Summer may bring a temporary end to school, but that’s no reason for kids to stop learning. During the summer months, kids still need entertainment and at-home science experiments keep them thinking while they’re having fun. Parents don’t need to be licensed instructors to have fun playing with and teaching kids. They may find themselves enjoying the experiments as much as their children, especially when it’s time to make some rockets or a homemade tornado. What’s more, kids who see their parents are interested in science experiments will probably be more interested in participating. Fun STEM experiments are often some of the first activities on the chopping block when schools face budgetary or time restrictions. Building a potato clock or whipping up a pile of slime at home can keep kids interested in the sciences. Children dream up career goals when they’re very young, and their interest in STEM when they’re young often leads to an interest in STEM degree programs down the road. Many teachers urge parents to pursue their children’s education throughout the summer break because many students actually regress during the three months outside of the classroom. One of the best ways a parent can prepare their kids for college degree programs is to keep them engaged over the summer. Giving students the opportunity to genuinely enjoy learning is one of the biggest advantages a parent can offer a child on their path to a college degree. Families don’t need a big bank account to support a child’s future college degree. School teachers have to do a lot in a short timeframe, and parents can expand students’ view of learning dramatically by integrating learning and playtime. Although the vast majority of experiments listed below are aimed at elementary and middle school students, even teenagers like to make rockets, watch things pop, and create their own electrical devices. There are more than enough experiments and tools online for parents of students of any age to engage young learners at home through the summer. The key to learning is interest, and nothing makes science as interesting as a really cool experiment.
- Easy Homemade Slime Recipe – Slime is the latest creative craze for kids, and it’s a great demonstration of non-Newtonian properties. This super-simple slime recipe is great for kids of all ages.
- DIY Lava Lamp Experiment – Lava lamps have entranced generations, but they’re surprisingly easy to make at home. Build one with household materials in under an hour.
- Grow Your Own Rock Candy – Sugar is one of the most common crystals in the home, and this experiment does a wonderful job showcasing crystallization while engaging kids with their favorite food – candy.
- Eggshell Chalk – Kids can learn how materials in different foods and natural materials turn into some of their favorite consumer goods, sidewalk chalk in this case. It’s an experiment that provides fun long after the experiment ends.
- The Naked Egg – In this experiment, young scientists dissolve the hard shell of an egg with vinegar to reveal the soft membrane that holds the egg together underneath. It’s a great task for both chemistry and natural science enthusiasts.
- Mentos and Diet Soda Chemical Eruption – There is nothing quite like this classic bit of chaos. The ingredients are extremely simple, and the results are dramatic.
- Build a Soap-Powered Boat – A great demonstration of water tension and reaction between soap and water, this experiment shows practical applications of the force generated by chemical interactions.
- Grow a Carbon Sugar Snake – This bizarre experiment takes off with basic household materials. Kids can see how materials change color, shape, and size as chemical interactions transform them.
- Alka-Seltzer Rocket – Every kid has dreamed of going to space at some point, and this experiment brings them one step closer to the sky with some basic chemical reactions.
- Potato Clock – This experiment shows young students how electricity exists in the world around them.
- Balloon Speakers – Sound amplification works in strange ways, but this project will make it much less mysterious. It requires simple materials from around the house.
- Light-Up Paper Circuit Cards – Although it requires a few specialized tools, including copper tape and 5mm LEDS, this hands-on approach to electrical circuits gives kids a better understanding of how the technology around them functions.
- Da Vinci Pencil Bridge
- Human Sundial
- Leaf Transpiration
- Turn Milk into Plastic
- Levitating Ping-Pong Ball
- Inflate a Balloon with Gas
- Tornado in a Bottle