Has it been raining for days and you feel like you and your kids are going stir crazy? They’ve exhausted all of their favorite toys and are starting to climb the walls and tear the house apart. Don’t fret! We’ve pulled together a few activities that can be completed with items that you already have lying around your house and can be done in just a few easy steps.
These are fun and easy STEM activities to do on a rainy day or just because!
1. Build 3D Structures
Learn about 3D shapes and explore engineering with this fun activity. Using materials you can find around the house, construct a structure using pretzels and mini marshmallows, cardboard and masking tape, or even play doh and pipe cleaners, to create a variety of 3D shapes and structures. Take it a step further, and see how much weight your structure can hold!
2. Salt Crystals
Make crystals with just salt and water! This chemistry experiment requires some patience but has an awesome outcome. Stir table salt into boiling water until no more salt will dissolve. Pour the salt water into a jar and then suspend a string into the jar by securing it to a pencil or a spoon on top. In a few days, you will have beautiful salt crystals!
3. Rainbow in a Jar
This activity teaches all about density and looks beautiful in the end! All you need is a few items from your pantry. Pour a small amount of the following liquids into a jar (in this order): honey, corn syrup, dish soup, water, olive oil, and rubbing alcohol. Food coloring can be used to color each liquid so it looks like a rainbow when they are all in the jar!
4. Balloon-Powered Car
Learn how potential energy is turned into kinetic energy with this cool balloon powered car. Use light objects around your house like plastic cups, toothpicks, bottle caps, popsicle sticks, and empty water bottles to create a car. Then tape a straw attached to a balloon to the top of the car. Blow in the straw to blow up the balloon and then release the air. Watch your car be powered by air!
5. Play-Doh Marble Maze
This engineering activity will get the creative juices flowing! Using playdoh, create a maze on a hard service like a plate or cutting board. Then put a marble in and push to see if it can make its way to the end of the maze!
6. Shadow Towers
This activity is all about exploring and learning about light. First make a tower out of blocks or LEGOS and predict what the shadow might look like for the tower. Then put the tower near a blank wall and shine a flashlight on it to see the shadow. Move the light and tower around to see the shadow change!
7. Walking Water
Can water “walk”? Find out with this cool experiment that also shows how primary colors can make secondary colors. Line up 7 cups and fill them in the following way: red colored water, empty, blue colored water, empty, yellow colored water, empty, red colored water. Fold 6 paper towels and put one end in the colored water and one end in the empty cup. After a few hours, your empty cups will now have water in a new color!
8. Fizzy Painting
This simple chemical reaction can make beautiful art! Sprinkle baking soda onto paper. Mix a few drops of food coloring with a tablespoon of vinegar and use a dropper to drop the colored vinegar onto the baking soda. It will fizz! Once it dries, scrape off the leftover baking soda and reveal your art!
These engaging and educational activities will help keep your kids be happy and busy during their time stuck indoors. And little do they know, they will also be learning while they create and play! After attempting a few of these activities, you may find that your child had a blast and is showing a true interest in science or engineering – Engineering For Kids camps, afterschool programs, and workshops provide kids with a fun, safe environment to learn about STEM! Find your closest location to inquire about schedules and available programs.