Are you excited about leading a STEM Adventure but need some inspiration? Check out these ideas to help kick start your imagination about what magical experience you can lead for kids.

Make Your Own Bouncy Balls

With a few inexpensive ingredients (most of which you probably already have), kids can mix and design their very own bouncy balls in any color they want. Children will get the chance to think like scientists, mixing, measuring, and observing the physical changes that the ingredients undergo. And in the end: SUPER FUN BOUNCY BALLS!

 

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Why Kids Will Love It

Kids love getting bouncy balls from the gumball machine. Now they can make their own!

Why Parents Will Love It

Behind the scenes of this playful activity, there’s a science lesson. (Plus, the homemade version is less bouncy and better suited for indoor play.)

Make It Extra Special

Once the balls are ready, it’s time for bouncing games. Head outside and arrange some buckets and hoops for a large-scale challenge. Can you bounce your ball to its target in one bounce or two? How high can you bounce your ball? If the weather isn’t cooperating, use plastic cups or tupperware to set up table-top bouncing challenges indoors.

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Explore the Oceans

Study the oceans together by painting an oversized map of the world on kraft paper. Label the oceans. Flip through books together to discover where the Mariana trench is. Label it on your map and add in the various sea creatures that call the oceans home. Experiment with saltwater and discover how it’s different from freshwater. Explore the ocean zones by creating your own version in a jar with a handful of household ingredients. Read through ocean books together to learn about the animals that call these zones home.

Why Kids Will Love It

Movies like The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo spark an early interest in oceans. These gigantic bodies of water are full of excitement, adventure, and mystery.

Why Parents Will Love It

Exploring the oceans together takes the child’s interests and expands them beyond their love of a movie. Tapping into something the child already loves makes learning feel like play.

Make It Extra Special

When the exploration is over, treat yourselves to an ocean-themed snack like peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches or mermaid punch.

Make a Penny Zipline

To make a penny zipline challenge, you’ll need a room, generally free of obstacles, where you can run a string from one end to the other. Each child will need a penny. Finally, you’ll need a collection of assorted materials (think craft scraps, recycle bin items, miscellaneous odds and ends). Challenge the child to create a vessel to transport the penny from one end of the zipline to the other. It may take many revisions before success. As the child builds, ask questions to get them thinking like a scientist: Is friction slowing it down? Will more or less weight affect the speed or distance? How will you keep the penny inside the vessel? What happens if we adjust the angle of the string? Young children may need more hands-on help and may focus more on the construction. Older kids can explore the ideas of physics and engineering more in-depth.

Why Kids Will Love It

Little engineers will love the challenge of building their own vessel to zip across the room.

Why Parents Will Love It

Science, math, patience, perseverance, and problem solving collide in this unique activity for little ones.

Make It Extra Special

Now that you’re a zipline pro, think about how you can apply that knowledge in a new way. Will you make a zipline to move supplies out of a treehouse or to send a message to a nextdoor neighbor? What about sharing a toy with a sibling across the hall or making a miniature zipline for a dollhouse or Lego castle?

Egg Drop Challenge

The egg drop challenge is so fun and requires an egg and whatever “junk” you have on hand. You will also need a window or balcony on the 2nd floor (or higher), from which to launch your landing device. For a low-mess option, you can either hard-boil your egg first (it will still show cracks) or place it inside a sealed sandwich bag to contain the mess. Then grab whatever is available in your recycling bin, craft closet, or junk drawer. There’s no single way to solve the challenge and you get to decide what materials to use.

Why Kids Will Love It

Kids love to break things almost as much as they love to build them. Children will delight in the idea of flinging an egg (inside of protective gear) out of a 2nd story window.

Why Parents Will Love It

This activity encourages so many great skills: designing, problem-solving, revising, predicting, and, of course, developing an understanding of gravity, physics, and aerodynamics.

Make It Extra Special

Take it a step further and challenge your child to make a vessel that is both functional (it protects the egg) and beautiful (it looks cool). Is this harder? Does the functionality change when decorations are added?

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Make Solar Oven S’mores

You know those HOT summer days where everyone says it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk? This is the perfect day to cook up something more fun than a fried egg. Construct a solar oven and make s’mores. No campfire needed when you harness the power of the sun.

Why Kids Will Love It

The intersection of science experiment and dessert is a tasty, fun place to be!

Why Parents Will Love It

Playful and delicious projects like making solar oven s’mores are great for teaching kids big scientific concepts in an approachable and fun way. They won’t even know they’re learning.

Make It Extra Special

Now that you’ve made dessert, brainstorm other foods you could cook in your solar oven? Try melting cheese to make quesadillas or english muffin pizzas.

Looking for more ideas to kickstart your Adventure creativity? Here are some creative ideas for Adventures in each of the available categories. Have fun!

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