Guest Author: Danielle Navarro, Reading Interventionist at Lighthouse Public Schools
Summer is HERE! Get ready for endless days of hearing kids say, “I’m bored.” How can you cure boredom as well as incorporate learning into the long days? It can seem unachievable because summer is supposed to be fun. This post will give you some ideas for exciting science experiments to do with your child that will make them forget they are learning something.
So how do we incorporate learning with experiments? First, introduce the activity and make a hypothesis. That’s a juicy word for summer but it’s as simple as asking and discussing, “What do you think is going to happen?” or “Why do you think that happened?” Then, test your hypothesis by completing the experiment! Here are four of the most fun experiments I found!
Four Home Science Experiments
Ice Cream in A Bag
Ice cream can be fun for ALL ages, even adults!
- measuring spoons and cups
- whole milk
- vanilla extract
- rock salt
- ice cubes
- sandwich bag
- gallon sized plastic bags
- a small towel
- a timer
Directions: In a small sandwich bag, put 1 tbsp of sugar, ½ cup of milk, and ¼ tsp of vanilla extract. Seal the bag well. Add four cups of ice to the large gallon bag and add ½ cup of salt to the bag. Put the small bag of the mixture into the larger bag of ice and salt. Make sure they are both sealed tight or you might make a mess! Then using a towel, shake the bag well for five minutes and see what happens. If you want to experiment further, repeat the steps but don’t add the salt and see what happens to the mixture if there is no salt added to the ice! Super easy and you’ll have a sweet treat!
A volcano sounds like a mess and it can be, so grab a cookie sheet or old newspapers to lay down below it!
For this experiment, you’ll need:
- cutting and butter knife
- measuring cup
- baking soda
- food coloring
Directions: First cut the top and bottom of the lemon so it can stand upright. Use a knife and spoon to break up and scoop up some of the inside of the lemon. Add some food coloring and a little baking soda on top. Mix the baking soda and the inside of the lemon using the knife and watch what happens. You can keep adding more baking soda and mixing until the reaction stops.
Alka Seltzer Lava Lamp
This lamp is not only fun to create but also a groovy piece to display.
For this DIY lava lamp, you’ll need:
- vegetable oil
- food coloring
- alka seltzer tablets
- an empty water bottle or cup
Directions: First, color a ½ cup of water with food coloring. Then, take the alka seltzer tablets and break them into a couple of pieces and put them aside. Fill the cup or bottle with ¾ cup of vegetable oil and then pour the colored water until the liquid is about 1-2 inches from the top. Any higher and you’ll have a big mess! Last, drop the alka seltzer tablets into the oil/water mixture and watch your lava lamp come to life! It looks as cool as it sounds!
On a rainy summer day, this experiment will definitely fill up some time and wonderment for the children.
For these cloud jars, you’ll need:
- shaving cream
- a clear vase or jar
- food coloring
Directions: First, fill a vase or jar ¾ of the way with water and add the shaving cream on the top of the water. Add a few drops of food coloring to a small amount of water in a separate container. Then fill up the dropper with the colored water and drop some colored drops onto the shaving cream. Watch the colored drops flow through the shaving cream clouds to the water below. To make it more interesting, use all the colors of the rainbow to make it ‘rain’ a rainbow!
More Home Science Experiment Resources
Science activities can be messy, but they are worth it if we want to encourage scientific and critical thinking for our children. So, go ahead and turn your kitchen table into Summer Science Madness! Check out the sites below for more home science experiment ideas.
Danielle Navarro is the Reading Interventionist/504/ESL Coordinator at Lighthouse Public Schools. Lighthouse Public Schools believes in heart before head and works to meet the social and emotional needs of all scholars to find their own place in their educational journey. Learn more about Lighthouse Public Schools on their website https://www.lighthousesa.org/.