Finding fun things for your children to do during the holidays can be difficult. After the first few days you're likely to be scratching around for new ideas. Science experiments are great ways to keep your kids' brains buzzing and keep the busy for a while.
We have loads of awesome options here, most of which don't require loads of materials. You can deliver the fun and get them experimenting with physics, chemistry and nature all in their own home!
- Sunscreen painting
- STEM family challenges
- Ice and salt experiment
- Ice cream in a bag
- Color-changing flowers
- Invisible ink
- Make a volcano
- Learn about thunderstorm formation
- Dancing rice
- What melts in the sun
- Sun and shade
- Baking soda rocket
- Crushing cans
- Baking soda and vinegar fireworks
- LEGO ice excavation
- Rainbow bubble snakes
- Magic milk experiments
- Making bouncy balls
- Salt painting
- Waterproofing a boot
- Making sun prints
- Dry erase floating ink
- Watermelon science
- Kite flying
- Build your own wind turbine
- Colored ice cube surprise
- Unpoppable bubbles
- Grow your own borax crystals
- Elephant toothpaste
- Egg geodes
If your kids grumble every time you try and put sunscreen on them then this little science experiment will help them understand how it works. It's also a pretty fun art project!
STEM family challenges
We've got a fun twist on your next family game night with these 3 STEAM challenges that will intrigue and interest all ages. Build cup and popsicle towers, foil boats, and tennis ball towers.
Ice and salt experiment
Learn how salt can melt ice with Typically Simple's fun science project. Find out how to set up this simple experiment here with just some water, containers, salt and some food coloring.
Ice cream in a bag
Hot summer days require cool sweet treats, and you can make your own by following the instructions from Growing a Jeweled Rose. All you need is heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and some sugar.
Kids love seeing things change before their eyes. So this science experiment is a brilliant way of introducing them to the wonders of chemistry. Food coloring, water and some flowers are all you need. And these instructions.
Inspired by the cute Disney film Big Hero 6, this invisible ink experiment can be an afternoon's fun for your budding spy! Head to In The Playroom for the guide.
Make a volcano
There's no need to be scared. This science project is easy to set up and doesn't involve loads of ingredients. It also packs a pretty good visual punch! Happy Mom Hacks will show you how.
Learn about thunderstorm formation
With only 5 ingredients you can teach your kids how thunderstorms form. It looks pretty cool as well. Mombrite.com will give you the guide to finding out how warm air rises and cold air sinks.
More interesting than your garden-variety baking soda and vinegar reaction, this dancing rice experiment will have little faces alight with amazement. Head to Green Kid Crafts for the lowdown.
What melts in the sun
While you've got the sun beating down on you it makes sense to use it. You can enlist it in your next science experiment with this fun project from Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls. Discover what melts in the heat, and what sticks around.
Sun and shade
In a similar vein, this shade and sunlight project from Lessons for Little Ones demonstrates the power of the sun. It might even help you get them to wear a hat!
Baking soda rocket
Ready to make a spectacle? This backyard science experiment will delight your little ones with only a couple of materials that you'll find in your kitchen cupboards. Head to Science Sparks to find out more.
We've found a pretty fun way to demonstrate air pressure. Well, Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls did, anyway! 2 soda cans, a hob, and some adult supervision and you're there.
Baking soda and vinegar fireworks
Baking soda and vinegar are the best at-home way of creating a really impressive science experiment. These fireworks from STEAM-powered family are simple to make, and a lot of fun to play with.
LEGO ice excavation
Is your home full of tiny LEGO figures that you're not sure what to do with? Well, this fun summer science activity from Lemon Lime Adventures may be able to help you out. Burying LEGO in ice and leaving your children to find different ways to free them is a fun way to spend a hot summer's afternoon.
Rainbow bubble snakes
This DIY science experiment is a great way to recycle some of your plastic bottles and make your hot afternoon even more fun. Housing a Forest can show you how to make these fun toys.
Magic milk experiments
You'll only need a few household ingredients to play with this fun experiment. Color-changing milk is a great way for smaller children to test out color mixing. Head to Curious and Geeks for the play by play.
Making bouncy balls
This a brilliant activity that won't take very long, but will leave you with a fun toy to play with all day. Make your own bouncy balls with The STEM Laboratory.
If you like to pair your STEM activities with art and crafts then this one is for you. Let your littlies make their own salt designs and then watch the colors appear with A Dab of Glue Will Do.
Waterproofing a boot
Perfect for younger children, this science investigation gets them thinking about the properties of different materials. Science Sparks has free printables and the instructions you need.
Making sun prints
A great art outdoor activity for all ages, you can make this as complicated or easy as you like. All you need is a sunny area, a few shapes and some patience. In the Playroom can explain more.
Dry erase floating ink
If you've got some dry erase markers floating around, then you can make the ink float too! With just some water and pens Happy Hooligans gives you a fun summer morning experiment for your kids.
Watermelons and summer go hand in hand. But these juicy fruits aren't just good for eating, they also give you a great chance to dig into some science projects. A great option for preschoolers, this erupting watermelon activity from Natural Beach Living is a lot of fun for a hot day!
Kite flying isn't just great fun, it can also be a perfect opportunity to explore scientific principles. Brush up on your physics with KC Edventures.
Build your own wind turbine
Science and engineering come together in this interesting science project for kids. Take them out into the backyard and with a coffee can and some other easy-to-find materials and they can make their very own wind turbine that actually works!
Colored ice cube surprise
This ice cube activity from The Play-Based Mom is a great way of keeping your kids occupied outdoors. Combining baking soda, paint and water with a spray gun of vinegar means lots of fizzing fun!
Who doesn't love bubbles?! Running around and jumping to pop the delicate spheres. This recipe from Learning Resources will make bubbles that will stick around for longer, and keep the happiness going all afternoon!
Your budding little scientist will love seeing the jelly worms bob and dance in this science experiment from Playdough to Plato. Pull out your baking soda and vinegar along with your jelly worm sweets for some STEM fun.
Grow your own borax crystals
This cheap and easy science project is great all year round. Using pipe cleaners and some other household ingredients you can grow your own colorful crystals in a few days. Find out how from Instructables Living.
For your own version of this classic science experiment, There's Just One Mommy takes you through the steps you need to make this spectacle!
We're finishing off our list with this interesting chemistry project. You could even make this your next science fair project. Make your own egg geodes with these instructions from Tinker Lab.