Spring break is here! What will you do with your time off? Perhaps you’re looking forward to a family vacation, or a few days of down time at home. Either way, find a quick and easy project that’s sure to put a sparkle in the eye of any science lover, or win over a reluctant scientist.

Spring Break Science: Explore the Great Outdoors

Beach Day

Does your travel destination include water? Scoop up a sample of ocean, lake, or river water into a clear cup or bottle, then use a magnifying glass to look for creatures and plants. You might find a variety of marine diatoms and dinoflagellates (very small algae). Look for protozoa (single-celled organisms) as well.
Invite younger children to go on a beach scavenger hunt! Bring along some crayons and this seashore science worksheet for a fun activity.

looking up at evergreen treesA Walk in the Woods

If you’re hiking or camping this spring break, consider doing a simple science project on the way. Find out the age of a tree!

  1. Find a tree, and make a guess at its age.
  2. Measure around the tree with a tape measure (or use a piece of yarn and a ruler). Make sure to measure around the trunk of the tree at five feet above the ground.
  3. Calculate how old your tree is! On average, trees grow one inch in circumference (the distance around) each year. If your tree was 20 inches around, it would be about 20 years old.
  4. How close was your guess?

Spring Break Science: Experiment at Home

Sunny Day Science Projects

  • Crack open a geode – explore the world of rocks and minerals with this project. You might be amazed at the crystals you find inside an ordinary rock.
  • Make a human sundial – study shadows on a sidewalk to tell the time! You need an open space, a compass, and sidewalk chalk.
  • Elephant toothpaste – use our all-in-one science kit to create lots and lots of colored foam! This project can be messy, so we recommend doing it outside for easy cleanup.

Indoor Activities for Rainy Days

ice cream cone

  • Race a balloon rocket car – watch our video to find out how to make your own balloon-powered car. Uses household items (adult supervision needed).
  • Make ice cream in a bag – mix up some simple ingredients and play a game of catch with a friend, or shake the bag to enjoy a delicious homemade treat.
  • Grow crystals – use Epsom salt to grow a beaker of crystals in a few hours!