Summer is an amazing time for kids to learn, discover and explore. Warm days, long nights and vacation opportunities provide an ideal landscape for those messy science experiments you often put off during the school year. Here are some ideas to get your kids thinking this summer.
CREATE A SUMMER SCIENCE JOURNAL
Why do lightning bugs light up? What are ways to keep pool water warm without electricity? How do rocks become sand? What creates a hurricane?
There are plenty of scientific questions that pop up every day. Create a science journal where kids can follow the scientific method to make discoveries and draw conclusions. Encourage kids to follow these steps when creating journal entries.
Steps of the Scientific Method
- Purpose: State the Problem.
- Research: Find out about the topic.
- Hypothesis: Predict the outcome to the problem.
- Experiment: Develop a procedure to test the hypothesis.
- Analysis: Record the results of the experiment.
- Conclusion: Compare the hypothesis to the experiment’s conclusion.
VOLCANO ERUPTIONS AT HOME
A volcanic eruption is a tried and true science experiment that can be done with materials found at home. Use play-dough or clay to make a volcano. This is the creative part of the experiment, so be sure to encourage them to create volcanos that can be found in any world they can imagine.
Next, fill the volcano with baking soda. When ready for the eruption, add vinegar to watch the volcano come alive. Don’t worry, you won’t have to clean up any hot lava. Then, encourage research on why the mixture causes such a reaction. It’s both an art and a science project, and it won’t disappoint on the messy scale.
FLOATING AND SINKING
Summertime often means time in the water. Whether kids are splashing in the pool or riding in a boat, it’s a great time to answer the age old questions about what sinks and floats and why.
Collect objects to test from around the house and yard. Then fill a large container with water. Before dunking items, have kids create a chart with the object name, a prediction, and space to record whether it sank or floated.
Once they’ve collected the data, have them draw conclusions as to why each object did what it did. Use the internet to help research reasons and have the kids write a lab report about their findings. Warning, you may get wet with this experiment.
What are some summer science experiments you want to try with your kids this summer?