• Rainy Day Science Projects

    Rainy Day Science Projects

    Rainy Day Science Projects

    Here’s an idea for the next time a rainy day strikes: instead of pressing play on Moana for the zillionth time, why not stage your very own science fair? Whether you realize it or not, your home has everything you need for fun and easy demonstrations that will give your kids a new appreciation for all things science. Explore the hidden workings of the world with these exciting projects!

    Elephant’s Toothpaste

    This experiment lives up to its name by creating mounds of foamy lather with a few simple ingredients. It can get pretty messy, so be sure to use gloves, goggles, and plenty of newspaper.

    elephants-toothpaste-science-demonstration
    Photo Credit: Scholastic

    What You’ll Need

    A clean 16-oz plastic soda bottle
    1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20-volume is a 6% solution, ask an adult to get this from a beauty supply store or hair salon)
    1 tbsp. of dry yeast
    3 tbsp.of warm water
    Liquid dishwashing soap
    Food coloring
    Small cup
    Safety goggles

    Directions

    1. While wearing safety goggles, carefully pour the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle.

    2. Add 8 drops of food coloring into the bottle.

    3. Add about 1 tbsp. of liquid dish soap into the bottle and swish the bottle around a bit to mix it.

    4. In a separate small cup, combine the warm water and the yeast together and mix for about 30 seconds.

    5. Pour the yeast water mixture into the bottle and enjoy!

    Pinhole Camera

    If you or your child ever wondered how a camera works, this is the perfect experiment. A simple, homemade camera obscura provides a perfect introduction to optical principles. Plus, you can take it outside when the rain clears up!

    pinhole-camera
    Photo Credit: National Geographic Kids

    What You’ll Need

    Sharp pencil
    Empty shoe box with a lid
    X-Acto knife (ask an adult)
    Scissors
    Ruler
    Wax paper
    Tape
    Blanket

    Directions

    1. Use the point of a sharp pencil to punch a hole in one of the shorter ends of the shoe box.

    2. Ask an adult to use an X-Acto knife to cut a square in the opposite end of the box, directly across from the hole. The square should measure 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) on each side.

    3. Use scissors to cut a square of wax paper that measures 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) on each side.

    4. Place the wax paper directly over the square you cut in the box. Tape the edges of the wax paper to the box.

    5. Take the camera box to a dimly lit room and turn on a lamp. Stand about 5 feet (1.5 meters) from the lamp.

    6. Cover your head and pinhole camera with a blanket. Be sure that the end with the wax paper is facing you and the end with the pinhole is facing the lamp.

    7. Hold your pinhole camera at arms length from your face and aim it at the lamp. Keep it steady until you see an upside-down image of the lamp.

    Invisible Ink

    Imagine how excited your kids will be when you tell them about a special invisible ink they can use to write secret messages! If you don’t have any lemons, orange juice, vinegar, and milk are all great substitutes.

    lemon
    Photo Credit: Science Kids

    What You’ll Need

    Half a lemon
    Water
    Spoon
    Bowl
    Cotton bud
    White paper
    Lamp or other light bulb

    Directions

    1. Squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl and add a few drops of water.

    2. Mix the water and lemon juice with the spoon.

    3. Dip the cotton bud into the mixture and write a message onto the white paper.

    4. Wait for the juice to dry so it becomes completely invisible.

    5. When you are ready to read your secret message or show it to someone else, heat the paper by holding it close to a light bulb.

    Plastic Milk

    The pliable mixture from this demonstration will harden after a few days, so have everyone make a fun sculpture as a rainy day memento.

    illustration-of-plastic-milk
    Photo Credit: Science Bob

    What You’ll Need

    1 cup milk
    4 tsp. white vinegar
    Bowl
    Strainer

    Directions

    1. Heat up the milk until it is hot but not boiling.

    2. Pour the milk into the bowl.

    3. Add the vinegar to the milk and stir for about a minute.

    4. Pour the milk through the strainer into the sink and let the resulting blobs cool.

    5. Rinse the mixture with water and enjoy!

    Have any other fun rainy day science projects? Let us know on our Facebook or Instagram page!

    Topics: All, Education

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