Spring break may officially be over, but instead of sending the kids back to school, things are looking a little different this year. Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, we’re all spending extra time at home with our kids, which comes with its own joys and challenges. At Davis Orthodontics, we jump at any opportunity to enjoy more quality family time, but it can be tricky to keep your kids entertained, educated and engaged when you’re at home for days on end.
Just because your family is practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t find fun, educational ways to keep your kids busy (and learning) at home. Until school is back in session, try these easy, at-home science projects for kids. The best part is you probably already have everything you need on hand. Ready to get started? Let’s go! But here’s a warning: you just might have more fun than your kiddos!
Build a Glitter Volcano
Purpose: It’s safe to say we all could use a little sparkle in our lives right now. What better way to brighten up a quiet day at home than with a glittery volcano explosion? Grab a vase, let your kiddos pick out their favorite color and get ready for a sparkly extravaganza. Here’s how to build a DIY volcano for kids.
Materials: Vase, baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, glitter, a pan to keep your area clean.
Procedure: First, place your vase in the pan to contain the mess. Then add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda, 6-7 drops of food coloring and 1-2 tablespoons of glitter to your vase. Next comes the exciting part. Quickly pour ½ a cup of vinegar into the glitter mixture, stand back and watch the glitter bomb explode!
Try the Black Pepper & Soap Trick
Purpose: Are your kids wondering why they get to stay home from school these days? Are they confused about why they can’t hang out with their friends? Are they giving you a hard time about washing their hands? There’s a lot going on right now for even adults to understand — imagine how your kids are feeling. To help your children understand what’s going on in the world, there’s a simple, viral science experiment that teaches kids how the coronavirus spreads. Here’s how it works.
Materials: Black pepper, soap, water.
Procedure: Fill a bowl with water and add black pepper. The pepper represents coronavirus germs. Tell your child to dip their finger into the bowl. When they take their finger out, it will have “germs” on it. Then squirt some soap onto your child’s finger and have them dip it back into the bowl. Watch your child’s eyes go wide as the soap repels the “germs” and sends them scattering to the edges of the bowl. This simple trick will show your little ones how washing our hands will keep us all healthy and virus-free.
Hold an Egg Drop Competition
Purpose: This is one of the most fun at-home science experiments for kids of all ages. It encourages your youngsters to get creative, and teaches them about the concepts of momentum and collision. The goal is to build a contraption, using materials you can find at home, that will protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a great height. Why not get the whole family involved and host your very own egg drop competition at home? Here’s what you need to do.
Materials: Cotton balls, cardboard, tissue paper, tape, elastic bands … basically anything you can find around the house that will protect your egg! Oh, and eggs.
Procedure: Depending on how many people you have in your family, it can be fun to form teams and spend the day working together to beat the competition. Set a timer and then set out to build any contraption you can think of to keep your egg in one piece during the big drop. Really try to think outside the box (pun intended) and get creative. Check out these innovative egg drop project designs for inspiration!
Make a Lava Lamp
Purpose: Now here’s a fun science experiment for kids and parents alike. Take a trip down memory lane to the 70s and help your kiddos build their very own mesmerizing lava lamp. With just a few simple materials you’ve already got at home, a DIY lava lamp will keep your youngsters entertained for hours. It’s also super educational about liquid density! Here’s how to do it.
Materials: An empty water bottle, vegetable oil, water, food coloring of your choice, Alka-seltzer tablets.
Procedure: Fill your empty water bottle about ⅔ of the way full with the vegetable oil. Fill the rest up with water, leaving a little space at the top. You’ll notice that the water will sink below the oil because it has a higher density than oil. Next, add in your food coloring. It will only mix with the water, not the oil. You can use a straw or chopstick to mix the food coloring and the water together well. Finally, break an Alka-seltzer tablet into four pieces and have your child drop them into the water bottle one at a time. We’ll let you discover the magical results for yourself!
We know this is a challenging time for our Greer and Simpsonville orthodontic patients. It’s been tough for the Davis Orthodontics team, too. That’s why we’re choosing to see the sunny side of the situation: extra time to hang out with our families. When all this ends, we’ll be ready to welcome you back into our office with open arms. Until then, we’d love to see the awesome science experiments you’re making at home!