Summer Science Challenges for Kids

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

For an ultimate summer of science, try one activity each day, or just pick and choose the ones you like when you have a bit of spare time!

Summer Science Challenges

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 teamwork 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?

Science Challenge 1 – Sugar Cube Structures

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!

Lava Lamp Challenge

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.

Homemade Treasure Map

Invisible ink

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

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

Invisible Ink

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

Make a solar oven

Can you make S’mores in a solar oven?

Full blog post instructions

Simple 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?

Sink or Float Challenge

Spinning felt tip pens

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

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 Eruption

Go on a bug hunt

What bugs can you find around your garden?

Bug Hunt

Investigate which substances react with baking soda

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

Challenge 10 – 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?

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?

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

Make a marble maze

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

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

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 Messy Play

Make Music

Can you play a tune using water and  glass bottles?

Glass Bottle Piano

Square Bubbles

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

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

Find the colours of the rainbow

Can you find the colours of the 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

Make ice cream with ice and salt

Can you make ice cream with ice and salt?

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?

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?

Fairy Potions

Jumping Frogs

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

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.

Baking Soda Explosion

Can you make a fizzy baking soda explosion?

Build a raft

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

Stick and string raft

Cork boats

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

Cork boat science challenge

Rainbow in water

Can you spot a rainbow in a spray of water?

Rainbow in a spray of water

Spin art pictures

Use a salad spinner to make a spin art picture.

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!

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?

Playdough Brain

Can you make a playdough brain?

Playdough brain

How to make an egg float

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

Egg floating in water

Why does Pizza Dough Rise?

Do you know why pizza dough rises ?

Even More Science Challenges

Make Raisins Dance

Make raisins dance around a glass with some clever science.

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.

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.

STEM Challenge Cards
Science Challenges

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

Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by Emma Vanstone

The post Summer Science Challenges for Kids appeared first on Science Experiments for Kids.

Science Experiments for Kids Read More 

Leave a Reply