My husband didn’t believe me when I told him that there was a run on Elmer’s glue this summer because so many kids are obsessed with making slime that it was hard to buy any. Later he sheepishly texted me a picture of an empty shelf at Target emptied of all its glue.

If you haven’t done made slime with your kids, it’s pretty fun. Both of my kids have really loved it and now have quite an impressive collection of slime. In a sealed container, it has lasted for several weeks. They are as interested as ever and regularly take it out to play with it.

Why do science projects with your kids at home?

  • It teaches kids about the world around them.
  • It nurtures curiosity.
  • It allows them to use their senses and get their hands dirty.
  • It’s a fun way to engage them on days when you want an indoor activity and keeps them busy. I’m all for letting kids be bored but sometimes when your kids are picking fights just out of sheer boredom, it can help a lot to have a great project to turn to.

Here are nine very easy science activities to do at home that use common items. Pick these up on your next Target run! (Or better yet let it be an excuse to go to Target.) I’m going to stock up so they are handy and ready to go when the mood strikes and we need a project.

#1 Slime

Ingredients: Elmer’s Glue, Contact Lens Solution, Baking Soda

Okay, I talked about this already but I’m just putting it here in case you haven’t done this one already. Here is the link to the official Elmer’s slime recipe. There are many different recipes on the internet but this is a great one and works with a standard 4oz bottle of glue that is easy to find now due to back to school sales. It’s super easy and strangely addicting to make. You can add color, glitter, or combine colors to make it customized. I’ve noticed that if a little bit gets on the hardwood floors, it dries and is easy to clean up. It seems to wash off clothes. But it’s huge pain to get off upholstered furniture and I usually control the food coloring distribution. Fool me once…

#2 Edible Marshmallow Slime

Ingredients: Mini marshmallows, coconut oil, powdered sugar

You may have done glue slime but what about edible marshmallow slime? That just sounds like my sweets loving kid’s dream come true. It is really sticky so just make sure you’re working on a washable surface. Dessert with a side of weird science! Get the recipe here.

#3 Homemade Hovercraft

Ingredients: Paper plates, straw, balloon, duct tape

An extra wide straw will work well but a regular sized one is fine too. Bonus – most of these are items are probably lying around your house. Awesome project for your little one who is obsessed with moving vehicles. Check it out.

#4 Salt Crystal Leaves

Ingredients: Salt, Water, and Fall Leaves (or Pipe Cleaners)

I love this idea. It is a great way for kids to engage with fall and do something with the pretty fall leaves. I live in LA where there are no seasons so everything helps. Plus, you can’t get more simple ingredients than these. I think they would look pretty hung up for fall decorations.

#5 Spaghetti Strength Test

Ingredients: Spaghetti, Styrofoam, books

A box of spaghetti and packing material you might already have lying around your house. Until they figure out a way to recycle Styrofoam this is a good way to reuse it.

#6 Soap Clouds

Ingredients: Ivory Soap

This is an oldie but goodie. Make sure to get the original Ivory soap because there’s something unique about that and it doesn’t work unless you use that kind specifically.

# 7 Jello Scented Playdoh

Ingredients: Jello, flour, cream of tartar, salt, water

You might have made your own playdoh before which is super easy and fun. But what about Jello-scented playdoh? Lovely and delicious smelling!

#8 Color Fizz

Ingredients: Baking soda, vinegar, food coloring

Again, baking soda and vinegar is something you’ve probably done with your kids before. My friend used to keep boxes of baking soda and jugs of vinegar in her trunk just for this purpose when she took her kids to the park. But this project goes one extra step to color the baking soda first which will make it that much cooler for your kids. We have little eye droppers for the kids to use for projects like this but straws work just as well.

#9 Rubber Eggs

Ingredients: Eggs, vinegar

I remember doing this project as a kid! Such simple ingredients to make such a weird and cool experiment. I can’t wait to do this one with my kids.

Color, mess, mixing up crazy concoctions in the name of science doesn’t have to mean driving around town to get super hard-to-find ingredients. These are all awesome activities to hold your little one’s attention that they will love and that use really easy, simple, and inexpensive ingredients.

Featured Photo Courtesy: Kelly Taylor
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