Sometimes, summer weather doesn’t always cooperate for outdoor plans and you have to get creative inside. We live in Nevada, and the past few summers have been riddled with wildfires, making going outside and playing in the fresh air a little bit tricky. Fear not, I have some super fun kitchen science projects that will help pass the time without driving anyone crazy!
First up, playdough! Yes, it’s much easier to go buy the store bought cans at the store, but this is customizable! The recipe is super simple, and you likely already have all you need!
- 1 c. water
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- 1/2 c. salt
- 1 TBSP cream of tartar (DON’T skip this ingredient!)
- food coloring
- 1 c. flour
Combine the water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm. (If you’d rather not add food coloring, you can use yummy spices like cinnamon or ginger to scent the dough!) Next, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour. Last, stir, then knead until smooth. (The cream of tartar is what makes the dough last about 6 months, so don’t leave it out!) Let it cool before playing with it, and when you’re finished, store it in an airtight container!
Another super fun kitchen science project is ice molds! At our house, plastic dinosaurs are around every corner, so that’s what I use to make these. In reality, you can use whatever little toys will fit inside the ice cube tray! Put your toys inside of a regular 14 count ice cube tray, and then fill the tray with water. Let it freeze until the cubes are completely solid. After this is where the fun comes in, and where your kids’ imaginations can run wild. Ask them how they’ll get the toy from inside the ice cube! Will they use their hands to melt it? Will they try breathing hot air on it? Will rubbing the sides with a Q-tip melt it? You can even try timing them and see who can melt their toy out first! (If you only have one kiddo playing, YOU can race with them!) This one is fun, requires little clean up, and very few supplies!
Finally, try a super fun “naked egg” experiment. You will need eggs, vinegar, food coloring (optional), and different colored clear liquids, like corn syrup, sparking water, tap water, salt water, sugar water, or soapy water – try all kinds of different clear liquids! Immerse each raw egg in a cup of vinegar. You can do as few or as many as you like, but remember that you have those clear liquids to put the eggs in later. Have your kids think about what might happen to the egg – it needs to sit in the fridge for about 24 hours – and have them draw a picture of what they see when the egg is in the vinegar! If the shell hasn’t completely dissolved after 24 hours, drain the old vinegar and add some new. You want the shell completely gone – that’s what makes the perfect naked egg! Once the shell is dissolved, talk about what happened with your kids. Have them draw another picture of the difference! Then, break out those other clear liquids! Have your kids predict what will happen to the naked egg when it goes into the different clear solution! Give the eggs another24 hours in each clear liquid (in the fridge!) and observe again! My kindergartener was FASCINATED by the changes! If you have older kids, you can also have them research the science behind why these reactions occur!
As always, have fun along with them! The more they see you explore, the more they will want to as well!