10 Hands-On STEM Activities For Kids

Whether it’s a rainy day inside or just the odd free Saturday afternoon, these hands-on STEM activities for kids are perfect for combining fun with practical learning. At Hack, we obviously love creating and finding engaging activities for kids that are as educational as they are fun, so we hope you find something on this list that you’ll want to try out.

10 Hands-On STEM Activities for Kids:

1) Make Magnetic Slime

We know, we know, it feels like every kid is making slime these days...but who is making magnetic slime?! Making slime is a great way to learn about chemistry and physics, and making magnetic slime adds another layer of fun to the mix, literally.

 


2) Change the color of water by testing its PH levels with cabbage:  

Red cabbage can be used as a tool to determine the PH levels of different liquids, the fun part is that the liquids change color right before your eyes. Plus you can probably go this one with the stuff you already have around the house.


3) Building 3D structures with Jelly Beans:

This is a fun, easy way to learn about physics and geometry with minimal (but delicious) supplies. Simply pick up some jelly beans (or any other kind of gummy candy) and some toothpicks. Use the jelly beans as a bonding agent and the toothpicks as your structure and see who can build the tallest tower.


4) Egg Drop Challenge:

This is pretty straightforward: Build a “structure” around an egg that will protect it when it’s dropped from a “significant height.” The quotes imply that you can (and should!) think very creatively about your construction. Here are some impressive examples of people who have nailed this challenge in the past:


5) IRL Coding:

This one is very close to home for the Hack team, we actually use it as a warm-up sometimes when we are getting ready to think about coding. This game is essentially roleplaying “computer and programmer. Here’s how it works:

  • Determine who will be the computer and who will be the programmer.
  • The programmer comes up with a simple task they want the computer to perform (ex: stand up and open the door) and writes every little direction the computer needs to follow to complete the task.
  • Then without telling the computer what the task is, the programmer reads their code to see if it works. If it doesn't, they just found a bug (how cool is that?!). Fix the bug and keep going.

6) Celery Osmosis:

This is a great way to hone in your observation and reporting skills. While the project is pretty simple, the real fun in it is creating and keeping an observation log. You can set a timer and record the progress every two hours.


7) Baking Soda Balloon Blow Up:

Fun and a little messy, this is another great chemistry lesson that you can probably do with the supplies that you already have around the house. It’s even more fun when you draw designs on the balloons before they expand to see what they look like they blow up.


8) Homemade Lava Lamp:

Watch your room come alive with this exciting little lesson in chemistry and fluid dynamics. This is another STEM activity that can mostly be done with things you already have at the house.


9) Lego Zipline:

Do you have a giant collection of mismatched legos sitting in a box waiting for a rainy day activity? Try setting up a zip line across a room in your house and challenge your kiddo to a build-your-own lego gondola race:


10) Walking Water:

This is one of the more visually pleasing of our hands-on STEM challenges and does require a bit more time to run its course. Watch as different colored water moves from cup to cup and log your observations every 15 minutes. Bonus: if you have an extra camera or GoPro set up a time-lapse video to watch and review after.

We hope you give these hands-on STEM activities for kids a try and, if you want more, be sure to check out the HACK computer the only full-stack laptop that teaches kids how to code by inviting them to hack.