With summer rapidly approaching the thought of keeping the kids entertained for the next few months can be a challenge and ultimately a little scary. However, you can visit the Discovery Center (wink wink), go to the zoo, go camping, float the river, or you can try any of these DIY science projects that your kids will love!
Rainbow Colorful Foam
With the temperatures slowly warming up, it is only natural for your children to be spending more time outside. Water balloons are a safe bet but the cleanup can sometimes be a lot of work. Now, what about something with the same effect, less mess, and the same amount of fun?
- Kitchen mixer
- Food coloring
- Dish soap
- Warm water
Okay this is where simple comes in! Add 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid, 2 drops of food coloring and 2/3 cup of warm water into the kitchen mixer. Then, fire up the mixer to the highest speed for about 2 minutes and boom! A fluffy, and beautiful colored foam!
Repeat this for however many colors you want and then let your children go crazy! Make sure you try to finish as quick as you can. The longer the foam is sitting there, the quicker it will start to thin out. Not a lot of fuss, zero mess, and the same amount of fun.
Polka Dot Slime (yes, we said polka dot)
Instead of Galaxy Slime, let’s go up a level and make some Polka Dot slime this summer!
This project is a little messier that the rainbow foam but turns out to look amazing. Your children will be outside playing with this for hours and it only requires 3 ingredients that you can probably find around the house.
- 2 five ounce bottles of clear liquid glue
- liquid starch
- pom poms
To start, pour the two full five ounce bottles of glue into a cup or bowl. Then slowly add about one tablespoon of starch at a time while mixing. Keep adding the starch until the slime is no longer stringy or sticking to the sides. Once the slime becomes firmer just add as many pom poms as you feel like! Tip: the medium sized ones work best.
To keep your slime gooey, keep it sealed in a container or bag.
This way your slime will last for weeks, not just days!
Ocean In A Bottle
Who else besides us loves taking sand home from the beach or a lake? Yeah, we thought so. What about the actual ocean though? If you can’t bring your family to the ocean, let us show you how to bring the ocean to you. This activity is extremely simple, absolutely no mess, and even though it has been around for ages, is still a fan favorite activity.
- cooking oil (canola or vegetable oil)
- blue food coloring
- large bottle (could use a 2-liter soda bottle or an empty mouthwash bottle with a child proof lid)
To start off, fill your bottle 1/3 of the way with water. Then add a few drops of food coloring and have your child shake to make sure the food coloring is dispersed all the way. Fill the bottle the rest of the way up with oil and then simply pop the lid back on. Now, take a step back and look at your very own ocean in a bottle!
All you have to do is tilt your bottle upside down and watch the magic happen. The blue food coloring mixing with the yellow oil really does make it seem that you have your very own ocean inside your living room.
Directing IR Light Using A Thermometer
The sun gives off multiple ranges of wavelengths like ultraviolet, visible, and infrared. Now with the naked eye it is very difficult to see all of them. What if we were able to make something that could show you all of them?
- black tape
Start off by covering the metal part of your thermometer with a piece of black tape so it can absorb light quicker. After that, put your prism in direct sunlight and use it to create a rainbow pattern on a white, flat, surface. Tip: The farther the prism from the flat surface the larger the rainbow effect will be but that will also lower the intensity. Now, place the metal tip that has the black tape over it in the blue region for a couple minutes and record the temperature. Then resume with the green and red regions. Which region was the warmest?
See Your Very Own DNA:
DNA is always a fascinating subject for children. From them looking at to how they are made, what blood type they are, and what genetics they got from each of their parents. DNA is extremely difficult to see, even under the strongest of microscopes.
Supplies (this one has a little more):
- small paper cups (the smallest you can find)
- 1 bottle of colorless sports drink
- liquid dish soap (colorless)
- a few drops of pineapple juice
- wood skewer
- rubbing alcohol (try to get as close as 100%)
- narrow container with a lid
Before you start, place the alcohol in your freezer for at least 24 hours! It needs to be ice cold.
After the rubbing alcohol is ready, put some liquid mouthwash in your mouth and swish it around for a good two minutes. (Tip: try to scrape the inside of your cheek a little with your teeth). After the time is up spit out the cheek cells and mouthwash into a small paper cup. Then transfer that to a narrow test tube or cup until it is 1/3 of the way full. Add liquid dish soap until the container is about half way full then gently mix. Try to not have any bubbles or the experiment could be ruined! Add a couple drops of pineapple juice and repeat the gentle mixing.
Take your alcohol out of the freezer and unscrew the cap from your cheek cell cup. Then slowly tilt the cup a little and pour a small amount of your rubbing alcohol into the container until there is a little layer at the very top. Set your cell container aside upright for about 1 minute.
Lastly, after that minute where the alcohol made a fine layer you should see a band of gooey material suspended between. Take your wooden skewer, slowly stir it around in the gooey stuff and then behold, your own DNA!
If you enjoyed learning about these science experiments for your children over the summer, take a look at our summer camps! We have a variety that range from robotics, the chemical concoctions, to animals! For more information click here.