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Summer Fun Guide – 120+  Summer activities and things to do with kids over the holidays.

Summer Fun Guide – 120+ Summer activities and things to do with kids over the holidays.

With the help of some fantastic guest bloggers, we have produced an article on Summer activities for kids at home. 

 

We know kids have missed a substantial amount of school and so we have included some Science based activities too…. Sorry, I am a Science teacher and could not help myself.

 

There is so much to choose from so simply scroll and skim read the writing in bold and if something catches your eye, read the description.

 

If any of our members or fellow bloggers wish to add ideas and images, please email admin@cluedinwithkids.co.uk as this list is designed to be constantly added to. 

Cooling off with a little water fun

1*’At the car wash’ – Give the kids the hose, sponges, buckets of water, toy cars, bikes and scooters. If you fancy pushing your luck you can see if they will wash your car for a little pocket money!

 

2*’Fireman Sam to the Rescue’ – Use chalk or washable paint on the fence to create what looks like a fire. Hand your child the hose and ask them to put the fire out. Extend play by giving them their own brush to draw their own water/fence images. It would be great to get them to dress up as a firefighter too. 

 

3*Dodgeball using water balloons – Get into pairs or evenly sized teams. Teams form horizontal lines with a row of filled and tied water balloons in between the rows. Ready, steady, go…… it’s a free for all, grab your water balloon, step back to your teams line and throw. Can you hit and soak someone on the other team? If so, they are out. 

 

4*Flower ice cubes/ice paints – Mix flowers with a little food colouring. You could add a lollipop stick and freeze. The kids can then use these to paint numerous images.

 

5*Free the frozen toys – Add waterproof toys to a container, fill with water and freeze. You could include biodegradable glitter or food colouring. Hand kids mini tools and challenge them to free the toys. If they refused to clean their room last night this is a great way to get the kids to earn their toys back. 

 

6*Home made ‘slip n slide’ – Grab some thick plastic sheeting strong enough to avoid tearing Spread the sheeting out and anchor the sides and each corner with some anchor pins. Take care that the pins do not stick out and hurt bare feet. Add some washing up liquid and spray the slide with a little water. You could re-enforce it by rolling up the edges of the sheeting around pool noodles.

 

7*Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water – This is our little girls favourite game…..Whenever I fill up her water table, she empties it out into a smaller container and gives her dollies a bubble bath! She also grabs the animals and pretends she is a veterinarian giving them all a bath too.

 

8*Beach small world – Add some water and sand to a tuff tray, alongside some toys like sharks, pelicans, crabs, pirate ships, shells etc and let their imaginations run wild.

 

9*Sink play  – If its too hot to go outside, fill the sink with water and create a small world scene e.g. an aquarium using blue food colouring and aquatic toys or a safari watering hole by lining the sink with lions, elephants etc. Blue glass pebbles work well and some plastic or acrylic plants. 

 

10*Pour, pour, pour – set up a water pouring station either on a tuff tray or attach at angles along the fence using left over bottles. You could add food colouring and small items to make this super fun (maybe don’t add food colouring if you have set this up by attaching bottles along the fence).

Inspiration kindly provided thanks to https://www.facebook.com/splatmessyplay.co.uk

11*Sink or float – We used an old shower caddy and piece of guttering. Add a large container to store water and your toddler will have hours of fun rolling all sorts of toys down.

 

12*Water pistol fight – RUN!

13*Ball pit – Like in your favourite soft play but this time add the balls to the paddling pool. If the pool is large enough, add some hoops and ask the kids to match the colour of the ball with the hoop. How good is their aim?

14*Go fish – Add some fish with a paper clip to a container of water. Then grab a wooden stick/twig with a string and magnet attached and enjoy a spot of fishing.  

15*Window art – Give them some foam shapes and paintbrushes. They can use the water to stick the foam images to the glass.

16*Head to your local outdoor pool, water park or beach – A selection of these can be found on our website by searching our day out directory e.g. Alderford Lake, Manley Mere and Adventure Docks.

Get back to nature

Image credit belongs to Kenyon Hall Farm 

17*Visit a flower field – Whether that be a sunflower, lavender or wild flower meadow it’s sure to get those summer vibes going. (Idea from https://www.facebook.com/dirtdiggersanddinosaurs)

 

18*Visit a Maze – Due to Covid 19 we have not had a chance to update our Maze blog but feel free to check out our 2019 publication for inspiration as many of these businesses are in the process of resuming. https://www.cluedinwithkids.co.uk/where-to-explore-a-maze-in-summer-2019/

 

19* Make bark and leaf boats – Grab a large leaf to act as a sail and use sticks or twigs to make the base. Secure the base with grass and attach the sail. An alternative is to use left over fruit e.g. orange peel as the base. Finally, race them in a puddle or a stream

 

20* Explore rock pools – Head to your local beach as the tide is going out and have a little look at which little sea critters have been left behind. Take a bucket and a net along on your expedition. Why not head to the RSPB website where you can find an activity to complete on your rockpool adventure?

 

21*Crab fishing and crab racing – Head off to a beach or harbour with a net, bucket and bait. Cut offs and left over pieces of meat and fish are their preferred choice. Don’t forget to gently tip the crabs back in rather than throw them from a height. Alternatively, find a spot close to the water and again gently tip the crabs. Will your crab be the first to enter the water properly?

 

22*Fishing – Support your local tackle shop as they can give you the best advice on the right type of equipment and bait to use, as well as ideas on the best fisheries and canals to catch particular species.

 

23*Nature scavenger or mini beast hunt – There are plenty of downloadable activity sheets which contain items for the kids to find and tick off as a checklist or you can make your own. Examples could be pine cones, sticks, empty snail shells, pebbles, flowers, fallen branch, and a selection of animals to tick off on your travels. You could take a pooter to collect the little critters and use identification keys to name them. 

Sent on our own mini beast hunt as part of our activity from Krafty Monkeys. Image credit belongs to CIWK 

24*Pond dipping – The RSPB have some fab activities associated with pond dipping. Take along a net when you next visit a pond, lake or stream and scoop up some water. Carefully place in a container and you’ll be amazed at what lurks there.

 

25*Pooh sticks – Find a stream with a little bridge and each of you take a stick. Throw the sticks into the stream below and see which stick floats under the bridge and to the other side the fastest. As Julia Donaldson’s Stick Man book states ‘its one, two three, into the river they go’.

 

26*Photography challenge – One for the older kids. Give mini photographers a disposable camera and ask them to take images of a local environment to make a little project. They can take images of local animals or if you want to sow the seeds for eco living, you could take images that highlight issues regarding pollution e.g. traffic, power stations, factories etc.

 

27*Den building – Head to a woodland and make a cave for a bear or dinosaur out of sticks.

 

28*Turn caterpillars into butterflies – There are numerous kits you can purchase online and the kids really enjoy releasing the butterflies into the wild. It’s a great activity for learning about life cycles.

Bug hotel. Image credit belongs to Michelle from Small Eco Steps of Chester

29*Make a bug hotel – Support hedgehogs, newts, bees and all sorts of critters like dragonflies by giving them a little shelter in your garden. Again, the RSPB gives an easy to follow method.

 

30*Make a butterfly feeding table – Get a piece of plywood and 4 metal screw eyes. Use the screw eyes to attach a loop of string on either end of the wood so that the new table can hang off a tree branch. Place four left over jam jar lids on the table and decorate to look like flowers using coloured card. Add pieces of fruit or sugar solution and observe.  

 

31*Make a worm farm – This is basically a compost bin so please check our ‘garden fun for kids’ section below.

 

32*Make a bird feeder – The RSPB gives a fantastic step by step guide.

 

33*Have a snail race – learn about the importance of respecting all creatures great and small. Why are snails slower than other creatures? Why is their shell important? Where will you find them and why?

 

34*Press flowers – After selecting your flowers open a book and line it with newspaper. Lay the flowers out as flat as you can. Close the book and weigh it down. Check them daily and once dry carefully remove them and use glue to add the pressed flowers to card to make an image.

Garden fun for kids

Image credit belongs to https://www.facebook.com/dirtdiggersanddinosaurs

35 *Festival time – If it’s festival season why miss out? Make a tipi in the garden, get the fairy lights out and dance until the sun sets. Then of course its time for hot chocolates and stories around the campfire  

 

36*Garden camping – Set up the tent and enjoy some games. Make your own little campfire and toast marshmallows as the temperature drops. You could get creative and run with a theme e.g. UFO camp and spend the night learning about the night sky and recent developments in space exploration. Did you know there was once life on Mars? There’s so much to talk about. 

 

37*Outdoor family cinema – There are numerous companies you can hire that can set up an amazing family cinema experience for you in your garden. Alternatively, speak to a local farmer about sourcing some hay bales or use a range of bean bags and soft throws. Purchase a projector and either a blackout cloth or a screen. Don’t forget the snacks!

 

38*Bring the beach to you – Enjoy the great British seaside with everything from the pier to the donkey rides…. It can all be recreated with a bit of imagination and cardboard. 

Image credit belongs to https://www.facebook.com/dirtdiggersanddinosaurs

39*Cressheads – Grow cress in some left over eggs from your breakfast. Draw faces on so it looks like a cresshead. Idea thanks to https://www.instagram.com/gardeningforkidsbycraig/

 

40*Grass heads – Grow grass in old pots, tins or even tights! You can even get the kids to cut the hair and decorate the containers to make it look like a face. Idea thanks to https://www.instagram.com/gardeningforkidsbycraig/

 

41*Grass caterpillars in plastic bottles – Rather than bin them, cut a 2l plastic bottle in half length ways. Add your compost and grass seed. Once the grass is grown, give the kids pipe cleaners, googgly eyes and other craft items to turn it into a caterpillar. Idea thanks to https://www.instagram.com/gardeningforkidsbycraig/

 

42*Make a dinosaur garden – Succulents don’t grow deep roots so a shallow plant pot or old tyre is fine. Add compost, a small number of small succulents, large rocks, and fill the rest with some black pebbles or stones. Paint a large rock with a small amount of orange/red paint to resemble a lava flow. If you trust that your child will not ingest them, you could add some small blue glass beads to resemble a lake. Add the dinosaurs and away you go.

 

43*Make a fairy garden –  This looks great if you use 3 pots but also good if you just use one. Fill with compost and a small number of hardy plants. Link the pots by using twigs to make little bridges so the fairies can move between pots. Also use twigs/sticks and a glue gun to make fairy houses or get some garden pebbles and an old 2l plastic bottle, cut out a hole for the door and windows and glue the stones on to said bottle. Painted lollipop sticks make great houses and fences. Glass beads make a great lake. Why not add a hammock for the fairies to sleep in?

44*Grow vegetables – These can be grown either in the garden or on a windowsill depending on what you select.

 

45*Re-grow vegetables from kitchen scraps – E.g. Potatoes, avocado, onions and celery. The method depends on what you are growing.  Idea thanks to https://www.instagram.com/gardeningforkidsbycraig/

 

46*Sunflower competition – With a group of friends, agree to all plant a sunflower in the garden on the same day. Each week check in with each other to see how each others flower is progressing.

 

47*Build a compost bin – Turn the container over so the bottom faces upwards. Drill 3 to 4 x ¼ inch holes in the bottom then turn back the correct way up. Line the bottom with newspaper. Moisten with a sprinkling of water. Add a layer of straw, then sawdust, then shredded leaves as this will enable oxygen to get to the decomposers and microbes so they can respire and break down the food. Add several inches of soil and around 30 to 35 worms. Feed them lettuce and other green leafy vegetable scraps so they get a nutrient rich diet. Coffee grounds and egg shells also work but never add meat or dairy.

 

48*Make a sundial – Choose a spot in your garden that doesn’t receive much shade. Using plasticine secure a straw upright. At 9am, use some chalk and draw a line on the flagstones to show the shadow cast by the sun. Record the time. Continue to do this each hour throughout the day. Alternatively, you can use paper (stones on each corner stop it blowing away). When is the sun at its highest point in the sky? How can you tell? The sun ‘appears’ to move across the sky but does it really? Talk about sunrise and sunset and how the sun is lower in the sky in Winter.

Keeping active outdoors

49*Go fruit picking – There is a range of fruit farms listed on our website. Please ring each venue in advance due to the current Covid-19 situation.

 

50*Family sports day – please see our blog on some great ideas of activities you can complete at home https://www.cluedinwithkids.co.uk/how-to-have-a-fantastic-sports-day-at-home/

 

51*Play team sports  – Once restrictions ease, find a large field and organise a good old fashioned game of rounders.

 

52*Outdoor obstacle course – Set up some cones to run in between, a tunnel to crawl under, old tyres to step into, bean bags to balance on their heads as they run from one place to another, use logs to set up a balance beam, and get some wooden sticks pegged into the ground with some rope zigzagging for the kids to crawl or climb over depending on how high to tie the rope to the pegs. Anything goes and these are just a few suggestions but feel free to get creative with what you have at home. 

 

53*Play croquet – There are all sorts of fun croquet sets for purchase or simply bend some old hula hoops or make cardboard bridges.

 

*54*Play footgolf or mini golf –  Place a pan or container on its side to act at the hole. Set the distance you want each competitor to kick from and give them 5 attempts. Alternatively, you could have 5 pans or containers spread out and five balls. The further the container the more points. How many points are scored after the five kicks. You could use some screwed up paper as a ball if you don’t have one.

 

55*Balloon Volleyball – Grab ssomething to act as a net secure to e.g. two chairs. Which team drops the balloon first?

 

56*Go for a paddle or feed the ducks – There’s all sorts of fantastic beauty spots to explore so get those wellies on!

Image credit belongs to https://www.facebook.com/dirtdiggersanddinosaurs

57*Wake up early and watch the sunrise – Head to a local beauty spot and enjoy.

 

58*Garden Yoga – A little rest and relaxation could be just what is needed.

 

59*Blow bubbles in the garden – We use Dr Ziggs as madam enjoys the absolutely huge bubbles her and her daddy can set off.  

 

60*Fly a kite – All you need is recycled newspaper, dowels, string and ribbon. Off you go!

 

61*Family bike ride – No explanation needed. Head for a woodland trail, BMX park or simply go and explore the countryside.

 

62*Go on a hike – Climb those hills and mini mountains.

 

63*Go Kayaking, Canoeing, or even head to an outdoor water obstacle course. Popular venues include Manley Mere, Alderford Lake and The Adventure Dock Merseyside.  

64*Head to forest school – Forest schools are a great way to learn some outdoor skills and keep the kids busy in a natural environment. Please see our website for forest schools near you.

 

65*If you go down to the woods today – Explore your local woodland. A selection can be found in our day out directory.  

 

66*Climb a tree – Always fun and great for building up a kids strength and resilience.

 

67*Hang a swing from a garden tree – Some strong rope and upcycled wood is pretty much all you need.

 

68*Stargazing – If you are fortunate enough to have a telescope, head off to an area where there is little light pollution for the full effect. You may be lucky and spot a meteor shower.

 

69*Geocache – Use GPS on your mobile to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.

 

70* Hammock time! After all that activity, take a well deserved nap in a hammock.

CIWK building a den at Delamere thanks to Forest Explorers. 

Cooking and baking

71*Ice cream cookie sandwiches – Our recipe will be added here shortly.

 

72*Ice Cream social – Get a large clean tuff tray or large container and place a range of ice creams and topping down for the children to create their own sundaes…. The perfect way to cool down and you can even turn it into an ice cream parlour. 

 

73* Sell some mocktails – Get creative and use either your toy shop or convert a cardboard box to create a food/market stall. From this, use fresh fruit to make a range of yummy smoothies and fruit kebabs.

 

74*Slushy time – As above but make slushies, real lemonade or non alcoholic cocktails. Adults you can sneak a little tipple in your drink when the kids aren’t looking!

We are really impressed by this fantastic idea. 
Image credit https://www.instagram.com/anoptimisticadventure/?hl=en

75*Make chocolate lollipops – melt down some cooking chocolate into moulds and add a stick. Sprinkle with marshmallows and sprinkles before the chocolate cools and sets.

 

76*Fruit animals – Give the kids a number of different fruit items and some childrens cutlery. Ask them who can make an animal from the fruit. Have some print outs ready for the kids to provide inspiration.

 

77*Eating around the world – Dine alfresco as a family. All of you place a screwed up piece of paper with your written country into a hat. Each week, draw a country and the family have to work together to piece together a meal from that location. If possible, also play the music from the chosen country ad you enjoy the meal outside. Dirt Diggers and Dinosaurs kindly sent us their image of their ‘trip to India’.

A round trip to India for dinner? Image credit belongs to https://www.facebook.com/dirtdiggersanddinosaurs

78*Burger Van – You could create a burger van from cardboard and the kids can serve up what you have cooked on the grill.

 

79*Historic recipe hunt – Ask a family member to share with you a tried and tested family recipe and try to re-create this as a family.

 

80*Make portrait tortilla pizzas – with the temperatures soaring, a traditional pizza may be a little heavy on the stomach. However, the tortilla pizzas are nice and light and the kids are completely in charge of the toppings! Turn it into a competition to get the pizzas to look like family/friends.

 

81*Mad Hatters afternoon tea – Gather up some toys and blankets, old tea pots, pans, mismatched crockery and serve a range of sandwiches, cakes and scones. There are some free ‘drink me’ and ‘eat me’ templates online to print off. Don’t forget to set up a little croquet for them too!

Messy and Sensory Play

We’re going on a bear hunt inspired tuff tray/small world idea

82*Messy Tuff Trays/small world outside – We will be working with our sponsor to bring you ideas of messy and sensory tuff trays. Please visit our blog for our recent creations e.g. Gruffalo and We’re going on a bear hunt.

 

83*Make a sensory walk – We used a range of food items to represent the different story scenes of the popular book ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’. Full instructions can be found on the blog section of our website.  

 

84*Rainbow spaghetti – This is a great sensory activity. Add scoops and other toys to heighten the fun. Remove the spaghetti or pasta shapes before fully cooked to stop them turning to mush. Rinse in cold water to remove excess starch. Divide the spaghetti into the different coloured batches and work the dye into the pasta. Ziploc bags may not allow the dye to spread as evenly so use trays or bowls.

 

85*Mud pies – Let the kids raid the pots and pans. Give them a little compost and some leaves, flowers and twigs and see what wonderful creations they develop.

 

86*Create a make shift mud kitchen – As above but set the stage by using an old pallet or some cardboard boxes.

 

87*Dig for treasure – Fill a tuff tray with some sand and hide the kids toys and chocolate coins inside. Add some spades, buckets, pirate ship etc and away they go! If you do not have sand use own brand cereal or dyed rice. It would be really cute if you got them to create their own pirate hats from card.

 

88*Baby sensory water mat and sensory bottles – Sensory mats are available online or you can make your own. For water bottles, simply fill with water beads, pom poms or other easily sourced craft items and top up with water. Obviously seal really well. To make the water mat, you use similar items and laminating pouches or you can buy them online. A video on how to make them can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C6r8Cbw2GE

Arts and Crafts

Image kindly supplied by local business https://www.instagram.com/art.and.education/ 

89*Build castles, spitfires, shops and more from old cardboard. A great way of making use of all those Amazon deliveries during lockdown and a great way for kids to get creative.

 

90*Bubble painting – Simply mix your chosen paint with a bubble solution or washing up liquid plus some water in a bowl. You can also add straws and blow. Roll out some paper and place the bowls on top so the bubbles blow over the top of the bowl creating patterns below.

 

91*Water balloon painting – Pin some paint filled water balloons to a propped up canvas. Aim the darts and fire…. Will you pop the balloon, what pattern would it make?

 

92*Water pistol painting – Fill the pistols up with a diluted washable paint and attach a large piece of card to something that can prop it up. Lay down a sheet to avoid it dripping on the grass and just let them go for it!

 

93*Paint spatter with rubber bands – Grab a roasting dish and line with a piece of paper. Then add rubber bands around the dish. Use a brush to paint each band a different colour then carefully twang the band to create your spatter picture.

 

94*Chalk Art Museum – Grab the chalks and ask everyone to create an image on the flagstones. Then admire each others work. Chalk SHOULD be easily removed with a stiff brush.

 

95*Chalk hopscotch – Draw the design on the pavement or the garden path and play. Chalk should be removed easily with a stiff brush.

 

96*Paint ‘runway’ – get a large piece of wallpaper backing paper. At various points add small containers of paint and simply let them strut their stuff barefooted and walk down the run way. What interesting patterns do their tootsies make? Add some stencils and other useful craft supplies to build on the image.

Image copyright: Clued in with kids nature painting. 

97*Nature Painting – Gather up a few resources from the garden or your local woodland e.g. twigs, leaves, flowers, pine cones etc. Use a few blades of grass or straw to tie the leaves together to make brushes. Fill a container with mud and off you go. You could also use the colourful paints you are likely to have at home.

 

98*Create a nature collage – Gather up all of the nature items you collected on your last woodland walk e.g. pine cones, flowers, twigs, leaves, pebbles etc and see if you can form an image. Butterflies, ladybirds, caterpillars, trees….. the choice is endless.

 

99*Texture rubbings – As an extension of the above activities, place the natural items under a piece of paper and then colour the paper in with a crayon to reveal the patterns made.  

 

100*Pebble pictures –Arrange the pebbles to represent family members by using two rounded pebbles and drawing on arms. You can then draw on the remainder of the scene. You could also complete this activity at the beach e.g. use the pebbles to recreate your families footprints in the sand,  but please do not take the beach pebbles home 😊

 

101*Painting stones with water – grab some paint brushes and containers of water and just let them design some images on your garden flags. Images will dry quickly so kids will always have a canvas.

 

102*Rock painting – Why not join a rock painting group? Buy some pebbles from your local garden centre and paint some images. Then hide the rocks within the community or a woodland for others to find and re-hide.

 

103*Dress a mini me – Again, use a large piece of wallpaper backing paper and ask your child to lie down on it. Draw around them. The child can then use either their real clothes to dress their mini me or draw the clothes on.

STEM activities for kids (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)

Please see additional terms and conditions before partaking in STEM activities.

 

104*Make taste safe moon sand –  Great for making impressions. You need flour, food dye and vegetable oil with a ratio of 1 cup of oil to 8 cups of flour. First, measure out the oil and add the colouring. Mix and add more colouring if the oil doesn’t have a strong colour. Add this to the flour and use spoons and toddler fingers to mix. Play!

 

105*Fossil digging – The simplest method is to just hide a few toy bones under some play sand and give the kids a range of rakes, spades and brushes. You can trap dinosaur bones and other toy bones in ice and give the kids similar tools to break them free. Another method to trap the bones is to combine 2 cups of cornflour to 1 cup of water. Add more cornflour if its too watery. Place the bones inside and then store outside in the sun for 2 to 3 days until it hardens.

 

106*Dinosaur salt dough impressions – To make salt dough, in a bowl mix 1 cup of flour with half a cup of salt. Add some water and stir together. Continue to add water until it forms a ball. Transfer to a floured surface and mould into the correct shape. Give to the kids and they can make their dinosaur or fossil impression. Heat in the oven on the lowest setting until it hardens. Leave to cool and if you want, paint the creation. 

 

107*Frozen Dinosaur eggs – Blow up a balloon to stretch it out then insert a SMALL dinosaur toy. Fill balloon with water but don’t overfill. Tie and freeze. Use a scalpel or knife to carefully remove the balloon. Alternatively use ice cube trays. Give the kids a range of tools and warm water to help the dino babies hatch. Pipettes or meat basters work a treat. Extend with a little Science lesson…. Does the temperature of the water affect the rate of hatching?

 

108*Flower eggs –  Follow the balloon method above but use flowers instead of dinosaurs.

 

109*Colour mixing laboratory – Really easy and great for teaching pre-schoolers about colours. Use a range of containers e.g. take away containers, reinforced test tubes and conical flasks for children, beakers etc all filled with water and add a small amount of food colouring to each. Give the kids a range of pipettes and some empty containers and let them play. Older kids can maybe measure the volume (to the bottom of the meniscus). 

 

110*Make RED cabbage indicator solution – Great for testing which solutions around the house are acidic, alkaline and neutral. Grate half a red cabbage and add to a large bowl. Boil the water in a kettle and add just enough to cover the red cabbage. Leave for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place a strainer over a clean bowl and strain off the liquid. The liquid is your indicator and should look blue or purple. Give the kids some safety goggles and pipettes and under supervision, let them test a range of household solutions e.g. milk, salt water, toothpaste, lemon juice, apple juice, vinegar water, a soapy mixture etc. Although strong alkalis are used in schools the solutions are diluted so, we recommend adults demonstrate bleach etc. Here are the approx. pH’s: pH2 (red), pH4 (pink/purple), pH6 (violet), pH 7-9 (blue), pH 10-12 (green), pH 14 (yellow). The results are estimates and will change slightly with each batch you make.

 

111*Water filtering in the stream – Get a responsible adult to cut an empty 2l drinking bottle in half. Place the base on the ground and then turn the top upside down and place inside the base. Fill with fine sand, then coarse sand then rocks. You need the larger items at the top so these are placed in last. Collect water from the stream and filter. This will NOT necessarily be safe to drink but will give the kids an idea of how filtering works ready for school. You could discuss filtration techniques used by Bear Grylls, and kids will be fascinated that he can drink his own filtered urine.

112*Super volcano – This gets messy. Use an empty 2l bottle and around the bottle, use ripped up newspaper and 3 parts PVA glue to one part water to make your adhesive for papier machet. Shape like a volcano. Dry and paint. If possible, try to mould the paper around the bottle but enable the bottle to be removed for filling/emptying.  When the volcano paint dries, surround the volcano with toy plants/animals depending on your theme. Fill the bottle with 400ml white vinegar coloured with red colouring. Add 100ml cold water and a few squirts of washing up liquid. When ready, dissolve two tsp of bicarbonate of soda in a small amount of water, pour this into the bottle and watch the eruption.

 

113*DIET Cola and Mentos – Again this gets messy. Get a bottle of diet cola. Any size will do but the best effect is with 2l. Unscrew the lid and immediately add a mentos. STAND BACK and watch the whoosh! Goggles are also advised. As the mentos sinks, this releases more carbon dioxide gas. The gas will rise and join up with the carbon dioxide bubbles already present (It’s the carbon dioxides that enables fizzy drinks to get their fizz) leading to a fountain effect.  Additives e.g. sweeteners may increase the foam height by lowering surface tension, hence why we have advised you to use diet coke.  Find out how surface area affects eruption height by looking at whether crushed mentos affect the eruption compared to whole mentos. 

 

114*Elephants toothpaste – As well as guidance in terms and conditions, gloves are recommended as chemicals are classed as irritants.  Use an empty 2L plastic bottle, insert a funnel in its neck. Add half a cup of a 6% or less solution of hydrogen peroxide which you can pick up from many beauty providers. Add a squirt of washing up liquid and 2/3 drops of food colouring. In a cup, combine one tsp yeast to 2 tbsp of very warm water. Pour the yeast mixture into the bottle and remove funnel. STAND BACK. Heat and steam generated can be dangerous so stand well back. Hydrogen peroxide naturally breaks down but does so slowly. Adding the yeast drastically speeds up the rate of decomposition. The release of oxygen causes the bubbles and the heat is released as this is an exothermic reaction.

 

115*Make slime or ‘flubber’ and have a bounce off outside – The best recipe is to use household borax but this is an irritant and so if you choose this method, gloves are advised. Here is an alternative using contact lens solution but this still contains small amounts of borax so gloves are still advised. Use half a cup (120ml) PVA glue and add 2tbsp water and stir with a wooden stirrer. Add half a cup of shaving cream, stir, then add half a tbsp of bicarbonate of soda. Stir then add a few drops of food colouring and biodegradable glitter (optional). Stir and slowly add 1 tbsp contact lens solution that contains borax whilst you stir continuously until you get a thick substance. If its too sticky, add more contact lens solution. Remove this from the container and work with your hands. The more you work it and the more contact lens solution you add, the harder and more flubber like it will become. 

 

116*Make a flowery perfume –  Pull off some petals from some safe flowers and use your fingers to tear these into pieces. You can also crush herbs. Encourage smelling throughout.  Add to the bottom of a jar then add chopped up fruits e.g. lemons, limes, grapefruits, oranges etc. Fill the jar ¾ of the way with water. If you wish, add some food colouring. Add the lid to the jar and leave for 30 minutes. Use a funnel to pour the concoction into a smaller bottle (you could go one step further and use filter paper or a coffee filter to filter the mixture). Design a label and there you go. You could give the kids pipettes and ask them what happens when you mix fragrances.

 

117 *Go on a mini beast hunt – Issue some small magnifiers and download a mini beast checklist online. Laminate this so it can be used again and give the children a whiteboard pen. Head out to a woodland and don’t be afraid of lifting rocks and looking under the leaves for you to find these mini critters.

 

118*Make a rain gauge – This is great for teaching kids about the seasons as the rainfall will differ. However short term, you will simply use it to track how much rain falls in your garden over a week. Recycle a disposable 1l plastic water bottle. With a sharp knife cut the neck at the cylindrical part. Use scissors to invert the neck into a funnel. Use a ruler and a marker pen and from the bottom draw a line. From the bottom, start at 0cm and every 5cm make a mark using the pen. Dig a hole in the ground to stop it blowing away and wait for the rain to fall.

 

119*Boat contest 1  – Give children a large bowl of water and a range of construction type materials such as lollipop sticks, twigs, pipe cleaners, recycled takeaway trays, fruit skins e.g. oranges and grapefuits halved, string, cardboard, eco friendly straws (not paper based). Set up a pretend shop and give the kids a budget. Each item costs a certain price. Can they build a boat or a raft and stay within budget? Extend this by seeing which raft can hold the most mass.

120*Boat contest 2 – as above but place the boats in a paddling pool on a windy day and see which boat travels furthest or fastest.

 

130*Paper plane contest – How does the design affect how high and how far it travels when outside?

 

140*Make a kite – Which materials work best? Why? You can discuss how different materials have different properties and this affects whether or not they are selected for a particular purpose.

And finally.....

Finally, ready for next Summer, write down all of the enjoyable activities you have completed on some lollipop sticks and add them to the ‘boredom’ cup. Next time it’s a nice day or ready for next summer, take it in turns selecting a stick and complete that activity.

© August 2019 and edited August 2020

Our guest bloggers:

A huge thank you to our guest bloggers for providing both inspiration and images for our Summer activities blog. We have loved working with you and look forward to doing so again in the future.

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Additional terms and conditions:

*For all Science experiments, safety goggles should be worn and please note that some chemicals suggested may stain clothes so use clothing that you are not overly concerned about.

*Parents/carers are responsible for doing their own research and writing their own risk assessment before partaking in Science activities. All activities are suggestions only and Clued in with kids can not be held responsible for any injuries occurred due to carrying out a method incorrectly or not using the correct concentrations of chemicals.

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