Science Activities

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Bedroom Planetarium! slide

Bedroom Planetarium!

Create your own planetarium in your bedroom! Cut holes into a toilet paper roll or aluminum can. Place a flashlight in the cylinder, turn off the lights, and look up to the ceiling! Have your child observe how many “stars” there are in their room and look for constellations!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Toilet paper roll or aluminum can, scissors, and a flashlight
  • Subject: Science
Binoculars slide

Binoculars

Create your own binoculars by taping two toilet paper tubes together. Decorate your binoculars with markers and glitter. Add string to use as a strap. Go on a walk! Ask your child to use their binoculars to see things that are far away.

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Toilet paper tubes, string, markers, glitter, and tape
  • Subject: Science
Bird’s Nest of Sticks slide

Bird’s Nest of Sticks

Encourage your child to create their own bird’s nest out of sticks! Have them observe a real bird’s nest in your back yard or from a picture on your phone or computer. Gather small sticks around your back yard and neighborhood. Bend, break, and twist them into a small bowl. Ask your child what a bird might keep in their nest! Food? Leaves? Put your nest outside!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Sticks, leaves, seeds, and tape/glue
  • Subject: Science
Bobsled Racers!

Bobsled Racers!

  1. Draw characters on a piece of paper and cut them out! Be creative! Are they a bobsled racer? A surfer?
  2. Tape your character to the top of a toy car
  3. Set up a ramp from cardboard tubes (could be from a doorknob or table to the floor!)
  4. Race your cars!
  • Estimated Time: 15–20 minutes
  • Materials: Paper, markers, scissors, cardboard tubes, and toy cars
  • Subjects: Science and Art
Build a Boat slide

Build a Boat

Encourage your child to build a small boat that floats in your sink! Use aluminum foil, cardboard, tape, rubber bands, paper, and plastic bags to create a boat that won’t sink. Encourage your child to make a hypothesis and test it out.

If their boat sinks, have them try redesigning their boat with new materials until it floats! See how many coins or small objects you can fit in the boat before it sinks!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Aluminum foil, cardboard, tape, rubber bands, paper, plastic bags, water, bowl, and optional coins
  • Subject: Science
Build a Fort slide

Build a Fort!

  1. Place 2 chairs about 4 feet apart, with the seats facing away from each other
  2. Place a bed sheet over the two chairs
  3. Secure sheet by placing a heavy book on the seat of the chairs
  4. Add pillows, blankets, and lights for fun!
  • Estimated Time: 15-30 minutes
  • Materials:
    • 2 chairs
    • 1-2 bed sheets (depending on size of fort)
    • A few heavy books
  • Subject: Imagination and Science
Cardboard Tube Chute

Cardboard Tube Chute

Use leftover cardboard tubes to create a ramp on a wall in your house. Cut up your cardboard tubes to create a pathway for marbles, bouncy balls, and pom pom balls to fall down. Show your child how they can put a ball in the cardboard tube at one end and it will appear again at the bottom!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Cardboard tubes, scissors, and marbles; bouncy balls or pom pom balls
  • Subject: Science
Colored Flowers

Colored Flowers

Show your child how flowers and plants soak up water using food coloring, water, and a flower! Fill a cup with water and add drops of food coloring. Place a flower, preferably one that is white, yellow, or pink, in the cup and set it out overnight. Your child will be amazed in the morning to find that their flower has changed colors!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Cup, water, food coloring, and a flower (pink, white, or yellow)
  • Subject: Science
Dancing Raisins

Dancing Raisins

Show your child how to make raisins dance! Fill a cup with a clear soda (like Sprite or 7up). Drop a few raisins in the cup. Have your child observe what is happening. Are they floating or sinking? Wait a few minutes and your raisins should start to dance! Experiment with different sodas. Which one works best?

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Raisins, clear soda, and a cup
  • Subject: Science
Egg Drop!

Egg Drop!

Have your child design a safe vessel for an egg! Use cardboard, toothpicks, tape, styrofoam, paper, and other objects to build your vessel and keep your egg safe! Test out your design by dropping your egg from the second floor of your house. If the egg breaks, encourage your child to change their design to keep the egg safe the next time!

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Eggs, cardboard, toothpicks, tape, styrofoam, and paper
  • Subject: Science
Fossil Feet!

Fossil Feet!

Teach your children about fossils by putting Play-Doh or molding clay in on a pan or baking sheet. Have your child step on the Play-Doh, creating a footprint! Ask them to observe the shape of their foot and show them images of real fossils!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Play-Doh or molding clay and a pan or baking sheet
  • Subject: Science
Fun with Sticks slide

Fun with Sticks!

  1. Gather 10-20 sticks of varying sizes from outside!
  2. Stack the sticks carefully to create a tiny house! Be creative! Build forts, skyscrapers, and bridges!
  • Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Sticks
    • Substitute sticks with pencils, books, popsicle sticks, and blocks!
  • Subject: Science
Ice Melting Challenge

Ice Melting Challenge

Fill cups with water and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, take the ice out of the cup and give them to your child. How fast can they melt the ice? Help them problem solve. How can they melt the ice without moving it from the table? Should they use their hands to warm it up? Can they use their breath to make it melt?

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: Cups and water
  • Subject: Science
Jellyfish Watch!

Jellyfish Watch!

The Georgia Aquarium has set up a live webcam of their jellyfish!

They also have webcams set up for their penguins, beluga whales, puffins, gators, sea lions, otters, ocean voyagers, and their coral reef!

Search for Jelly Webcam and enjoy the show!

  • Estimated Time: 15-30 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Laptop or mobile device
    • Internet connection
  • Subject: Science
Leak Proof Bag!

Leak Proof Bag!

This magical science experiment requires you to fill a gallon-size freezer bag with water. Sharpen 4-5 pencils and show your child how to stick them one by one into the bag, going in one side and out the other. The bag will not leak!

Lego Building Competition!

Lego Building Competition!

Using Legos or building blocks, create a building competition! Who can create the best tower, elephant, bridge, castle, or chicken out of blocks? Who can create them the fastest?

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Legos or building blocks
  • Subject: Science / Physical Development
Marshmallow Structures

Marshmallow Structures

Encourage your child to unleash their inner architect! Attach marshmallows to toothpicks and see how tall of a tower you can build! Can you build a bridge? A house? Try setting books on top of your structures to see who’s invention is the most stable!

Nature Journal!

Nature Journal!

Encourage your child to draw the nature that they see around them. Give them a notebook and go for a walk! Pause when you see a unique bird, plant, or rock. Have your child draw it and observe the texture, shape, size, and color of the object!

Nature Pictures

Nature Pictures

Give your child the camera as you both take a walk around the neighborhood. Ask them to take pictures of plants and animals that catch their eye. When you get home, ask them to go through the photos. Ask them about what they observed while on the walk. Why did they take a picture of that squirrel? How far away was that tree? What did that leaf feel like?

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: A phone with a camera
  • Subject: Science and Exercise
Paper Airplanes

Paper Airplanes

Make paper airplanes with your child! Use the link to learn about how to fold a piece of paper into an airplane. Who can fly their plane the highest? The farthest? The fastest?

Penny Stack!

Penny Stack!

Play a minute-to-win-it game by seeing who can stack the most pennies in a minute! Make it more difficult by only using one hand! Who can stack the most without letting their tower fall over?

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Pennies or coins
  • Subject: Sensory
Play-Doh Maze!

Play-Doh Maze!

  1. Find a pan, mat, or clear surface
  2. Have your child use their engineering skills to create the lines of a maze on a pan, mat, or other surface with Play-Doh!
  3. Create circles out of Play-Doh to mark the start and finish of the maze
  4. Once the maze is completed, have your child use a straw to blow a pom-pom, M&M, or another small round object around the maze! How fast can they do it?
  • Estimated Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Pan, mat, or other flat surface
    • Pom-pom, M&M, or other small round object
    • Straw
  • Subject: Science
Sensory Bottles

Sensory Bottles

Fill empty water bottles with different objects and liquids. These could be glitter, beads, water, or oil. Once sealed safely, give the bottles to your child to explore. Encourage them to watch how the materials in the bottles move when shaken or turned upside down.

Shadow Play

Shadow Play

Turn off the lights in a room of your house. Shine a flashlight on the wall and hold your hand up to the light to create different shapes and animals. Encourage your child to make shapes and animals of their own! Let them explore the shapes their hands make on the wall. Encourage them to put on a “shadow show” and make up a story.

Toy Parachutes slide

Toy Parachutes

Let your toys go on an adventure! Attach string to plastic grocery bags or old fabric to use as parachutes. Tie figurines, stuffed animals, and toy cars to these parachutes. Have your toys go on a secret mission! Safely drop them from the top of the stairs or at a high point in your home. Which one will reach the ground first?

Toy Tracing slide

Toy Tracing

On a sunny day, have your child place a toy on a piece of paper. Have them observe the shadow of the toy on paper and trace it. Check on the toy throughout the day, tracing the toy’s new shadow each time. At the end of the day, look at how the shadow changed over time. This is a fun way to teach your child about the movement of shadows as the Earth rotates!

volcano slide

Volcano!

Make your own volcano! Fill a plastic cup with some baking soda and red/orange food coloring. Add vinegar and watch it explode!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: Plastic cup, baking soda, vinegar, and red/orange food coloring
  • Subject: Science
Watch Puppies!

Watch Puppies!

Visit the Puppy Playroom at Warrior Canine Connection and spend a few moments virtually cuddling some young animals.

  • Estimated Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Materials:
    • Laptop or mobile device
    • Internet connection
  • Subject: Science
  • Source: Puppy Live Stream
Weather Report slide

Weather Report

Encourage your child to do a weather report. Have them look outside and describe what they see. Is it cloudy? Sunny? Rainy? What does the temperature feel like? Is it cold? Hot? How windy is it? Have them make predictions. Will it rain later today? Will it snow? Hail? Have them give their weather report to the whole family!

  • Estimated Time: 20 minutes
  • Materials: None
  • Subject: Science
Will It Float?

Will It Float?

Fill a large bowl or bin with water. Gather a group of objects (i.e. figurines, balls, blocks, cars, ice cubes, leaves, rocks, and different foods) that are safe to put in water. Have your child guess which objects will float and which objects will sink. Have them test out their guesses by placing each item in the bowl or bin of water!

How many floated? How many sunk?

  • Estimated Time: 30 minutes
  • Materials: A bowl or bin, water, and miscellaneous objects that are safe to put in water
  • Subject: Science

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2020