Winter is certainly on it’s way, and it brings along a whole host of outdoor fun with it, making a snowman (cue Frozen music), catching snowflakes on your tongue, and just generally romping through the snow having a wonderful time. But then there are those days where it is just downright icky – you know, freezing rain, sleet, hale, just an all around mess. Those are the days that you and the kids are relegated to stay inside. Kids are naturally curious creatures and boredom will eventually ensue. But fret, not! Peak their natural inquisitiveness with these indoor science projects!
1. Sensory Play
By creating a sensory play box, your little ones will have a ball sticking their hands in and playing around in it. You can easily and quickly create your very own sensory box by using items around your home! Rice, beads, and even sand! Each box is as unique as the children who will be playing in it, so get creative! There are water sensory boxes, sand, glitter, shaving cream, the sky is the limit here! Use your imagination and create a box that even you would want to play in!
2. Sweet Science
This project is one sweet deal! Teach the kids about temperature and the science behind it by tempering some chocolate in your microwave oven! Chocolate chips or chunks, or even a candy bar would work great in this instance! Check online to see if you can find some cute printables to go along with the project, and you have yourself a fun filled and educational project to do with the little ones!
3. Groovy Lava Lamps
This project is out of this world! Learning about chemical reactions can be one of the most fun and engaging areas of science for kids to learn about. Start with some vegetable oil and water and a plastic bottle. Note how the two substances don't mix very well, engage the kids and ask them what they think about that. Next, add in some food coloring of their choice, and a couple of tablets that produce fizz (Alka-Seltzer would do well in this instance), and watch the kid's faces when they realize they have just created their very own homemade lava lamp!
4. Expanding Marshmallows
Heat makes things expand, we know that. But can you guess how huge that marshmallow in the microwave is going to get? This is another great experiment to help the children learn about temperature once more. Grab a marshmallow, or if you're feeling really brave, buy a pack of jumbo marshmallows. Take one and place it on a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for one minute. Ask the children what they have observed about the marshmallow. They will be so excited when they see the marshmallow grow and grow and grow!
5. Create A 'Mind Jar'
With a little bit of glitter glue, a jar, and some food coloring, you and your tots can make this fun project! A 'Mind Jar' is a tool that can be used well after you've finished the project to help a child calm down in times of stress or tantrums. The idea behind it is that the glitter are your child's thoughts, swirling around in their mind, when they shake it up and watch it settle, then, they too will begin to settle along with the glitter in the jar.
6. Make Homemade Finger Paints
There's no doubt about it, kids love to finger-paint. It's probably the penultimate toddler activity. But instead of spending money on expensive finger paints, why not just make your own in the comfort of your very own kitchen? The kids will love helping out, knowing that they are making the paint that they will be using to create their masterpieces. Using just sugar, salt, cornstarch, water and food coloring, you've got yourself some really creative colors!
7. Fizzy Fun
If you have baking soda, vinegar and food coloring in your kitchen, this is a must-try activity, especially for toddlers! Place the vinegar in a few cups, add different food coloring to each. Fill a 9 by 12 pan with baking soda. Watch your children's eyes grow wide when they see the reaction of the vinegar being added to the baking soda and experience the sheer joy of the memories you're making with them!
8. Catch The Sun
If you have tissue paper left over from the holidays, bring it out and teach the kids how to make tissue paper sun catchers! They'll love putting them together and creating their very own piece of art and hanging it up in a window to watch the sunlight stream through them!
9. Make It Rain
“Make it rain” inside your own home! This project is wonderful for teaching about condensation and the process that water goes through to become the rain that falls from the sky! Once again, with a few items from your kitchen, like ice cubes, water, a jar, and a plate, you can perform this simple yet interesting experiment and make it “rain” in the jar.
10. Get Slimed
Kids love getting messy, and this experiment allows them to do just that in a controlled environment! Create “snow slime” by combining glue, warm water, and borax. Add a food coloring of your choice, and maybe even some essential oils to give it a fresh scent! The kids will have hours of fun with this project!