Summer Science Challenges

Our Summer holidays are about to start so I thought it would be a good time to spruce up this post full of Science Challenges for kids. They are all very simple and use mostly things you probably already have around the house.

Science Challenges with FREE printables - easy science challenges for kids to do at home or school. Free printables included! #scienceforkids #scienceexperimentsforkids #sciencechallenges

Why do a science challenge?

Science challenges are great as they give children the opportunity to work with more freedom than a traditional science experiment. Open ended challenges can be great for team work and independent creative thinking. They’re also great for a parent/child project too!

FREE Printable Science Challenges

The lovely Mrs Mactivity has also created us some fun printable science challenges that you can cut out and use as prompts. Scroll to the bottom of the post to download.

If you haven’t heard of Mrs Mactivity, do go and take a look at her website, she has some wonderful primary resources available.

Science Challenges for Summer

Build a tower with sugar cubes

  • How tall can you build a tower before it falls down?
  • What happens if you spray the cubes with water?
  • Can you add anything to waterproof them?
Challenge 1 - build sugar cubes towers #easyscienceforkids #scienecchallenges
Sugar Cube Towers

Make your own lava lamp

All you need to make a lava lamp is oil, water and an alka seltzer or effervescent vitamin tablet. These are great as they can be used over and over again. Just wait for the reaction to stop, add a bit more alka seltzer and it’ll start all over again!

Challenge 2 - Make a lava lamp - easy science challenge for kids #scienceforkids #STEM #Science
Make a Lava Lamp

Make a treasure map

Use coffee or tea to colour your paper and draw a treasure map, can your friends follow the trail?

This is great for experimenting with different concentrations of liquids too. A more concentrated tea or coffee solution will give a darker coloured map.

Science challenges - make a homemade treasure map - great for learning about concentrations #scienceforkids #STEMforkids #STEMchallenge
Homemade Treasure Map

Invisible ink

Just mix a little lemon or lime juice with a some of water and draw your message on some paper.

Ask an adult to put in the oven and your message will appear.

Invisible ink - easy science challenge for kids #scienceforkids #STEM #STEMChallenge

What can you build with a cardboard box?

Can you build something functional with a cardboard box?

We added a kitchen roll holder and space for a sink to our cardboard kitchen.

cardboard box kitchen
Cardboard Box Kitchen

Make a solar oven

Can you make S’mores in a solar oven?

Full blog post instructions

Science Challenge 6 - homemade solar oven made using a box, foil, black cardboard and cling film
Solar Oven

Simple sinking and floating

Can you design a sinking and floating experiment? Make predictions first, then investigate to see if you’re correct. Do any of your items surprise you?

Science challenge- sinking and floating experiment

Spinning felt tip pens

Use cardboard discs to make spinning pens. You could try with paper and thinner/thicker card to see which work the best.

Spinning pens STEM Challenge
Spinning Pens

Coke and Mento Reaction

Drop a mento into a bottle of fizzy drink and watch what happens, remember to stand back and drop the mento in as fast as you can!

Do low sugar drinks work better than full sugar varieties?

The coke and mento reaction is a science activity everyone should try at least once 🙂

Coke and mento reaction - two bottles of cola and mentos create a sticky explosion
Coke and Mento eruption

Go on a bug hunt

What bugs can you find around your garden?

bug hunt science challenge for kids
Bug Hunt

Investigate which substances react with baking soda

Can you predict which substances will react with baking soda? Were your predictions correct?

Baking soda and different substances to test which react with each other #Chemistryforkids
What reacts with baking soda

Set up an easy egg drop experiment

Something like our Humpty Dumpty egg drop experiment always works well

Which material protects the egg the best?

Science challenge - egg drop - eggs and bags containing different protective materials make a fun science challenge for kids of all ages
Egg Drop

Blow up a balloon with alka seltzer

Can you blow up a balloon with alka seltzer? What else do you think might work?

You could also try an effervescent vitamin tablet or even popping candy. Which works the best?

science challenge - blow up a balloon
Blow up a balloon with Alka Seltzerer

Build a structure with marshmallows and straws

Warning – this can be a bit sticky!!

Marshmallow and straw tower - easy edible stem challenge for kids
Marshmallow and straw tower

Make a marble maze

You could make a LEGO marble maze? Or use marbles inside a cardboard box.

LEgo maze

Make a Baking Soda Volcano

The one below is made using papier mache, but you could also use sand or even snow!

Check out our baking soda volcano ideas for inspiration.

Papier Mache Volcano - easy volcano model for kids
Papier Mache Volcano

Baking Soda Reactions

Set up some simple baking soda reactions, these could be fairy themed, witchy potions or just for some fun messy play.

Baking soda reactions - science experiment for kids.
Baking Soda Messy Play

Make Music

Can you play a tune using water and  glass bottles?

Small glass bottles filled with different amounts of coloured water - play a tune with these water filled bottles. #musicscience
Glass Bottle Piano

Square Bubbles

Square bubbles inside a cube frame.
Square bubble

Can you make a square bubble?

How strong is a Candy House

Can you make a house from sweets? You could use different types of “glue” and see which works the best. How would you test your house?

Candy house - easy edible STEM Challenge. House made from fudge blocks, icing and sheets of chocolate
Candy House

Ice Painting

Try some ice painting, simply freeze a sheet or ice shape and paint over the top. Once finished you can wipe away your creation and start over.

Ice painting - paint on ice - fun sensory science for little ones
Ice Painting

Find the colours of the rainbow

Can you find the colours of the rainbow in a bubble?

colours in bubbles - find a rainbow in a bubble
Rainbow in a bubble

Split light with a prism

Can you split light into a rainbow using a prism?

make a rainbow with a prism - easy science challenge for kids
Make a rainbow with a prism

Make ice cream with ice and salt

Can you make ice cream with ice and salt?

Make ice cream with ice and salt #ediblesciencechallenge
Ice Cream and ice and salt

Dissect a flower

Can you dissect a flower and separate the parts? Do you know the function of each?

Dissect a flower - flower split into it's parts and labelled.
Plant Dissection

Fairy Potions

Make a fairy potion, collect flowers and herbs to make a lovely smelling potion. Does the water change colour? Which smells are the strongest?

make a fairy potion
Fairy Potions

Jumping Frogs

Can you make some jumping frogs and learn about static electricity?

Tissue paper frogs stuck to a static electricity charged balloon #staticelectricity
Static electricity and tissue paper experiment

Sand Volcano

Make a volcano with sand. We covered this one with cling film to keep the sand clean.

Sand Volcano - volcano model made with a jar, sand and covered in cling film #scienceforkids #volcanomodel

Baking Soda Explosion

Can you make a fizzy baking soda explosion?

baking soda and vinegar reaction

Build a raft

Can you build a raft with sticks and test to see if it floats?

Raft building as a science challenge. Make a mini raft using sticks and string.
Stick and string raft

Cork boats

Can you make a cork boat and test to see if it floats?

Cork boats
Cork boat science challenge

Rainbow in water

Can you spot a rainbow in a spray of water?

Find a rainbow in a spray of water #rainbow #Sciencechallenge
Rainbow in a spray of water

Spin art pictures

Use a salad spinner to make a spin art picture.

Spin art pictures - fun science and art activity. Cardboard ans paint in a salad spinner. #Scienceforkids
Spin Art Pictures

Slime time!

Make colourful slime using cornflour, water and food colouring.

Scrunch it to make it solid and then watch it run through your fingers as it turns into a liquid!

Science Challenge - green cornflour slime with a superhero toy in #scienceforkids
Cornflour goo

Football Box Game

Make a football in a box game, by blowing down a straw to move marbles covered in paint. How many goals can your score?

Cardboard box football game

Playdough Brain

Can you make a playdough brain?

Playdough brain model made using play dough - easy science for kids
Playdough brain

How to make an egg float

Try a bit of science magic and make an egg float.

Make an egg float using salt and water - easy kitchen science challenge for kids
Egg floating in water

Why does Pizza Dough Rise?

Do you know why pizza dough rises ?

Pizza dough being kneaded by a child's hands

Even More Science Challenges

Make Raisins Dance

Make raisins dance around a glass with some clever science.

How to make raisins dance - kitchen science challenge

Build a Giant Catapult

We used our giant catapult as a tennis ball launcher, but you could try water balloons or table tennis balls too.

Giant catapult made with garden canes - #scienceforkids

Science Challenge Cards

Brand new for 2018 are these amazing Science Challenge printable cards made for us by the wonderful Mrs Mactivity. Click the image to download.

FREE STEM Challenge cards! #Scienceforkids #STEMChallenges
STEM Challenge Cards
Easy summer science challenges for kids. Make a solar oven, a model brain, find rainbows in bubbles, make a lava lamp, an outdoor kitchen and lots more fun summer science challenges #scienceforkids #summerscience #sciencechallenges #STEMChallenges
Science Challenges

If these aren’t quite what you’re looking for try one of our other fun science experiments for kids.

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