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Super Science Summer – Summer Activities for Smart Kids

This is awesome! 11 weeks of science activities - perfect for the summer and all year! These will keep the kids busy forever!

 

Super Science Summer has been a walk down memory lane for me. I worked as a teacher in a science museum for five years while I was in college, and then I worked as a high school science teacher for ten years, and all the super cool science experiments I did all those years ago came flooding back as I began to brainstorm for things to keep my own kids busy and thinking and engaged in science throughout the long summer.

As I said in my introduction post, I am so excited about this list. It is going to be a stretch for me to do every activity with my kids, and it will probably be a stretch for you to do them all.

There's no pressure here.

Do the ones you want to do, leave out the rest. Use this page as a resource to find super cool stuff to get your kids' minds turned on for the next three months.

There's no fluff here, so if you need a science project during the next school year, you might think about coming back here for ideas. This is real, meaty science.

So what I have done is to create a schedule of all the coolness by week. The materials are organized by week as well, and there are a few cases where you will need something that you probably don't already have. I have included links to buy where that was the case.

My plan is to post each activity as a new blog post (a few activities will link to old posts from the archives) and link the titles below as they go up. The list will be here, ready for you whenever you have time, whether it's every day or once a week.

Make sure to bookmark and pin this page as it will be your hub to all the activities!

The Super Science Summer plan

I had initially thought about planning all the physics activities during the same week, and all the chemistry the next week, and so on, but after I talked to Grace (my 9-year-old), I changed my mind. She thought the best plan was to do something from each science genre every week, so that's what I did. Here's how it works:

  • Monday – Garden science (seeds, plants, flowers, soil, creepy crawlies)
  • Tuesday – Physics (motion, energy, magnetism, light, sound, pressure, engineering)
  • Wednesday – Biology (human body, cells, DNA, microbes)
  • Thursday – Earth science (rocks, craters, weather, renewable energy sources)
  • Friday – Chemistry (solids, liquids, gases, freezing point, acids and bases)

After this was all said and done, I realized that I probably could have written it into a book or at the least, an e-book (and I might someday), but for now, please enjoy the plans for free.

June 6-10

Week One Supplies

  • Ruler
  • Heavy card stock
  • A couple of tea bags
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • Cup
  • Water
  • Paper towels
  • Pencil
  • Drawing paper
  • Coffee filters – The premium ones work best, but this link will get you 300, and you only need about 10.
  • Clear tape
  • A variety of markers in different brands – Black works best and my favorite brands for this activity are Flair and Vis-A-Vis

 

June 13-17

Week Two Supplies

  • A margarine container or any plastic container that's rectangular and about 3″ deep (a takeout container might work)
  • Masking tape
  • A dozen eggs
  • Dark colored soda
  • Dark colored fruit juice
  • Dark colored sports drink (We tried a diet brand to see what would happen.)
  • Orange juice
  • Stones in a variety of sizes – I got a nice bag of rounded stones (preferable) in the craft section of Walmart.
  • A block of wood or heavy cardboard about the same size as the footprint of the margarine container
  • Shovel or trowel
  • Used printer paper
  • 4 glasses or bowls
  • Cardboard, like from a cereal box
  • A large rectangular pan – We used a disposable (aluminum foil) pasta pan from Walmart.
  • Sand – Enough to fill the large rectangular pan about 3″ deep.
  • Flour – You'll need enough to fill the large rectangular pan about 1″ deep.
  • Cocoa powder – Enough for a dusting over the whole rectangular pan.
  • Marbles – I got a bag of those flattened marbles in the floral aisle at the Dollar Tree for $1.
  • Sharpies in a variety of colors – Much cheaper on Amazon than at Walmart
  • 70% rubbing alcohol
  • An empty spray bottle
  • A white t-shirt for each kid

June 20-24

Week Three Supplies

  • Printer paper
  • Empty 2-liter bottle – You're going to have to drink a lot of soda this summer, because we are going to use a lot of 2-liter bottles. Sorry in advance.
  • Large balloon
  • Small balloon
  • Modeling clay – You're going to use a lot of this over the summer. I'm not sure of the cheapest place to get it. Maybe the craft store? Colors don't matter; you'll mostly be using it to seal things together.
  • Ivory soap (at least 3 bars) – Must be Ivory name brand.
  • Empty cereal box
  • Paper clip
  • Rubber bands
  • Crayons
  • Leftover eggs from last week
  • Paper towels – You're going to need a lot of these throughout the summer, so get a couple of rolls.
  • Duct tape – You can get this cheaper at the craft store, but don't get it at Walmart. The rolls there are too small (even though they cost less, you won't have enough tape).
  • Cardboard
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Scavenged items – Your kids will need a few other things, but you can let them scour the house on the day of the experiment. Gracie and Allie used cotton balls, plastic shopping bags, toilet paper tubes, balloons, and some coffee filters. I personally would have used a kitchen towel, but she didn't ask for my advice.
  • Pushpin – You can usually find these at the Dollar Tree store.
  • Quart-sized zippered baggie
  • Soil – You're not planting anything in it, so it doesn't have to be the good stuff.
  • Water
  • Packing tape – Scotch tape might work, but something stronger would work better. You can use your duct tape if you want.

June 27-July 1

  • Can you remove the chlorophyll from leaves?
  • How can you make a rocket fly from one end of the room to the other?
  • What kind of fingerprints do I have?
  • How do forensics officers collect fingerprints?
  • How can you tell time by the sun?
  • How do they keep the roads free from ice in the winter?
  • Does an egg sink or float?

Week Four Supplies

  • A white t-shirt for each kid
  • Big, green leaves, freshly picked
  • Rolling pin
  • Wax paper
  • Hammer
  • Straws
  • Balloons – The large balloons from week three will work.
  • Clear tape
  • String
  • Lotion – Anything will do as long as it lubes up your hands.
  • Cocoa powder
  • Soft paint brush or a makeup brush
  • Glass or mirror – could be a drinking glass
  • Cardboard
  • Pencils
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Modeling clay
  • Ruler
  • Large blocks of ice – you'll need to make these before the day of the experiment. Look for some nice big containers, like leftover containers or recyclables. Make 2-3 per kid.
  • Tub, dishpan, or large bowl
  • 1 cup salt
  • Droppers
  • Food coloring
  • 2 clear glasses
  • Spoon
  • Water
  • 2 raw eggs

July 4-8

  • What different shapes and sizes of leaves can I find in my yard/park/neighborhood?
  • What breaks down fastest in a landfill?
  • Why does my diver sink in a bottle of water?
  • How does a wad of paper stay dry when I put it in a bowl of water?
  • What does DNA look like?
  • How do stalactites form?
  • What happens to paper in water?

Week Five Supplies – Don't be intimidated by the list of supplies for week five. There are a boatload of them, but almost all are things you already have at home.

  • 2 empty 2-liter bottles
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil – very small piece, like 1″ square
  • Newspaper
  • Printer or other paper – 1″ square
  • Fruit peel – save this from the trash. Something thinner would be better, like an apple or pear peel. Not a banana peel or avocado skin, those would not work as well.
  • Green leaves in a variety of shapes and sizes. Pick these on the day you need them, and go for special and interesting ones.
  • Heavy books – If you have any phone books, use them.
  • Lettuce – a small piece
  • Bread – a small piece
  • Dead leaf
  • Popcorn
  • Scissors
  • Small piece of styrofoam – Not sure what to tell you on this one. Do they still sell coffee at McDonald's in styrofoam? Or a packing peanut maybe?
  • Modeling clay
  • Plain white paper
  • Coloring supplies
  • Pen cap with a pocket clip
  • 3 paper clips
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Onion
  • Mixing bowl
  • Salt
  • Spoon
  • Sieve or strainer
  • Colored plastic – small piece, likely cut from a recyclable like a butter tub or sour cream container
  • Water
  • Large bowl
  • 3 tall jars or glasses
  • Denatured alcohol – You can't do the DNA experiment without this. So either buy it or skip that experiment. I don't know if you can get it anywhere else; I didn't look for it. I would think it's probably available at hardware stores at least.
  • Baking soda
  • Small plate
  • Colored paper
  • Yarn – any old yarn will do, but I wouldn't use string. You need something chunkier than string.
  • Colored paper
  • Glue
  • Paper in a variety of thicknesses – newspaper, printer paper, construction paper, card stock (one or two pieces of each will suffice)

July 11-15

  • What can I make with leaves? (Okay, this one is more art than science, but it's using collected leaves, so go with it.)
  • How can I make a pipe cleaner balance on a string?
  • How much air is in my lungs?
  • How do crystals form?
  • What happens when you mix a gas and a liquid?

Week Six Supplies

  • Last week's pressed leaves
  • Colored paper
  • Glue
  • Clear contact paper or a laminator – I prefer the laminator and personally have and use the one I linked here. I love it a lot. But contact paper is cheaper, especially if you aren't going to use a laminator outside of this activity.
  • Pipe cleaners 
  • Long piece of yarn
  • Cardboard
  • Two coins
  • Clear tape
  • Pencil
  • Modeling clay
  • Pony beads – You probably only need 50 for the whole summer, but I don't think they come in packs that small.
  • Empty 2-liter bottle
  • Bendy straws
  • Large bowl
  • Water
  • White sugar
  • Mixing spoon
  • Pot holders
  • Very clean glass jar
  • Pencil
  • Clean yarn/string
  • Paper towels
  • Clear tall jar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food color
  • Funnel if the jar has a small opening
  • Alka-Seltzer – You could probably use about 10 tablets, but if your kids love this experiment, you could easily go through a box of 24.
  • Small cup
  • Knife

July 18-22

  • What are the parts of a flower?
  • Why do I feel funny when an elevator starts to move?
  • Can you remove the shell of an egg without breaking it?
  • How does rain fall through a cloud?
  • How do currents form in the ocean?
  • Why do some things float and some sink?

Week Seven Supplies

  • Several different flowers
  • Sharp scissors
  • Green colored paper
  • Another color paper
  • Clear tape
  • Bendy straws
  • Tall clear glass
  • Water
  • Index card or postcard
  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • 4 raw eggs
  • 3 glass jars
  • Light corn syrup
  • Vinegar
  • Large clear jar (widest mouth possible)
  • Shaving cream
  • Food color
  • Ice cube tray
  • Large clear bowl or small, empty fish tank
  • Microwave-safe cup
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dish detergent
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Lamp oil – This should be available in larger stores. It won't make or break the experiment, so you could skip it if you want.
  • Honey
  • Tall glass cylinder or vase
  • Baster
  • Seven small cups

July 25-29

  • What do worms do to the soil?
  • What sticks to a magnet?
  • How does my eye see colors?
  • What is in rainwater besides water?
  • What does it mean when they say that water is sticky?
  • How can water move from one glass to another if I don't pour it?

Week Eight Supplies

  • 2 empty 2-liter bottles
  • 2-3 earthworms (living, please)
  • Soil – use the soil that you found the worms in
  • Sand
  • Dead leaves
  • Water
  • Plastic wrap
  • Black paper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • White paper
  • Colored paper – yellow, red, and blue
  • Clear tape
  • Paper clip
  • Pushpin
  • Paper towels
  • White glue
  • Liquid starch
  • Disposable bowl
  • Disposable spoon
  • Iron oxide powder
  • Face mask
  • Disposable gloves
  • Neodymium magnets
  • Airtight jar
  • Large cup
  • Coffee filter – You need a round one big enough to cover the large cup.
  • Rubber band – Big enough to put around the top of the large cup.
  • Food color – yellow, blue, red
  • 6 clear cups

August 1-5

  • What does an ecosystem need to survive?
  • How do airplanes fly?
  • Can a bone bend without breaking?
  • What happens when you cool off a gas?
  • How can this be solid and liquid at the same time?

Week Nine Supplies

  • Empty 2-liter bottle with cap
  • Scissors
  • Pebbles
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Egg shells
  • Potting soil
  • 1-2 small plants – Most garden centers have a section of terrarium plants that will work nicely. You want something that is very small and slow growing.
  • Water
  • Hot glue
  • Clean, dry bottle with a mouth slightly smaller than a hard boiled egg
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Matches – A lighter won't work here.
  • Cardstock
  • Clear tape
  • Pencil
  • White or colored paper
  • Hole punch
  • Large rubber band
  • Glass jar with lid
  • Vinegar
  • Chicken bones
  • Corn starch
  • Large bowl

August 8-12

  • Can plants grow without seeds?
  • Can materials ever defy gravity?
  • Can you taste without saliva?
  • How does the wind create power?
  • Which common liquids are acids and which are bases?

Week Ten Supplies

  • A couple of the following:
    • Lettuce or cabbage leaves – the base of a bunch with the root end still attached
    • Celery bottom
    • Avocado pit
    • Potatoes with eyes
    • Sweet potato
    • Ginger root
    • Pineapple top
    • Garlic cloves
    • Green onion bottoms (the white part with the root attached)
    • Fennel bottoms (again, the bottom with roots attached)
    • Carrot leaves with a bit of carrot still attached
    • Beet leaves with a bit of the beet still attached
  • 3 pounds tube shaped pasta, uncooked
  • Large spool of thin ribbon
  • A large bowl
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Cracker
  • Potato chip
  • Water
  • Brightly colored paper
  • Modeling class
  • Bendy straws
  • Paper clip
  • Clear tape
  • String or thread
  • A whole head of red cabbage – you could save the bottom end for the above experiment
  • Slow cooker
  • Strainer
  • Sturdy white paper towels
  • Liquids to test
    • Apple juice
    • Lemon juice
    • Orange juice
    • Dishwashing soap
    • Laundry detergent
    • Hand soap
    • Soda
    • Baking soda mixed into water
    • Potato slices
    • Apple slices
    • Sugar water
    • Window cleaner
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Toothpaste
    • Spit
    • Any other liquids you might have – You don't need all of them, 5-10 will be fun.

August 15-19

Week Eleven Supplies

  • Cardstock
  • Bendy straws
  • Clear tape
  • Water
  • Scissors
  • Leaves of different shapes and sizes
  • Pringles or similar can
  • Clear sandwich bag
  • Skewer
  • Large marshmallow
  • Sugar
  • Dry yeast
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Grated cheese – optional
  • Large bowl
  • Epsom salts
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Spoon
  • Paintbrushes
  • Very clean glass 9×13 pan
  • Heavy cream or whole milk
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Crushed ice
  • Salt
  • Gallon-sized zippered bag
  • Quart-sized freezer bag

Looking for more science fun?

Check out these awesome titles from my Usborne Books store:

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