Summer is here, which means hitting the pool, spending time outdoors, and relaxing with friends and family. That doesn’t mean learning something new is out of the question! Kids, and adults, are always looking for something new, interesting, and educational to keep busy and occupied. Why not experiment with some simple and engaging fun summer science projects? With the help of basic materials, creativity, and lots of enthusiastic hands, these fun science projects are a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.
Science activities should be an exciting way to bring learning and fun together, and these activities do both. Not only are basic scientific method concepts brushed upon, these projects can be easily added to and adjusted for different age levels. It is all about how far you want to take the experience, and how much fun you want to have with science!
Invisible Message on a Paper
The art of secrecy has been around since the dawn of time, and creating invisible ink was just another step in creating ways to get secret messages from one place to another. The idea of sending top-secret information during the American Revolution gained much popularity, causing the mystery of invisible ink to hit the mainstream!
To create your own invisible ink, all that is needed is a liquid acid and some sort of writing utensil. The best and safest option for an acid is lemon juice, and using a cotton swab works wonderfully as a writing utensil.
Your chid can start by squeezing the juice of a lemon into a small container and adding a couple of drops of water. Now he can dip the cotton swab in the mixture and use it to write on a sheet of paper. The message will be visible until it dries and then stay invisible until it is held over a heat source, such as a light bulb.
Invite your child to give the super-secret note to a friend and see if he can figure out how to decipher it. Take the experiment to the next level by trying different colors of paper. What happens if the paper is used with a different heat source, like leaving the paper in the sun?
The wonders of liquids can be explored with this simple and fun science project, creating the opportunity to discuss different weights of fluids and how they interact. The end result is enjoyable and can be observed for days and days!
Your child can start by filling a washed and dried liter plastic bottle with ¾ cup water. Using a funnel, invite him to add vegetable oil to the water until the bottle is almost full, leaving about an inch of room at the top.
Now your child can slowly drip several drops of food coloring into the mixture and watch as the water, oil, and food coloring mix and separate.
For the final effect, drop half a seltzer tablet into the mixture and see what happens! Alka Seltzer works really well.
Because oil is lighter than water, the water sinks to the bottom, and due to intermolecular polarity, the two do not mix. The fizzing tablet makes everything even more interesting due to its ability to create gas. The activity can be taken to the next level by using different sized containers or oils. Create a chart with the discoveries.
When one thinks of milk, what comes to mind is a white liquid that is somewhat sweet and commonly poured over morning cereal. But, milk contains ingredients that interact with other elements causing interesting results.
Have an adult help heat 1-cup milk over medium heat until it is warm, but not boiling. Place the warm milk into a mixing bowl.
Now invite your child to measure 4-teaspoons of white vinegar and add it to the milk and then stir for about a minute. Position a strainer in the sink and pour the milk through the strainer.
Investigate what has been left in the strainer. Once rinsed and cooled, your child can squish and squeeze the white blogs together into a form and left to dry for a couple of days.
This activity can be taken to a whole new level by investigating how this fun science activity leads into the cheese making process, and by making a batch of your own cheese in the comfort of your own kitchen!
Summer Flower Fun
Head outdoors for a nature walk with your child searching for white flowers. Daisies work wonderfully for this interesting science project. While on the nature walk, discuss how flowers grow with the help of sun, water, and soil.
Invite your child to find several clear glass containers to fill with water and different colors of food coloring. Now he can put the daisies in the glasses and observe what happens.
Help your child create a chart on a paper to document the science experiment and the changes in the flowers every couple of hours.
After 24 hours, discuss what has happened to each flower helping him mark the changes on his chart. He can also take photographs of the flowers to visually show the results!
Cut flowers pull liquid through their stems and up through the flower’s petals. The water with food coloring changes the colors of the petals, showing how water moves through the flower.
Whether rain or shine, fun summer science projects are a great way to spend an afternoon learning and experimenting. Along with discovering new concepts, these projects offer end results that can be enjoyed over and over!