Our talented educator performer team (the folks facilitating shows and experiments in our exhibitions and hosting our virtual programs) created a list of their favorite at-home science activities.
CELEBRATE THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
As you play with your children, ask them questions like, “what do you think will happen when…?” and “why do you think that happened?” to demonstrate making predictions, encourage them to express their observations, and let them share the reasons why they think something happened.
SEE SCIENTISTS IN ACTION
• Outline shadows at different times of day.
• Make the biggest shadow you can together.
• Micro hike – use string to create a path through your yard. Use a magnifying glass to crawl along the ground, following the string, and see what tiny things you see along the route! Note what you see in your field journal.
• Bird watching – start a list of what you see – use Cornell Lab of Ornithology to identify what you see.
• Make a sun dial.
• Plant seeds – keep the pit from your avocado or lemon, plant it and see what happens.
• Make a solar oven out of a pizza box, saran wrap, and aluminum foil.
• Light and prisms – experiment with how many different prisms you can make.
• Get messy outdoors – play in puddles, make mud pies, collect rocks and talk about your experience.
FUN IN THE KITCHEN
• Place an egg in a clear glass filled with vinegar. Make observations over a week. The vinegar dissolves the shell, leaving the interior membrane of the egg intact.
• Add baking soda to vinegar to imitate a volcanic eruption.
• Microwave a bar of Ivory soap in the microwave – predict what will happen and note what you see.
• Microwave a chocolate bar – predict what will happen and note what you see.
• Explore non-Newtonian fluid recipes: make your own Oobleck, silly putty and slime.
• Have celery?—Put it in a glass of water and add a few drop of food coloring. Observe how the colored water has traveled up the capillaries of the celery to its leaves and dyed them!
• Bake a cake and then play with food coloring in icing to see what colors you can create through color mixing.
• Experiment with layering for density – oil, water, dish soap, milk.
• Drop a raisin in 7Up and watch it dance.
• Dissect your fruit!
FUN WITH ART
• Use your recyclables to create masterpieces of art: rockets, buildings, animals – the options are limitless!
• Dry erase and water fun – Use a dry erase marker to draw a picture on a plate. Pour water over the plate – the dry erase marker ink with lift away from the plate and float in the water, retaining the image you drew.
• Make your own mini diorama.