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School is coming to an end and soon your house will be full…all of the time! Funnel all that joyful energy and keep your kids entertained with my favorite easy summer science projects for kids.
A few of these are good for one day or afternoon of fun, but I tried to think of projects that can last all summer long. Enjoy!
Summer Science Projects
Wading Pool Ecosystem
My favorite science project of all time is creating your own backyard ecosystem. All that’s needed is a kiddy pool and a trip to a local pond.
A basic set up looks something like this:
Fill the pool with 5-6 inches of water.
Make an island in your pool using big rocks, plants and sand.
Find floating plants to help oxidize your pool
Add tadpoles, frogs, minnows, turtles and anything else you find.
*Note – if possums, racoons, and cats are common in your area build a lid for your pool to keep intruders out at night.
This doesn’t seem like your classic science project, but you can learn a lot with a summer of gardening. Kids will learn about the life cycles of plants, what grows in each season, and enjoy the rewards of their first harvest. This is another project that can last all year long!
Composting goes hand-in-hand with gardening and can really be three projects in one. Project one: build your compost bin. Project two: maintaining your compost piles. Project three: transfering your compost humus (that’s what the pros call it) to your garden.
Paper Airplane Contest
Invite over your kids’ friends, make your own rules, and let the games begin. Research different folding styles and mess with launch points to see who makes the most aerodynamic vessel.
This is a fun one for the math-minded child in your family. Measure any distance using your footsteps as a ruler.
Take ten step where your heel and toe are touching (baby steps).
Measure that distance, then divide it by 10 to find an average step measurement.
Use that one step measurement at your stride ruler.
Now you can measure any distance in steps and multiply it by your one step measurement.
Dry Ice Volcano
Ditch the classic baking soda and vinegar for a smoky alternative. Fill your volcano with hot water, add a few chunks of dry ice, and enjoy the show.
An important difference in this style of volcano is everything must be sealed. Once dry ice starts bubbling, it will escape anywhere it can find. Use some sort of sealant on any problems areas, especially the bottom!
See more dry ice projects and tips.
You will need two candles, some lightweight wood, a metal tube and a cork. MacGyver these components into a steam-powered vessel. This could be your kids first step in a long, successful engineering career!
Here’s the full instructions from Energy Quest.
Homemade Lava Lamp
Add water, vegetable oil, food coloring, and an Alka-Seltzer tablet and see what happens. To keep the lava flowing, add another tablet. Shining a light through the bottle will make it glow and look like a real lava lamp. Further instructions from ScienceBob.
Build A Rocket
I’m not sure how to do this out of household materials, but Amazon has some great kits. This one will take some research and dedication but sounds like a lot of fun.
Egg In A Bottle
This is a very quick one. Create a vacuum in a glass bottle to pull in hard boiled egg that would normally not fit. There are two ways to do this:
Fill the bottle with hot water, place the peeled egg on top and watch it fall in after a few seconds.
OR light 3-4 inches of newspaper on fire and drop it into the bottle. Place the egg on top (which will put out the fire).
As the air inside the bottle cools, it compresses pulling egg inside. A fun way to teach about air pressure during breakfast!