Summer is a time for adventure and exploration. Which means it’s a perfect opportunity for some scientific exploration of the natural world! From making rain to ice volcanoes, keep your kids active and learning with these at-home science experiments.
Summer showers and thunderstorms bring much needed relief from the hot days, but what actually causes it to rain? Water vapor condenses in the atmosphere, which falls to the ground as rain. For an intro on condensing and vaporizing, first practice this IXL skill on changes of state. Then, using just a glass jar, a plate, hot water, and ice cubes, you can see how rain forms right before your eyes. Get the full details here.
Demonstrate the power of the sun and the determination of plants with this easy experiment. Simply take a shoebox and insert cardboard squares to create a maze for a small potted plant. In a few days you’ll see how the plant grows around all of the obstacles to reach the sunlight. Then, head to IXL to see why sunlight is so important to plants and how plants make food.
Erosion is one of those processes that really portrays the persistence of nature. To give kids an idea of the causes and types of erosion, practice this IXL skill. Now, it’s time to see whether or not you can stop this process from happening! With just a few supplies, you can see what happens in both a beach and river setting. (Full directions here.) How successful were you?
In the heat of summer, thinking about lava and volcanic eruptions might seem particularly unappealing. But, there’s a version of the standard volcano experiment which will also allow you to cool off: ice volcanoes! Following the baking soda and vinegar recipe, this experiment produces plenty of fizz and color. Want to delve into even more of the science? Check out IXL’s volcano skill to learn about how volcanoes work.