. Does your marshmallow bunny fit inside the structure?

Credit: Green Kid Crafts opens in a new window


Rainbow in a Jar

Dye and Milk Activity

Materials:

  • Bowl
  • Milk
  • Food dye
  • Cotton swab
  • Dishwashing liquid

Steps:

  • Pour milk into a bowl.
  • Add drops of food dye or colored ink.
  • Dip a cotton swab in dishwashing liquid and place it in the middle of the milk. What happened?
  • Remove the cotton swab when the milk and food dye start to mix together.

Fun fact: The dye does not mix well with milk, but when the dishwashing liquid is added, the dishwashing liquid is attracted to both the milk and the dye and allows them to mix together more quickly.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


A glass of water

Transfer of Water Activity

Materials:

  • Paper towel
  • Two empty glasses
  • Water
  • Food dye

Steps:

  • Roll up a paper towel and put one end in an empty glass.
  • Fill another glass halfway with water and tint it with a couple of drops of food dye.
  • Place the other end of the paper towel in the glass of water and leave it for a few hours. What happens to the water?

FUN FACT: The paper towel absorbs the water until it is soaked through and the water starts to leak out into the empty glass. If you wait long enough, both glasses will end up with roughly the same amount of water.

The water moves from one glass to the next because of capillary action, through which the adhesive forces between the water and the paper towel are stronger than the cohesive forces inside the water. As a result, the water travels up and across the paper towel out of one glass and into another.

Activity credit: Cool Science Experiments Headquarters

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Rainbow in a Jar

Rainbow in a Jar

Materials:

  • 1 jar
  • 1/2 cup blue dish liquid
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • Food coloring
  • 5 spoons
  • 5 bowls for mixing

Steps:

  • Create your purple layer by mixing 1/2 cup of the light corn syrup with 1 drop of blue and 1 drop of red food coloring.
  • Pour it into the bottom of your jar.
  • Pour the blue dishwashing liquid into of the jar, aiming it toward the side of the jar.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of water with 2 drops of green food coloring.
  • Pour in your green water into the jar, aiming it toward the side of the jar.
  • Pour 1/2 cup olive oil into the jar, again aiming it toward the side of the jar.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol with 2 drops of red food coloring.
  • Pour the red rubbing alcohol down the inside of the jar.
  • Without disturbing the liquids, set your jar down on a flat surface and marvel at your liquid rainbow.

The layers of color stay separated from each other because of how dense, or heavy, each liquid is. The corn syrup is heaviest, and sits nicely on the bottom. The dish liquid is not quite as heavy as the corn syrup, but it’s heavier than the olive oil, and so on.

Activity courtesy of Education.com


Melted Crayon Activity

Melted Crayon Activity

Turn ordinary crayons into a beautiful masterpiece right before your eyes!

Materials:

  • A blank canvas (any size)
  • Crayons
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hair dryer
  • Towel – that can be thrown away

Steps:

  • Decide what color spectrum you want to use with the crayons
  • Remove the wrappers off the crayons
  • Hot glue each crayon in the order you want them on the top of your canvas
  • Slant the canvas so that the wax will drip, setting the towel underneath
  • Use a low blow dryer setting and focus the heat on the crayons
  • Watch in amazement as the crayons start melting down the canvas
  • Let the canvas dry, then display your artwork!

Note: This will get messy, so putting a towel or any protectant underneath the canvas will avoid stains. This is the perfect activity for kids of all ages to enjoy with an adult!


Make Crystal Geode Eggs

Make Crystal Geode Eggs

Materials:

  • Eggshells (empty and cut in half)
  • Glue (liquid)
  • Paintbrush
  • Alum powder (potassium aluminum sulfate)
  • Water (hot)
  • Two food-color dyes

Steps:

  • Empty and cut your eggshells in half.
  • Using your paintbrush, coat the inside with a thin layer of glue and sprinkle with alum powder (coating completely).
  • Let your eggshells dry overnight!
  • The next day, using two bowls, fill each with 2 cups of hot water and dissolve one color dye in each. Add 6 tablespoons of the alum powder to each bowl, stirring until the crystals are dissolved.
  • Let the solution cool and then pour over your eggshells. Sit overnight.
  • The next day, remove eggshells from solution and pat dry.

Apple Volcano Activity

This simple, science activity will turn ordinary household items into a volcanic eruption.

Materials:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • One medium to large apple
  • A bowl or dish

Steps:

  • Core out the top of the apple
  • Place apple in a bowl or dish – Don’t worry, a large dinner plate is enough to protect your surface from the eruption!
  • Fill the apple core with a teaspoon of baking soda
  • Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the apple
  • Watch in amazement as the ingredients mix together causing a volcanic eruption!

Fun fact: This is a nontoxic experiment. The end results of the reaction are carbon dioxide, water, and sodium acetate. Sodium acetate is a salt and is sometimes used to flavor salt and vinegar potato chips!


Snow Sensory Activity

Snow Sensory Activity

Materials:

  • Bowl
  • 3 cups of baking soda
  • ½ cup of hair conditioner

Steps:

  • Add three cups of baking soda to the bowl.
  • Pour in ½ cup of hair conditioner to mixture.
  • Mix together the ingredients in the bowl.
  • Gently loosen any clumps until your fake snow looks like real snow.
  • THIS CRAFT IS NOT EDIBLE – DO NOT EAT!

Note: This activity will get messy! Put a towel or a thick layer of newspaper underneath the bowl to protect your table. This is the perfect sensory activity for kids of all ages to enjoy with an adult!

Fun fact: Want to melt your fake snow? Pour in ½ cup of vinegar into the mixture and watch as a chemical reaction occurs. The baking soda is the base and the vinegar is the acid.


Light Science Activity

Light Science Activity

Educate your young Einstein on how to complete a light circuit!

Materials:

  • String of Christmas lights
  • Scissors
  • 9-volt battery

Steps:

  • Take the string of Christmas lights and cut the green wire so only two lights are connected.
  • Cut about 1 cm off the plastic wire casting so the wires are exposed on both ends (Parents: Do this part of the activity and discuss wire safety).
  • Hold one end of the wire to the positive end of the battery and the other to the negative end.

Fun fact: Your early learner created a circuit! Two wires connect to the light. For electrons to produce light, there must be a complete circuit so they can flow through the light bulb and back out.

Note: There is no electrical shock with this activity; however, parental supervision is advised.


 Ice Cream in a Bag Activity

 Ice Cream in a Bag Activity

Learn how to make ice cream in a bag with these simple steps!

Materials:

  • Half-and-half creamer or milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Rock salt
  • Ice cubes
  • One sandwich-sized Ziploc bag
  • One gallon-sized Ziploc bag
  • Granulated sugar
  • Oven mitts

Steps:

  • In the sandwich-sized Ziploc bag, add one tablespoon of granulated sugar, ½ cup of half-and-half creamer or milk, and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Seal the bag shut.
  • Add four cups of ice cubes and ½ cup of rock salt to the gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
  • Place the sandwich-sized Ziploc bag into the gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Make sure both bags are sealed shut.
  • Put on oven mitts and shake the bag for five minutes.
  • Watch in amazement as the liquid in the smaller bag turns into a solid forming ice cream!

Fun fact: Adding salt to the experiment allows the ice and salt mixture to get colder than pure water ice. This extra-cold mixture freezes the ingredients and turns it into ice cream! While pure water freezes at zero degrees Celsius, water mixed with salt freezes below zero degrees Celsius.

Note: Parental supervision is advised. Oven mitts are suggested to use as the bag gets cold to handle while shaking.


Make a Rain Gauge

April showers are coming: With your very own rain gauge, you can measure how much rain falls around your home.

Materials:

  • Clear plastic soda bottle (2 liters)
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker with a sharp point
  • Small stones or aquarium gravel
  • Water
  • Ruler

Steps:

  • Save an empty 2-liter soda bottle. You can soak the bottle in warm water or use dish soap to get the label off.
  • Cut off the top of the bottle (at the widest part) using scissors, keeping the edges as even as possible. Ask an adult to help if you need it.
  • Fill the curved part of the bottom of the bottle with small stones or aquarium gravel. This will add weight to your rain gauge to keep it from falling over.
  • Pour enough water into the bottle to cover the stones. Then use the marker to draw a line at the top surface of the water, and mark “0” next to it. This is your baseline.
  • Mark lines going up the outside of the bottle by ¼ inch segments. You can mark each inch margin with a wider line and write number for easier readability.
  • Rain gauges are more fun if they are decorated! Make yours unique by adding color, drawing pictures with permanent markers, and more!
  • Find a place in your yard to put your new rain gauge. Don’t put it under a tree or roof overhand. When the weather forecast predicts rain, check to be sure your gauge has water filled up to the baseline – this will make your measurements accurate.
  • Monitor your rain gauge weekly (or daily if a big storm hits). Record your measurements. Now you can find how much rain your area gets hits firsthand!

Pumpkin Fluff Sensory Activity

Pumpkin Fluff Sensory Activity

Engage your child’s senses with this simple and fun pumpkin fluff activity!

Materials:

  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 can of extra whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A bowl or dish
  • Towel – that can be thrown away

Steps:

  • Pour one can of pumpkin puree into a bowl
  • Add in the can of extra whipping cream to pumpkin puree mixtur
  • Stir the ingredients together and add in the teaspoon of cinnamon
  • The end result is a “fluff” mixture
  • Have your little scientists dive into the mixture to ignite their senses to explore, play, and create their own masterpieces!

Note: This is a nontoxic activity, but will get messy! Putting a towel or any protectant underneath the bowl will avoid stains. This is the perfect sensory activity for kids of all ages to enjoy with an adult!

Fun fact: This activity activates the senses and facilitates children to use scientific processes while they explore, play, create, and investigate the mixture


Space-tastic Word Search

Can you find all the words in the puzzle below?

Space-tastic word search.jpg


Dye, Oil and Water Activities

Dye, Oil and Water Activities

Materials:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Food dye
  • Bowls
  • Spoon

Steps:
Experiment 1: Make dye drops

  • Pour vegetable oil into a tall glass.
  • Add a few drops of food dye and watch what happens.

Fun fact: Each dye drop forms a tight bead shape because dye does not mix with oil, so the drop can’t spread out.

Experiment 2: Staying in Shape

  • Push the drops of dye gently down into the oil with a spoon and see what happens.

Fun fact: The dye drops sink in the oil because food dye is denser than oil. The drops keep their shape because the liquids don’t mix.

Experiment 3: Exploding dye drops

  • Fill a tall glass with water.
  • Add vegetable oil and let it settle.
  • Add a few drops of food dye and watch what happens.
  • Nudge the drops with he spoon to make them sink more quickly.

Fun fact: The drops of food dye remain in a ball as they sink through the oil. When they touch the water, they start mixing with it and form swirling ribbons of color. The dye continues to mix with the water until the mixture is an even color.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Paper and Water Activities

Paper and Water Activities

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Paper towel

Steps:
Experiment 1: Make a paper flower

  • Fold a square of paper in half.
  • Turn it a quarter turn and then fold it in half again.
  • Draw a flower petal (pointy oval) shape on the square and cut it out. Make sure you don’t cut the corner where all the folds come together (the part that was the center of your original square).
    • Unfold your paper.
  • Fold the tip of each petal so that it touches the center point of your square.
  • Pour some water into a bowl and place your flower on the surface of the water.
  • Watch the petals open slowly as the paper absorbs the water.

Experiment 2: Change the shape of the flower

  • Repeat this experiment with different flower shapes and different numbers of petals. How does this change the results?

Experiment 3: Try a paper towel flower

  • Repeat the experiment using a paper towel instead of paper. How does this change the results?

Experiment 4: Try a card stock flower

  • Repeat the experiment using card stock or thin cardboard. How does this change the results?

Fun fact: The paper is made of tiny fibers pressed together. As the fibers absorb the water, they expand and push the flower petals open. The paper towel is made of very thin layers of paper. It absorbs the water so fast that the flower sinks before it has a chance to open. The cardstock is thicker than paper because it contains more fibers. It takes longer than paper to absorb the water, so the flower takes longer to open.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Density Activities

Density Activities

Materials:

  • Food dye
  • Water
  • Glass
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dishwashing liquid

Steps:
Experiment 1: Dishwashing liquid

  • Add some food dye to a half glass of water.
  • Pour vegetable oil into the glass and let it settle.
  • Put a few drops of dishwashing liquid into the glass and watch what happens.

Fun fact: Drops of dishwashing liquid sink to the bottom of the glass, pushing drops of oil down beneath them. Oil is less dense than dishwashing liquid and water, so the oil drops escape and rise back to float on the surface again.

Experiment 2: Mix it up

  • Stir everything in the glass up with a spoon. Notice what happens this time.
  • Repeat with different colors.

Fun fact: Dishwashing liquid is attracted to both water and oil which allows them to mix together. The mixture eventually becomes evenly colored as the dye spreads all the way through it.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Make your own periscope

Submarines use periscopes to peer above water while they are submerged. Here’s how to make your own scope. Share a photo of your creation in the comments!

Materials:

  • 2 half-gallon milk or juice cartons
  • 2 small mirrors
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • A grown-up’s help to cut the cartons

Steps:

  • Rinse out your cartons and open the tops all the way.
  • Tape the two cartons together at their openings to make one long box.
  • Now cut two windows in the box: one in the front at the bottom, and one at the top in the back.
  • Hold the two mirrors so that you can see in and out the other. Once you get a clear view, notice the angles at which you’re holding the mirrors.
  • Now you need to put the mirrors in the box at these angles. To do this, cut out two diagonal slots in your box – one at the bottom and one at the top – that match the angles of the mirrors.
  • When you slide the mirrors in, make sure they face the two windows you cut out earlier.
  • Now look through the bottom window of your periscope and go on an adventure!

Make your own train whistle

Materials:

  • Cardboard tube
  • Wax paper square
  • Rubber band

Steps:

  • Punch a small hole in one side of the cardboard tube, near one end.
  • Put the end closest to the hole down on the table.
  • Place the wax paper square over the top of the cardboard tube. Use the rubber band to secure the wax paper.
  • Hold the uncovered end over your mouth and say, “Toot, toot!” It works like a kazoo.
  • Post a picture or video of you using your whistle in the comments!

Antarctic Word Search

Take an Antarctic adventure with our word search!

Antarctic word search.jpg


Make Your Own Oobleck

Make Your Own Oobleck

Materials:

  • Cornstarch
  • Pitcher of water
  • Food coloring
  • Bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Spoon

Steps:

  • Place 1 cups of cornstarch in a bowl.
  • Add food coloring to 1 cup of water and stir well.
  • Add the water to the bowl of cornstarch and stir well.
  • Add more water or corn starch until you get a mixture which “tears” when you quickly scrape your finger through it and then “melts” back together again.

Be a meteorologist at home with our Weather Cone coloring sheet! WTAE controls the color displayed on the Science Center’s rooftop Weather Cone, matching the color to the anticipated weather. Color the cone of the day with one of the colors on this sheet based on the daily forecast.

Weather Cone Coloring Sheet


Scratch-and-Sniff Painting

Scratch-and-Sniff Painting

Materials:

  • Jell-O
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Paintbrushes

Steps:

  • Choose a few flavors of Jell-O based on your child’s color and smell preferences.
  • Use a different plastic cup for each color.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of white glue, 1 tablespoon of water, and 1 teaspoon of Jell-O powder in each cup. (The glue helps the gelatin granules stick.)
  • Give the child a few paintbrushes and cardboard or heavy paper to paint on.
  • Once the painting is complete, lay it flat to dry.
  • When it’s dry, kids can rub their fingertip over the page to reactivate the smell.

Make a Meteor!

Make a Meteor!

Materials:

  • 2” Styrofoam ball
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • About 3 ft of curling ribbon, any color
  • Aluminum foil
  • Straight pin with pearl-like top

Steps:

  • Cut the curling ribbon into equal lengths, tying them together at one end and cutting off the excess (short end).
  • Poke a hall in the Styrofoam ball with a pencil.
  • Put a bit of glue in the hole.
  • Poke the tied end of the ribbon into the hole and secure with the pin. Ask an adult for help if you need it.
  • Cut a piece of aluminum foil, about 7” x 7”, and cover the ball so that the comet’s tail (ribbon) comes out through the foil.
  • Decorate however else you want!

Make a Tornado in a Bottle

Make a Tornado in a Bottle

Materials:

  • Two soda bottles
  • Water
  • Glitter or dishwashing soap
  • Duct tape

Steps:

  • Take two empty plastic soda bottles and remove their caps.
  • Fill one bottle 2/3 full with water.
  • Add one small drop of glitter and/or put a single drop of dishwashing soap in the water.
  • Use duct tape to fasten the spouts of the bottles together so that the water flows freely between them.
  • Turn the bottles over to allow the water to pour into the empty bottle. Then, swirl the bottles in a circular motion. This will create a funnel! You may try spinning slower or faster. See if that makes a difference.

Make Reptile and Amphibian Tracks

Make Reptile and Amphibian Tracks

Materials:

  • Printouts of reptile & amphibian tracks
  • Sheet of sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock
  • Glue sticks
  • White pape Crayons

Steps:

  • Trace the outline of several different reptile prints onto the back of the pieces of sandpaper and cut these out.
  • Glue the sandpaper cutouts onto cardstock and cut a large square around the tracks.This will ensure that the tracks last through several uses.
  • Place the sandpaper tracks under a white sheet of paper and rub over the tracks with a crayon to make a rubbing. Turn this into a work of art, or make several to see how the prints differ.

Extensions:

  • Explore pictures of real tracks online.
  • Create a matching game by matching the tracks to the animal that made them.
  • On a different day, place rubbings of the tracks around the room. Pretend to be a herpetologist and follow the tracks to find the hidden toy animal that made them!

Activity courtesy of Experiment Exchange opens in a new window
https://bit.ly/2JAtPVf opens in a new window


Make a Wooden Star Activity

Make a Wooden Star Activity

Materials:

  • Toothpicks
  • Plate
  • Water

Steps:

  • Bend five wooden toothpicks into V shapes. Don’t break them in two, just bend them. 
  • Arrange them in a circle with all the bent parts touching each other in the middle.
  • Add a few drops of water to the middle where all the bent parts of the toothpicks meet.
  • Watch water happens as the toothpicks absorb the water.

Fun fact: Toothpicks are made of wood fibers. As each toothpick absorbs water, it expands and pushes its arms apart until they rest against their neighbor. This makes a neat star shape.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Swimming Spaghetti

Swimming Spaghetti

Materials:

  • A few strips of uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 5 teaspoons of vinegar
  • Clear glass or jar

Steps:

  • Pour water and baking soda into the glass.
  • Stir the baking soda until it is dissolved.
  • Break a few strips of spaghetti into 1-inch pieces.
  • Place about 6 pieces in the glass.
  • Add vinegar to the mixture.
  • Observe what happens to the pieces of spaghetti!
  • You can add more vinegar as the action starts to break down.

Fun fact: When baking soda and vinegar are mixed together, a chemical reaction occurs. It produces a gas (known as Carbon Dioxide), which forms lots of bubbles on top of the mixture and smaller bubbles at the bottom of the glass.


Make-Your-Own Telescope Activity

Make-Your-Own Telescope Activity

Get a better view of the trees, birds, or nighttime sky in your own backyard!*

Materials:

  • Two empty paper towel tubes
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • 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!)

Steps:

  • 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

Craft Stick Mummies

Make a Mummy with just a few simple materials!

Materials:

  • Craft stick
  • Linen, cut into thin strips
  • 2 small wiggle eyes
  • Felt glue or glue dots
  • Black poster paint

Steps:

  • 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

Rain Cloud in a Jar

Make a rain cloud in a jar to learn how clouds and rain form!

Materials:

  • Food coloring
  • Water
  • Clear jar
  • Shaving cream
  • Plastic pipettes

Steps:

  • 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

Six Bricks: Build a Duck Activity

How many ways can you build a duck using LEGO® bricks?

Materials:

  • 4 yellow LEGO bricks
  • 2 red LEGO bricks
  • Black sharpie marker

Steps:

  • 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

Rainbow Paper Activity

Make your own rainbow at home with this simple science activity, all while learning about color science!

Materials:

  • A bowl filled with water
  • Clear nail polish
  • Black construction paper or black card stock
  • Paper towels

Steps:

  • 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

Water Cycle in a Bag Activity

Use these simple materials to educate your early learner about the water cycle process!

Materials:

  • One sandwich-sized Ziploc bag
  • Permanent marker
  • Water
  • Blue food coloring
  • Clear tape

Steps:

  • 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

Magic Milk Fireworks

This simple, science activity will turn ordinary household items into an explosion of fireworks!

Materials:

  • A bowl or baking dish
  • Milk
  • Food coloring (red and blue)
  • Liquid dish soap

Steps:

  • 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!


A catapult

Design a Catapult

A way for the smallest engineers to design and build a small-scale catapult to launch buttons!

Materials:

  • 1 plastic bottle cap
  • 4 rubber bands
  • 5 craft sticks
  • One button
  • Hot glue gun

Steps:

  • 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.


Flowers

Chromatography Flowers

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
  • Scissors
  • Small pipe cleaners

Steps:

  • 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.


Silhouette of the Beatles from Help! created with lasers

Naked Egg Science Activity

Learn how to dissolve the eggshell of an egg with these simple steps!

Materials:

  • One egg
  • White vinegar
  • A glass jar with lid

Steps:

  • 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.


Egg

Sound Waves Activity

Explore sound waves and how vibrations make sound!

Materials:

  • Bowl – any size
  • Cling wrap large enough to tightly cover top
  • Small grains, i.e. uncooked rice, sea salt, or sugar

Steps:

  • 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.


Additional resources:

Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.

Things to DO

Engage with your kids by doing fun science-y activities with ingredients you have at home.


The Universe

Make your own universe slime:

https://go.nasa.gov/2WlA86d opens in a new window 


Birds

Explore all kinds of birds with this video playlist from National Geographic Kids opens in a new window

https://bit.ly/35LJ47R opens in a new window


Star Chart

Explore the night sky with our May Star Chart!

https://bit.ly/csc-may-star-chart opens in a new window


Hand holding beets

Gardening Projects

Get your kiddos growing with these 4 easy kids’ gardening projects: 
https://yhoo.it/35CXCa1 opens in a new window


Bubbles

Make a bubble-powered rocket:

https://go.nasa.gov/2W6PFqn opens in a new window


rubber-band-powered cardboard rover

Build a rubber-band-powered cardboard rover

https://go.nasa.gov/35vQj3O opens in a new window


Space with stars

Make a galactic mobile

https://go.nasa.gov/3fhwxxy opens in a new window 


Rainbow in a Jar

Make a “stained glass” Earth

Make a “stained glass” Earth with this cool craft from NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration: opens in a new window 
https://go.nasa.gov/3d38noq opens in a new window 


Colorful dyed paper

Make a Rainbow

Materials:

  • A small piece of white cardboard or a note card
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Drinking glass filled to the very top with water
  • Pencil
  • A sheet of plain white paper
  • A sunny spot to do your experiment

Steps:

  • Use the ruler to mark a rectangle ½ inch wide and 1 ½ inches tall in the middle of the white cardboard or note card. Use the scissors to cut the rectangle out.
  • Tape the cardboard to the side of the glass so that the cut-out part is about one inch above the top of the glass. 
  • Place the glass on top of the white piece of paper in a sunny place so that the sun shines through the cut of part of the cardboard and then through the water in the glass. 
  • As the light passes through the water, will be broken up into a rainbow which will appear in the paper. Adjust the height of the cardboard on the glass if the rainbow is reflected too far away from the glass.

Source: Explore and Learn Volume 1: Earth and Space, published by The Southwestern Company in 2005, page 53


Crayon Resist Painting

Crayon Resist Painting

Materials:

  • Drawing paper
  • Light-colored crayons or oil pastels
  • Watercolor or tempura paint
  • Water
  • Paint brush

Steps:

  • Use the light-colored crayons or oil pastels to draw a picture on the paper. 
  • Use the watercolor paints or diluted water-based tempura paints to paint over your drawing.
  • What does your paint do when you paint over the spaces you drew on with the crayon? What do the different colors of crayons look like under the paint? 
  • Try again with different colors of crayons.

Source: Tinkerlab: A hands-on guide for little inventors by Rachelle Doorley, published by Roost Books, 2014


A Garden Lampshade

Make a Garden Lampshade:

https://go.nasa.gov/2VYFAKE opens in a new window 

Image: NASA Climate Kids


Rainbow in a Jar

Bubble Balloons

Materials:

  • A balloon (not inflated)
  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Plastic funnel
  • Tablespoon

Steps:

  • Pour 5 tablespoons of vinegar into the plastic bottle.
  • Insert the skinny end of the funnel into the opening of the balloon. Carefully add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the balloon.
  • Pinch the neck of the balloon to prevent the baking soda from spilling into the bottle while you roll the opening of the balloon onto the top of the bottle. 
  • When the balloon is securely attached to the bottle, empty the baking soda from the balloon into the bottle.
  • Watch the vinegar and baking soda react and form bubbles. The bubbles will inflate the balloon.

Icy sun catchers

Icy sun catchers

Materials:

  • Water
  • 12 inches of yarn, string, or thread
  • Plate
  • Salt
  • Food dye

Steps:

  • Pour water onto a round plate. Cut a piece of yarn (string or thread will also work) about 12 inches long. Fold the yarn in half and place a few inches of each end in the water. Leave the top of the loop of yarn out of the water. Have an adult help you place the plate in the freezer.
  • Once the water has frozen, take your plate out of the freezer and allow it to thaw just enough that it slides off of the plate without breaking. You can hold the piece of ice by the loop of yarn.
  • Sprinkle the round sides of the piece of ice with salt and add drops of food dye over the surface.
  • Hang your sun catcher outside in the sun and watch the colors move and mix as the ice melts. If you hang your sun catcher inside, make sure you put something under it to catch the drips.

    Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman, Page 19.

Family Mural

Family Mural

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Glue/tape
  • Paint, colored pencils, crayons
  • Recycled materials (Ex. string, buttons, dried beans, dried noodles, old magazines)

Steps:

  • As a family, discuss what kind of symbols represent your family dynamic/relationship.
  • Once your family has settled on a design, give everyone 10 minutes to gather their materials.
  • When the time is up, everyone will take a seat around the paper.
  • Take turns, giving each family member 2-5 minutes to add an element to the mural.
  • Go around however many times it takes for the family to collectively be happy with the finished art piece.

Follow-up:

  • Once it is finished, allow time for each family member to discuss what they added and why they chose to do so.
  • Discuss how it represents your family and how each member is very important.
  • Find a meaningful area to display the master piece!

Child Development Fact: Doing activities together as a family exposes children to teamwork, which is important to build children’s social skills such as patience and compromising. For more fun activities you can try together, check out Bedtime Math: http://bedtimemath.org/fun-math-at-home/ opens in a new window


Friction Experiment

Friction Experiment

Materials:

  • At least one wooden board or stiff piece of cardboard
  • Something to roll down the board (a marble, a toy car or train etc.)
  • A variety of materials to cover the board with (aluminum foil, sandpaper, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, tissue paper, bubble wrap or anything else you have in the house)
  • Tape

Steps:

  • Set up your board so that one end is higher than the other. Roll your object down the board. Notice how fast it goes. You can time it if the ramp is long enough and you have a stopwatch.
  • Adjust the ramp so that it is a steeper slope.Try rolling the object again. What did you notice about the speed of the movement?
  • Cover the ramp with a smooth material (like foil) and secure the cover in place with tape. Roll the object down the ramp again. Did it go faster or slower than it did when the board wasn’t covered?
  • Cover the ramp with a rough material (like sandpaper) and secure the cover in place with tape. Roll the object down the ramp again. Did it go faster or slower than it did when the board wasn’t covered?
  • Cover the ramp with bumps (toothpicks, popsicles sticks etc.). You might need to glue these down to get them to stick. Roll the object down the ramp again. Did it go faster or slower than it did when the board wasn’t covered?
  • Keep trying with all of the materials you have on hand.

The science behind this: When two objects rub against each other, there is a force called friction which slows movement and creates heat. Rough materials cause more friction than smooth materials do which means that your object will roll more slowly when the ramp is covered with rough materials.

Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman, Page 15.


Rainbow in a Jar

At-Home Taste Test

Materials: 

  • Container with separate compartments or individual cups
  • Assortment of foods:
    • Salty: pretzels, chips, crackers
    • Sour: sour candies, lemons
    • Sweet: marshmallows, gum drop candies, milk chocolat picy: hot sauce, salsa
    • Bitter: baking chocolate, cranberries, brussels sprouts

Steps:

  • Place one type of each food in a section of the container.
  • Observe and taste each type of food and describe how it looks, smells, and tastes.
  • During the taste test you can:
    • Make comparisons. 
    • Place the foods in order of which ones you liked the best to the ones you liked the least or did not like.

Follow-up:

  • At a meal, have your family explain how the foods taste and explain what category they think the foods would fall under.

Child Development Fact: Children need to taste foods 10-15 times before they are willing to eat it. Here’s a helpful link: 
https://bit.ly/2K3wgjf opens in a new window

Notes:

  • Be careful to avoid choking hazards during the taste test.
  • You may choose to include whichever categories of foods based on your family’s palate.

Rainbow in a Jar

Make it balance

Materials:

  • Ruler, a yardstick, or a long stick
  • String
  • Two small balls

Steps:

  • Tie a one piece of string around each of the balls.
  • Tie the other end of each string to the two ends of the ruler.
  • Tie a third piece of string around the middle of the ruler and hang the ruler from its center.
  • Can you move the strings so that the ruler balances and each of the balls remains suspended?
  • How does the size of the ball compare to the position it needs to occupy on the ruler?
  • Remove the strings from the ruler and try the same experiment with the yardstick. 

How does using a longer stick change the relative positions for each ball?

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman).


Rainbow in a Jar

DIY Shaker Eggs

Materials:

  • Plastic eggs or any containers you can close
  • Beads or any small items that fit inside of the container
  • Washi tape

Steps:

  • Open egg and place small items inside.
  • Securely place the lid on the egg.
  • You can give it a quick shake to see if you like the sound.
  • When satisfied, use the washi tape to wrap around the seam of the egg and also around the egg in the opposite direction.

Follow-up:

  • Use your new instruments to enhance a family dance party or sing-along.

Child Development Fact: Children are able to follow the beat of a song before understanding the words. Also, moving to the rhythm promotes gross motor development. For further reading:
https://bit.ly/3ebDkrQ opens in a new window

Notes:

  • Be careful to avoid choking hazards.

Rainbow in a Jar

Pick Up an Ice Cube

Materials:

  • Ice cubes
  • Plate
  • Piece of string or thread
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Steps:

  • Place an ice cube on a plate. 
  • Lay one end of a wet piece of string or thread on top of the ice cube.
  • Gently pour ½ teaspoon of salt on top of the string.
  • Wait for 20 seconds and then gently pick up the string. You should be able to pick up the ice cube stuck to the end of the string.

The science behind this: Salt lowers the melting point of ice so putting the salt on the top of the ice cube melts the top layer of the ice. The middle of the ice cube is still very cold though so the water on the string freezes and sticks to the cold ice in the middle of the ice cube.


Paperclips

Paperclip Chains

Materials:

  • Straws or short sticks
  • Paperclips
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pens/pencils/markers/crayons

Steps:

  • Draw, decorate and cut out paper decorations to hang from your mobile. Make a small hole in the middle of each piece to use to hang it from the mobile. You can use a pencil, a hole punch or one of the paperclips to make the hole.
  • Join the paperclips into short chains – 3 to 6 paperclips per chain.
  • Attach the decorations to some of the paperclip chains.
  • Feed one straw through a paperclip at one end of one of the remaining paperclip chains. Use this paperclip chain to hang the straw.
  • Attach two more straws to the first straw using two more paperclip chains. Hang one straw from each end of the original straw so they balance.
  • Hang the decorations from the straws so that each straw balances on its paperclip chain.
  • How many levels can you add?
  • How does the size of the decoration affect where you need to position its paperclipchain on the straw above it?
  • How does the length of the paperclip chain affect where you need to position it on the straw above it?

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


A mobile

Make a Mobile

Materials:

  • Several short sticks (about 12 inches long)
  • Yarn, cardboard or card stock paper
  • Scissors
  • Pens/pencils/markers/crayons

Steps:

  • Draw, decorate and cut out at least 4 decorations for your mobile. You can use your favorite shapes (hearts, stars etc.), ideas from nature (flowers, birds etc.) or any other shape which you like.
  • Make a small hole in the top of each object with a hole punch or a pencil. Tie a piece of yarn (12-24 inches) through the top of each decoration.
  • Tie the other end of the yarn to a stick to attach two decorations to each stick – one on each end. Do this for two sticks.
  • Tie a piece of yarn in the middle of each of your decorated sticks. Tie the other end of each of those pieces of yarn to either end of a third stick. Hang the mobile and adjust the positions of the pieces of yarn to make it balance.
  • Add as many more levels to your mobile as you want. Does it get more difficult to make it balance when you add more levels? Do heavier objects need to be hung closer to or further away from the mid-point to make the mobile balance?

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman).


Marbles

Make a Marble Run

Materials:

  • An empty box (at least as big as a shoe box)
  • An extra piece of cardboard bigger than the empty box
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Yardstick or other straight edge
  • Tape
  • A marble or other small ball

Step 1 - Make the ramps:

  • Place the empty box on its side on a large piece of cardboard so the opening of the box faces the side (not the top or the bottom).
  • Trace the outline of the bottom of the box on the large piece of cardboard three times to make three ramps.
  • Add an extra inch of length to each end of each tracing so that the tracings are longer than the cardboard box. This will allow you to attach the ramps to the inside of the box.
  • Cut out each tracing (plus the extra inch on each end) with a pair of scissors. Cut a notch slightly larger than the marble out of one corner of each ramp. This will allow the marble to fall through from one ramp to the next.
  • Fold the extra cardboard on each end down so that the ramps fit into the box.

Step 2 - Mount the ramps:

  • Tape the folded end of first ramp to the side of the box near the top of the box so that the left side is higher than the right side and the corner you cut out of the ramp is placed on the right side and at the back of the box. This will allow the marble to roll downhill from left to right and then fall through the notch to the next ramp. Hint: Tilt your ramps slightly toward the back of the box so your marble doesn’t fall off of the front of the ramp.
  • Tape the next ramp near the middle of the box so that the right side is higher than the left side and the corner you cut out of the ramp is placed on the left side and at the back of the box.
  • Repeat with the last ramp. Tape this ramp near the bottom of the box with the left side higher than the right and the notch in the lowest corner on the right side.

Step 3 - Test your ramps with a marble:

  • Gently place a marble at the highest point on the top ramp and let it go. Adjust the placement and tilt of your ramps until the marble makes it all the way to the bottom of the box.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)

Color and learn about faraway worlds with these coloring pages from NASA: https://go.nasa.gov/2V1HlYi opens in a new window


Jelly Beans

Build a Jelly Bean Home for Your Peeps

Materials:

  • Jelly beans
  • Marshmallow Peeps
  • Toothpicks

Steps:

  • Push the ends of the toothpicks into the jelly beans to attach them together. Create a line of two toothpicks and three jelly beans. Make a second line of jelly beans and toothpicks.
  • Attach the two parts together with one toothpick on each end.
  • Start building up with toothpicks and jelly beans by pushing the toothpicks into lower jelly beans and adding new jelly beans to the top. Does your marshmallow bunny fit inside the structure?

Credit: Green Kid Crafts opens in a new window


Rainbow in a Jar

Dye and Milk Activity

Materials:

  • Bowl
  • Milk
  • Food dye
  • Cotton swab
  • Dishwashing liquid

Steps:

  • Pour milk into a bowl.
  • Add drops of food dye or colored ink.
  • Dip a cotton swab in dishwashing liquid and place it in the middle of the milk. What happened?
  • Remove the cotton swab when the milk and food dye start to mix together.

Fun fact: The dye does not mix well with milk, but when the dishwashing liquid is added, the dishwashing liquid is attracted to both the milk and the dye and allows them to mix together more quickly.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


A glass of water

Transfer of Water Activity

Materials:

  • Paper towel
  • Two empty glasses
  • Water
  • Food dye

Steps:

  • Roll up a paper towel and put one end in an empty glass.
  • Fill another glass halfway with water and tint it with a couple of drops of food dye.
  • Place the other end of the paper towel in the glass of water and leave it for a few hours. What happens to the water?

FUN FACT: The paper towel absorbs the water until it is soaked through and the water starts to leak out into the empty glass. If you wait long enough, both glasses will end up with roughly the same amount of water.

The water moves from one glass to the next because of capillary action, through which the adhesive forces between the water and the paper towel are stronger than the cohesive forces inside the water. As a result, the water travels up and across the paper towel out of one glass and into another.

Activity credit: Cool Science Experiments Headquarters

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Rainbow in a Jar

Rainbow in a Jar

Materials:

  • 1 jar
  • 1/2 cup blue dish liquid
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • Food coloring
  • 5 spoons
  • 5 bowls for mixing

Steps:

  • Create your purple layer by mixing 1/2 cup of the light corn syrup with 1 drop of blue and 1 drop of red food coloring.
  • Pour it into the bottom of your jar.
  • Pour the blue dishwashing liquid into of the jar, aiming it toward the side of the jar.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of water with 2 drops of green food coloring.
  • Pour in your green water into the jar, aiming it toward the side of the jar.
  • Pour 1/2 cup olive oil into the jar, again aiming it toward the side of the jar.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol with 2 drops of red food coloring.
  • Pour the red rubbing alcohol down the inside of the jar.
  • Without disturbing the liquids, set your jar down on a flat surface and marvel at your liquid rainbow.

The layers of color stay separated from each other because of how dense, or heavy, each liquid is. The corn syrup is heaviest, and sits nicely on the bottom. The dish liquid is not quite as heavy as the corn syrup, but it’s heavier than the olive oil, and so on.

Activity courtesy of Education.com


Melted Crayon Activity

Melted Crayon Activity

Turn ordinary crayons into a beautiful masterpiece right before your eyes!

Materials:

  • A blank canvas (any size)
  • Crayons
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hair dryer
  • Towel – that can be thrown away

Steps:

  • Decide what color spectrum you want to use with the crayons
  • Remove the wrappers off the crayons
  • Hot glue each crayon in the order you want them on the top of your canvas
  • Slant the canvas so that the wax will drip, setting the towel underneath
  • Use a low blow dryer setting and focus the heat on the crayons
  • Watch in amazement as the crayons start melting down the canvas
  • Let the canvas dry, then display your artwork!

Note: This will get messy, so putting a towel or any protectant underneath the canvas will avoid stains. This is the perfect activity for kids of all ages to enjoy with an adult!


Make Crystal Geode Eggs

Make Crystal Geode Eggs

Materials:

  • Eggshells (empty and cut in half)
  • Glue (liquid)
  • Paintbrush
  • Alum powder (potassium aluminum sulfate)
  • Water (hot)
  • Two food-color dyes

Steps:

  • Empty and cut your eggshells in half.
  • Using your paintbrush, coat the inside with a thin layer of glue and sprinkle with alum powder (coating completely).
  • Let your eggshells dry overnight!
  • The next day, using two bowls, fill each with 2 cups of hot water and dissolve one color dye in each. Add 6 tablespoons of the alum powder to each bowl, stirring until the crystals are dissolved.
  • Let the solution cool and then pour over your eggshells. Sit overnight.
  • The next day, remove eggshells from solution and pat dry.

Apple Volcano Activity

This simple, science activity will turn ordinary household items into a volcanic eruption.

Materials:

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • One medium to large apple
  • A bowl or dish

Steps:

  • Core out the top of the apple
  • Place apple in a bowl or dish – Don’t worry, a large dinner plate is enough to protect your surface from the eruption!
  • Fill the apple core with a teaspoon of baking soda
  • Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the apple
  • Watch in amazement as the ingredients mix together causing a volcanic eruption!

Fun fact: This is a nontoxic experiment. The end results of the reaction are carbon dioxide, water, and sodium acetate. Sodium acetate is a salt and is sometimes used to flavor salt and vinegar potato chips!


Snow Sensory Activity

Snow Sensory Activity

Materials:

  • Bowl
  • 3 cups of baking soda
  • ½ cup of hair conditioner

Steps:

  • Add three cups of baking soda to the bowl.
  • Pour in ½ cup of hair conditioner to mixture.
  • Mix together the ingredients in the bowl.
  • Gently loosen any clumps until your fake snow looks like real snow.
  • THIS CRAFT IS NOT EDIBLE – DO NOT EAT!

Note: This activity will get messy! Put a towel or a thick layer of newspaper underneath the bowl to protect your table. This is the perfect sensory activity for kids of all ages to enjoy with an adult!

Fun fact: Want to melt your fake snow? Pour in ½ cup of vinegar into the mixture and watch as a chemical reaction occurs. The baking soda is the base and the vinegar is the acid.


Light Science Activity

Light Science Activity

Educate your young Einstein on how to complete a light circuit!

Materials:

  • String of Christmas lights
  • Scissors
  • 9-volt battery

Steps:

  • Take the string of Christmas lights and cut the green wire so only two lights are connected.
  • Cut about 1 cm off the plastic wire casting so the wires are exposed on both ends (Parents: Do this part of the activity and discuss wire safety).
  • Hold one end of the wire to the positive end of the battery and the other to the negative end.

Fun fact: Your early learner created a circuit! Two wires connect to the light. For electrons to produce light, there must be a complete circuit so they can flow through the light bulb and back out.

Note: There is no electrical shock with this activity; however, parental supervision is advised.


 Ice Cream in a Bag Activity

 Ice Cream in a Bag Activity

Learn how to make ice cream in a bag with these simple steps!

Materials:

  • Half-and-half creamer or milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Rock salt
  • Ice cubes
  • One sandwich-sized Ziploc bag
  • One gallon-sized Ziploc bag
  • Granulated sugar
  • Oven mitts

Steps:

  • In the sandwich-sized Ziploc bag, add one tablespoon of granulated sugar, ½ cup of half-and-half creamer or milk, and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Seal the bag shut.
  • Add four cups of ice cubes and ½ cup of rock salt to the gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
  • Place the sandwich-sized Ziploc bag into the gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Make sure both bags are sealed shut.
  • Put on oven mitts and shake the bag for five minutes.
  • Watch in amazement as the liquid in the smaller bag turns into a solid forming ice cream!

Fun fact: Adding salt to the experiment allows the ice and salt mixture to get colder than pure water ice. This extra-cold mixture freezes the ingredients and turns it into ice cream! While pure water freezes at zero degrees Celsius, water mixed with salt freezes below zero degrees Celsius.

Note: Parental supervision is advised. Oven mitts are suggested to use as the bag gets cold to handle while shaking.


Make a Rain Gauge

April showers are coming: With your very own rain gauge, you can measure how much rain falls around your home.

Materials:

  • Clear plastic soda bottle (2 liters)
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker with a sharp point
  • Small stones or aquarium gravel
  • Water
  • Ruler

Steps:

  • Save an empty 2-liter soda bottle. You can soak the bottle in warm water or use dish soap to get the label off.
  • Cut off the top of the bottle (at the widest part) using scissors, keeping the edges as even as possible. Ask an adult to help if you need it.
  • Fill the curved part of the bottom of the bottle with small stones or aquarium gravel. This will add weight to your rain gauge to keep it from falling over.
  • Pour enough water into the bottle to cover the stones. Then use the marker to draw a line at the top surface of the water, and mark “0” next to it. This is your baseline.
  • Mark lines going up the outside of the bottle by ¼ inch segments. You can mark each inch margin with a wider line and write number for easier readability.
  • Rain gauges are more fun if they are decorated! Make yours unique by adding color, drawing pictures with permanent markers, and more!
  • Find a place in your yard to put your new rain gauge. Don’t put it under a tree or roof overhand. When the weather forecast predicts rain, check to be sure your gauge has water filled up to the baseline – this will make your measurements accurate.
  • Monitor your rain gauge weekly (or daily if a big storm hits). Record your measurements. Now you can find how much rain your area gets hits firsthand!

Pumpkin Fluff Sensory Activity

Pumpkin Fluff Sensory Activity

Engage your child’s senses with this simple and fun pumpkin fluff activity!

Materials:

  • 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 can of extra whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A bowl or dish
  • Towel – that can be thrown away

Steps:

  • Pour one can of pumpkin puree into a bowl
  • Add in the can of extra whipping cream to pumpkin puree mixtur
  • Stir the ingredients together and add in the teaspoon of cinnamon
  • The end result is a “fluff” mixture
  • Have your little scientists dive into the mixture to ignite their senses to explore, play, and create their own masterpieces!

Note: This is a nontoxic activity, but will get messy! Putting a towel or any protectant underneath the bowl will avoid stains. This is the perfect sensory activity for kids of all ages to enjoy with an adult!

Fun fact: This activity activates the senses and facilitates children to use scientific processes while they explore, play, create, and investigate the mixture


Space-tastic Word Search

Can you find all the words in the puzzle below?

Space-tastic word search.jpg


Dye, Oil and Water Activities

Dye, Oil and Water Activities

Materials:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Food dye
  • Bowls
  • Spoon

Steps:
Experiment 1: Make dye drops

  • Pour vegetable oil into a tall glass.
  • Add a few drops of food dye and watch what happens.

Fun fact: Each dye drop forms a tight bead shape because dye does not mix with oil, so the drop can’t spread out.

Experiment 2: Staying in Shape

  • Push the drops of dye gently down into the oil with a spoon and see what happens.

Fun fact: The dye drops sink in the oil because food dye is denser than oil. The drops keep their shape because the liquids don’t mix.

Experiment 3: Exploding dye drops

  • Fill a tall glass with water.
  • Add vegetable oil and let it settle.
  • Add a few drops of food dye and watch what happens.
  • Nudge the drops with he spoon to make them sink more quickly.

Fun fact: The drops of food dye remain in a ball as they sink through the oil. When they touch the water, they start mixing with it and form swirling ribbons of color. The dye continues to mix with the water until the mixture is an even color.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Paper and Water Activities

Paper and Water Activities

Materials:

  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Paper towel

Steps:
Experiment 1: Make a paper flower

  • Fold a square of paper in half.
  • Turn it a quarter turn and then fold it in half again.
  • Draw a flower petal (pointy oval) shape on the square and cut it out. Make sure you don’t cut the corner where all the folds come together (the part that was the center of your original square).
    • Unfold your paper.
  • Fold the tip of each petal so that it touches the center point of your square.
  • Pour some water into a bowl and place your flower on the surface of the water.
  • Watch the petals open slowly as the paper absorbs the water.

Experiment 2: Change the shape of the flower

  • Repeat this experiment with different flower shapes and different numbers of petals. How does this change the results?

Experiment 3: Try a paper towel flower

  • Repeat the experiment using a paper towel instead of paper. How does this change the results?

Experiment 4: Try a card stock flower

  • Repeat the experiment using card stock or thin cardboard. How does this change the results?

Fun fact: The paper is made of tiny fibers pressed together. As the fibers absorb the water, they expand and push the flower petals open. The paper towel is made of very thin layers of paper. It absorbs the water so fast that the flower sinks before it has a chance to open. The cardstock is thicker than paper because it contains more fibers. It takes longer than paper to absorb the water, so the flower takes longer to open.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Density Activities

Density Activities

Materials:

  • Food dye
  • Water
  • Glass
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dishwashing liquid

Steps:
Experiment 1: Dishwashing liquid

  • Add some food dye to a half glass of water.
  • Pour vegetable oil into the glass and let it settle.
  • Put a few drops of dishwashing liquid into the glass and watch what happens.

Fun fact: Drops of dishwashing liquid sink to the bottom of the glass, pushing drops of oil down beneath them. Oil is less dense than dishwashing liquid and water, so the oil drops escape and rise back to float on the surface again.

Experiment 2: Mix it up

  • Stir everything in the glass up with a spoon. Notice what happens this time.
  • Repeat with different colors.

Fun fact: Dishwashing liquid is attracted to both water and oil which allows them to mix together. The mixture eventually becomes evenly colored as the dye spreads all the way through it.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Make your own periscope

Submarines use periscopes to peer above water while they are submerged. Here’s how to make your own scope. Share a photo of your creation in the comments!

Materials:

  • 2 half-gallon milk or juice cartons
  • 2 small mirrors
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • A grown-up’s help to cut the cartons

Steps:

  • Rinse out your cartons and open the tops all the way.
  • Tape the two cartons together at their openings to make one long box.
  • Now cut two windows in the box: one in the front at the bottom, and one at the top in the back.
  • Hold the two mirrors so that you can see in and out the other. Once you get a clear view, notice the angles at which you’re holding the mirrors.
  • Now you need to put the mirrors in the box at these angles. To do this, cut out two diagonal slots in your box – one at the bottom and one at the top – that match the angles of the mirrors.
  • When you slide the mirrors in, make sure they face the two windows you cut out earlier.
  • Now look through the bottom window of your periscope and go on an adventure!

Make your own train whistle

Materials:

  • Cardboard tube
  • Wax paper square
  • Rubber band

Steps:

  • Punch a small hole in one side of the cardboard tube, near one end.
  • Put the end closest to the hole down on the table.
  • Place the wax paper square over the top of the cardboard tube. Use the rubber band to secure the wax paper.
  • Hold the uncovered end over your mouth and say, “Toot, toot!” It works like a kazoo.
  • Post a picture or video of you using your whistle in the comments!

Antarctic Word Search

Take an Antarctic adventure with our word search!

Antarctic word search.jpg


Make Your Own Oobleck

Make Your Own Oobleck

Materials:

  • Cornstarch
  • Pitcher of water
  • Food coloring
  • Bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Spoon

Steps:

  • Place 1 cups of cornstarch in a bowl.
  • Add food coloring to 1 cup of water and stir well.
  • Add the water to the bowl of cornstarch and stir well.
  • Add more water or corn starch until you get a mixture which “tears” when you quickly scrape your finger through it and then “melts” back together again.

Be a meteorologist at home with our Weather Cone coloring sheet! WTAE controls the color displayed on the Science Center’s rooftop Weather Cone, matching the color to the anticipated weather. Color the cone of the day with one of the colors on this sheet based on the daily forecast.

Weather Cone Coloring Sheet


Scratch-and-Sniff Painting

Scratch-and-Sniff Painting

Materials:

  • Jell-O
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Paintbrushes

Steps:

  • Choose a few flavors of Jell-O based on your child’s color and smell preferences.
  • Use a different plastic cup for each color.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of white glue, 1 tablespoon of water, and 1 teaspoon of Jell-O powder in each cup. (The glue helps the gelatin granules stick.)
  • Give the child a few paintbrushes and cardboard or heavy paper to paint on.
  • Once the painting is complete, lay it flat to dry.
  • When it’s dry, kids can rub their fingertip over the page to reactivate the smell.

Make a Meteor!

Make a Meteor!

Materials:

  • 2” Styrofoam ball
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • About 3 ft of curling ribbon, any color
  • Aluminum foil
  • Straight pin with pearl-like top

Steps:

  • Cut the curling ribbon into equal lengths, tying them together at one end and cutting off the excess (short end).
  • Poke a hall in the Styrofoam ball with a pencil.
  • Put a bit of glue in the hole.
  • Poke the tied end of the ribbon into the hole and secure with the pin. Ask an adult for help if you need it.
  • Cut a piece of aluminum foil, about 7” x 7”, and cover the ball so that the comet’s tail (ribbon) comes out through the foil.
  • Decorate however else you want!

Make a Tornado in a Bottle

Make a Tornado in a Bottle

Materials:

  • Two soda bottles
  • Water
  • Glitter or dishwashing soap
  • Duct tape

Steps:

  • Take two empty plastic soda bottles and remove their caps.
  • Fill one bottle 2/3 full with water.
  • Add one small drop of glitter and/or put a single drop of dishwashing soap in the water.
  • Use duct tape to fasten the spouts of the bottles together so that the water flows freely between them.
  • Turn the bottles over to allow the water to pour into the empty bottle. Then, swirl the bottles in a circular motion. This will create a funnel! You may try spinning slower or faster. See if that makes a difference.

Make Reptile and Amphibian Tracks

Make Reptile and Amphibian Tracks

Materials:

  • Printouts of reptile & amphibian tracks
  • Sheet of sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock
  • Glue sticks
  • White pape Crayons

Steps:

  • Trace the outline of several different reptile prints onto the back of the pieces of sandpaper and cut these out.
  • Glue the sandpaper cutouts onto cardstock and cut a large square around the tracks.This will ensure that the tracks last through several uses.
  • Place the sandpaper tracks under a white sheet of paper and rub over the tracks with a crayon to make a rubbing. Turn this into a work of art, or make several to see how the prints differ.

Extensions:

  • Explore pictures of real tracks online.
  • Create a matching game by matching the tracks to the animal that made them.
  • On a different day, place rubbings of the tracks around the room. Pretend to be a herpetologist and follow the tracks to find the hidden toy animal that made them!

Activity courtesy of Experiment Exchange opens in a new window
https://bit.ly/2JAtPVf opens in a new window


Make a Wooden Star Activity

Make a Wooden Star Activity

Materials:

  • Toothpicks
  • Plate
  • Water

Steps:

  • Bend five wooden toothpicks into V shapes. Don’t break them in two, just bend them. 
  • Arrange them in a circle with all the bent parts touching each other in the middle.
  • Add a few drops of water to the middle where all the bent parts of the toothpicks meet.
  • Watch water happens as the toothpicks absorb the water.

Fun fact: Toothpicks are made of wood fibers. As each toothpick absorbs water, it expands and pushes its arms apart until they rest against their neighbor. This makes a neat star shape.

(Copyright: 365 Science Activities from Usborne Activities by Minna Lacey, Lisa Gillespie and Lucy Bowman)


Swimming Spaghetti

Swimming Spaghetti

Materials:

  • A few strips of uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 5 teaspoons of vinegar
  • Clear glass or jar

Steps:

  • Pour water and baking soda into the glass.
  • Stir the baking soda until it is dissolved.
  • Break a few strips of spaghetti into 1-inch pieces.
  • Place about 6 pieces in the glass.
  • Add vinegar to the mixture.
  • Observe what happens to the pieces of spaghetti!
  • You can add more vinegar as the action starts to break down.

Fun fact: When baking soda and vinegar are mixed together, a chemical reaction occurs. It produces a gas (known as Carbon Dioxide), which forms lots of bubbles on top of the mixture and smaller bubbles at the bottom of the glass.


Make-Your-Own Telescope Activity

Make-Your-Own Telescope Activity

Get a better view of the trees, birds, or nighttime sky in your own backyard!*

Materials:

  • Two empty paper towel tubes
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • 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!)

Steps:

  • 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

Craft Stick Mummies

Make a Mummy with just a few simple materials!

Materials:

  • Craft stick
  • Linen, cut into thin strips
  • 2 small wiggle eyes
  • Felt glue or glue dots
  • Black poster paint

Steps:

  • 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

Rain Cloud in a Jar

Make a rain cloud in a jar to learn how clouds and rain form!

Materials:

  • Food coloring
  • Water
  • Clear jar
  • Shaving cream
  • Plastic pipettes

Steps:

  • 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

Six Bricks: Build a Duck Activity

How many ways can you build a duck using LEGO® bricks?

Materials:

  • 4 yellow LEGO bricks
  • 2 red LEGO bricks
  • Black sharpie marker

Steps:

  • 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

Rainbow Paper Activity

Make your own rainbow at home with this simple science activity, all while learning about color science!

Materials:

  • A bowl filled with water
  • Clear nail polish
  • Black construction paper or black card stock
  • Paper towels

Steps:

  • 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

Water Cycle in a Bag Activity

Use these simple materials to educate your early learner about the water cycle process!

Materials:

  • One sandwich-sized Ziploc bag
  • Permanent marker
  • Water
  • Blue food coloring
  • Clear tape

Steps:

  • 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

Magic Milk Fireworks

This simple, science activity will turn ordinary household items into an explosion of fireworks!

Materials:

  • A bowl or baking dish
  • Milk
  • Food coloring (red and blue)
  • Liquid dish soap

Steps:

  • 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!


A catapult

Design a Catapult

A way for the smallest engineers to design and build a small-scale catapult to launch buttons!

Materials:

  • 1 plastic bottle cap
  • 4 rubber bands
  • 5 craft sticks
  • One button
  • Hot glue gun

Steps:

  • 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.


Flowers

Chromatography Flowers

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
  • Scissors
  • Small pipe cleaners

Steps:

  • 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.


Silhouette of the Beatles from Help! created with lasers

Naked Egg Science Activity

Learn how to dissolve the eggshell of an egg with these simple steps!

Materials:

  • One egg
  • White vinegar
  • A glass jar with lid

Steps:

  • 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.


Egg

Sound Waves Activity

Explore sound waves and how vibrations make sound!

Materials:

  • Bowl – any size
  • Cling wrap large enough to tightly cover top
  • Small grains, i.e. uncooked rice, sea salt, or sugar

Steps:

  • 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.


Additional resources:

Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.

Presented by:

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

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