3 Fun Summer Projects to do with the Kids

Summertime may be a break from school, but it doesn’t have to be a break from learning. It can actually be a time to make the learning more fun! These projects are a fun way to keep the learning going through the summer months. You can catch bugs, plant gardens, make your own ice cream, make a catapult, make your own lip balm and more. These will bring the summer fun, as well as a great day to do some family bonding. Try the activities listed below, and get more fun in Outdoor Science Lab for Kids.

Crazy Catapult 

Two young boys having fun shooting something soft from a catapult.

MATERIALS 
3 or more wooden paint stirring sticks
Spring clamp, such as a chip bag clip
Wire
Duct tape
Nails
Hammer
Sturdy piece of wood or wooden box
Paper cup, with the top two-thirds cut off

PROTOCOL

Step 1: Securely attach one paint stick to each handle of the spring clamp using wire and duct tape. The sticks essentially lengthen the spring clamp, forming a large V with the clamp at its point.

Step 2: Place the third paint stick so that it lies lengthwise along one end of the V and nail the overlapped sticks to a wooden board or box, leaving the other end of the V sticking up into the air.

A young boy hammering the catapult together.

Step 3: Tape the paper cup to the top of the stick in the air to make a launcher for the catapult.

Step 4: Place a small item, such as a dry bean or a marshmallow, in your catapult, pull the top stick all the way down, and then release it. 

The catapult in profile view to show how it should be put together.

Step 5: Launch several items of different sizes and measure how far they travel. Can you predict where the items will land?

 

Safety Tip: Don’t use your catapult to shoot projectiles at people.

 

Lemonade Stand Lip Balm

lip balm and lemons on a table with a sign for the lemonade stand.

MATERIALS
Microwaveable bowl
Coconut oil
Beeswax beads or grated beeswax
Colorful liquid drink mix drops or water flavoring drops
Small containers with lids to hold lip balm, such as empty contact lens cases
Toothpicks or craft sticks for stirring

PROTOCOL

Step 1: In a microwaveable bowl, mix together 2 parts coconut oil to 1 part wax beads (e.g., 8 tablespoons [112 g] coconut oil, 4 tablespoons [55 g] wax beads).

Step 2: Microwave the mixture at 30-second intervals, stirring in between until the wax is completely melted and the solution is clear. 

Children mixing hot wax for the lip balm

Step 3: Cool the solution very briefly. If it gets cloudy or turns white, you’ll need to reheat it.

Step 4: While the solution cools, add a drop or two of flavoring mix to the lip balm containers.

Children putting the finished lip balm in small containers.

Step 5: Carefully pour some hot coconut oil–beeswax mixture into one of the lip balm containers and stir with a toothpick. To mix the color in, continue stirring as the lip balm cools into a smooth paste. Repeat until you’ve filled all of your containers. 

Step 6: When the lip balm has cooled completely, smooth it off using a craft stick or the back of a metal spoon warmed in hot water and dried off.

Children at a stand selling lemonade and the homemade lip balm.

Step 7: Try the lip balm out. Keep it, give it to your friends, or peddle it at a lemonade stand!

Safety Tip: Heating and pouring steps must be done by an adult or with adult supervision to avoid burns.

Petal Bomb 

Young girls showing off their finished petal pictures.

MATERIALS
Fresh flowers
Glue, double-sided tape, or glue dots
Large sheets of paper, poster board, or foam board
Scissors

PROTOCOL

Step 1: Cut some fresh wildflowers, weedy blooms, or garden blossoms. 

A young girl holding up the flower she chose to use.

Step 2: Starting with the sepal, or small green leaves on the outside of a blossom, pull off flower parts, beginning with the outside layer of petals. Affix the outer leaves and petals paper to paper, foam board, or poster board in a large circle.

A child placing their flower petals on the poster board.

Step 3: Continue to remove and glue petals and flower parts, from the outside into your paper or poster board in concentric circles, moving toward the middle. 

Step 4: Glue the middle parts of your flower to the middle of your paper. Put the stem wherever you choose.

A hand placing petals in a different arrangement.

Step 5: Identify the different parts of your flower using an online resource.

Step 6: Compare exploded flowers. 

Safety Tip: Remember to ask permission before raiding gardens.

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The cover of the book shows kids having fun with different summer projects. Learn physics, chemistry, and biology in your own backyard!

At-home science provides an environment of freedom, creativity, and invention that is not always possible in a school setting. It’s simple, inexpensive, and fun to whip up a number of amazing science experiments in your own backyard.

Science can be found all around in nature. Outdoor Science Lab for Kids offers 52 fun STEM activities for families to do together. The experiments can be used as individual projects, for parties, or as educational activities for groups.

Outdoor Science Lab for Kids will tempt families to learn about physics, chemistry, biology, and nature, plus, they’ll learn scientific survival skills and even take some experiments to the playground!

Many of the experiments are safe enough for toddlers and exciting enough for older kids, so families can discover the joy of science and STEM education together.