Baking soda and vinegar certainly will always have a place in our hearts, but homemade science experiments have come a long way since the days of homemade volcanos. And with breaks and summer coming up, you might be looking for some way to beat boredom and keep little hands (and brains) busy by dabbling in some fun — and educational — projects. Get ready to teach your wee ones about things like magnetism, the water cycle and chemistry with these 12 easy experiments. If you have a science- or tech-inclined kiddo in your brood, make sure to also check out Linkitz and Quirkbot. And when you’re ready for creative time, we’ve got plenty of summer camp DIYs and indoor crafts to try as well.
1. Magnet Magic: You’re just a few household items away from a hands-on lesson on magnetic force. (via Babble Dabble Do)
2. Tornado in a Jar: Everything you need for this weather experiment is already in your kitchen. Simply hit up the pantry and you’ve got a DIY twister. (via Juggling With Kids)
3. Peeps Boats: Not sure what to do with all those leftover Peeps? An army of ’em can be your guinea pigs for a bathtub flotation experiment. (via Kids Play Box)
4. Mason Jar Solar Lights: Check out this eco-friendly solar light that doubles as a homemade night light. You can even can etch the jar for a frosted look. (via TinkerLab)
5. Empathy-Building Design Exercise: Building a project for another child (or group of kids) like this DIY storefront helps build empathy and planning and design skills. (via Meri Cherry)
6. Water Cycle in a Bag: Learn how precipitation and evaporation work, all in a tiny Ziploc bag. (via Playdough to Plato)
7. Tiny Dancers (Homopolar Motors): This one’s best for older kids, and lets them combine science with sculpture. (via Babble Dabble Do)
8. Magic Milk Science Experiment: Little ones will love watching the colors swirl around in this easy but wow-worthy experiment. (via Laughing Kids Learn)
9. Paper Building Blocks: Have a boatload of colored paper sitting around? Use it to make blocks that teach some basic engineering principles. (via Babble Dabble Do)
10. Elephant Toothpaste: Use food coloring to up the fun in this foam experiment. (via Fun at Home With Kids)
11. Glow-in-the-Dark Jello: The incredible, edible… glow-in-the-dark Jello? Yep, you can eat this one when you’re done! (via Instructables)
12. Homemade Rock Candy: Candy’s even sweeter when you make it yourself AND when it comes in rainbow colors. (via Happiness is Homemade)
Which experiment are you pinning? Any fun ones that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!