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Pinwheel Crafts - Nature STEM Activities

Pinwheel Crafts - Nature STEM Activities

With kids still unable to return to regular activities outside of the home, ensuring their learning does not get hampered has become a challenge. Online classes have kept the momentum, but lack of socialization and physical activities has put a dent in all the fun. Kids need stimulation to stay active, and a 1-hour online class does not provide that.

How about doing some earth day STEM activities at home?

For those parents who don’t know, STEM refers to science, technology, engineering, and math. DIY projects covering these four areas provide kids with valuable life lessons. You can find plenty of kits online that offer a complete STEM activity experience. Here at Pinwheel Carts, we offer a home gardening Flower Pot Kit that allows kids to make unique flower pots with funny designs. While there are plenty of activity kits like these available online, the good news is that you can make them at home too.

Following are four DIY earth day STEM activities you can do with your kids:

Potato Battery

We would all love to have an alternative source of energy, and thanks to things like solar panels, wind farms, and hydro power, we are well on our way to achieving this. However, lighting a bulb with a potato… seems a little too farfetched, right? Well, it’s possible! Here’s how:

You Will Need

• Water
• Tongs
• Stove
• Large Russet Potatoes
• Copper Plates
• Zinc Plates
• Electrical Tape
• Alligator Wires and Clips
• Multi-Meter
• LED Light Bulbs

Directions

• The process of lighting up a bulb using potatoes is fairly simple, but it requires a lot of testing and investigating.
• First, slice your potatoes in half and boil them for 8 minutes. (Make sure not to over boil because you want the slices to remain firm.)
• Once the slices have cooled down, tape a copper plate on the open side of the slice and a zinc plate at the bottom.
• Make sure the plates extend beyond the potato and then attach the alligator clips to them.
• To create a battery, place several potatoes (5) in line. Attach a lead to the copper side and then connect the second part of the lead to the other potato.
• Now attach a lead to the potato at both ends. (5 potatoes will produce around 4.35 volts.)
• Attach the end leads to the LED and see the magic happen.

Use the multi-meter to measure the volts. If you are using a standard size LED, you might have to up the number of potatoes.

Earth Day Slime

Kids love slime! Of course, much of this insane craving can be traced back to kids watching the Nickelodeon Awards where celebrities get dumped on with buckets of slime. Store-bought slime can be toxic, and some of them have weird smells. So, we have provided you with a safe, diy home alternative! Here’s how to make it:

You Will Need

• White Glue: 2 Bottles
• Borax: ½ Teaspoon
• Hot Water: 1 Cup
• Room Temperature Water: 2½ Cups
• 3 Bowls
• Green and Blue Food Coloring

Directions

• In a bowl, mix ½ teaspoon borax with a cup of hot water.
• Once the borax has dissolved, let the mixture cool down.
• In a second bowl, mix ½ cup of room temperature water and 6oz of Elmer’s glue.
• Add 10 drops of food coloring and stir until the mixture has an even blue color.
• Dig your hands in to squish the mixture between your fingers.
• In a third bowl, mix the remaining Elmer’s glue with ½ cup of room temperature water.
• Add 10 drops of food coloring and stir until the mixture has an even green color.
• Combine the two colored mixtures and then slowly add the borax mixture into it until you get a nice stretchy texture.

To jazz up your slime, you can add glitter, snowflakes, confetti, or any other kind of plastic accessories.

Balloon Experiment

If you are looking for one of the most basic yet fun earth day STEM activities, you don’t need to look further than your pantry. You will find baking soda and vinegar sitting right there on the shelf, ready to be used to create bubbly reactions. Here’s how to prepare your balloon experiment with these two ingredients:

You Will Need

• Balloons
• Plastic Bottle
• Baking Soda: 1 Cup
• White Vinegar: 1 Cup
• Funnel

Directions

• Place a funnel at the opening of your balloon and pour in baking soda.
• Dust off the funnel and place it on the plastic bottle. Pour in the vinegar.
• Pinch the opening of the balloon and place it around the bottle’s opening (Make sure that the baking soda does not fall into the bottle.)
• Now release your hold and let the baking soda fall into the vinegar.

The bubbly reaction of these two ingredients will produce carbon dioxide, which expands and will start filling up and inflating the balloon.

Making a Volcano

Making a volcano at home is one of the coolest things that your kid will be extremely excited about, guaranteed! This science project will build your kids’ interest in science, and who knows… they might discover their passion in the process. Here’s how to make the volcano:

Volcanic Structure

You Will Need

• Flour: 6 Cups
• Salt: 2 Cups
• Water: 2 Cups
• Cooking Oil: 2 Tablespoons
• Food Coloring
• Water Bottle

Directions

• Mix all the ingredients and use your hands to knead the dough. (If the mixture is too hard, add in tablespoons of water one at a time.)
• On a clean surface, place a water bottle and start building the volcano around it. Make sure to tap every time you add on a layer so that the salt doesn’t break when you add in your lava.
• Leave a small opening at the top so that the lava mixture can be poured in.

Lava Filling

You Will Need

• Baking Soda: 2 Tablespoons
• Vinegar
• Warm Water: 2 Cups
• Dish Soap: 1 Tablespoon
• Red Food Coloring

Directions

• In a glass or beaker, mix water, dish soap, and red food coloring.
• Add baking soda into the bottle embedded in your volcano.
• Add in the red solution and then pour in the vinegar.
• Watch as the volcano will erupt with red, foamy liquid.

The first sentence you will hear out of your kid’s mouth after this is, “Can we do it again?”

So, what do you think… are you up for these earth day STEM activities? They are pretty simple and don’t require any complex ingredients. Start by trying out the Pinwheel Crafts Flower Pot Kit, and if your kid takes a liking to it, try introducing them to more complex projects. If you are looking for more ready-to-go kits for kids, make sure to check out our entire selection over on the Pinwheel Crafts website for DIY toy kits for kids of all ages.

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