Building with your kids can be a great opportunity to spend some quality time together. Last week, we gave you some tips on how to get creative indoors. This week, we’re focusing on hands-on ideas to get you and your kiddo tinkering and learning STEM principles together!
Explore Physics With A Water Balloon Launcher
Summer is coming, and water balloon fights are one of the best ways to cool down on a hot day. Take it up a notch with a slingshot that can catapult water balloons far across enemy lines! This tutorial gives simple instructions on how to compile the ultimate balloon launcher. Your child can experiment with different angles and velocity to discover the perfect equation for balloons that hit their target, every time.
Discover Geometric Angles By Creating A Periscope
Teach your child about reflection of light via angles by creating a periscope together. This one is fast and easy to assemble, and is great for teaching kids what the heck a 45° angle is anyway. The Exploratorium has a nice breakdown on how to make your own periscope from two milk cartons. Periscope in hand, your child can explore whole new angles of vision that he could never see before!
Learn Chemistry By Building A Volcano
We know what you’re thinking: paper mache volcanoes have been around since before even we were all in grade school. Though tried and true, modern kids can still learn from this classic experiment!
Your kiddo can express her engineering skills by building the volcano base, get crafty by decorating it and even experiment with chemistry by mixing together vinegar and baking soda to create an eruption akin to those of prehistoric days! Your child can witness firsthand the carbon dioxide-fueled bubbles and “explosion” caused by the vinegar and baking soda. Check out PBS Parents’ tutorial here. Be sure to layer newspaper in a rimmed cookie tray beneath your volcano to make clean-up a breeze.
Let us know what you and your little engineer built in the comments!