Roald Dahl Activity Ideas

To celebrate Roald Dahl Day on the 13th September, I’ve put together a fun collection of Roald Dahl inspired science activity ideas.

My 8 year is currently devouring Roald Dahl books and I remember spending many happy hours reading them as a child so this collection has been such fun to put together, it’s not quite complete and I will be adding to it over the next few weeks so do pop back soon.

We’ve also got some fun Roald Dahl themed fine motor control activity ideas.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Chocolate covered strawberries and changes of state

Learn about changes of state by melting chocolate and then using it to cover strawberries. You could investigate whether the chocolate becomes solid again faster in or out of a fridge.

Extension ideas:

Try adding a little golden syrup to the chocolate, does this affect the texture and taste?

chocolate covered strawberries

Photo thanks to The Crazy Kitchen

Making Giant Sweets

Investigate how to make your sweets bigger, by leaving them cold and warm water for a couple of hours. What happens? Our gummi bear double in size!

Extension Ideas

Try different types of sweets and compare the changes.

expanding candy


Skittle Magic

Place some coloured sweets in water and watch as the colours leave the sweets. Try using warm water to see if the change happens faster.

Extension Ideas

Can you see the floating ‘S’ on the water, this should separate as the outer coating of the skittle starts to break down. Can you find any other sweets this works with?

skittles in water


Do you remember the part of the story where Mike TV shrinks himself? Why not try this fun crisp packet shrinking activity from The Mad House, or can you dehydrate some grapes to make raisins?

Willy Wonka Playdough

I love, love, love this Willy Wonka inspired play dough from The Imagination Tree.

You could smell it, mix the colours or use forces to squash, push and pull it.

willy wonka play dough

Make Your Own Great Glass Elevator

Can your design a pulley system to lift a homemade elevator?

What materials could you use to make your elevator see through?

Georges Marvellous Medicine

Making potions

Make a delicious ( or disgusting ) smelling potion using herbs and flowers from the garden.

magic potion

Smelling Jars

Add some scents to small jars and see if children can guess the smell. We used lemon juice, lime juice,  vanilla essence and peppermint essence.

The Enormous Crocodile

The Enormous Crocodile camoflages himself throughout the story so the children don’t spot him. Can you experiment with camoflage? Try leaving different coloured wool threads in the garden, which are the hardest to find?

Can you camoflage an object so it’s hard for a friend to find.

Danny the Champion of the World

Can you design a pheasant catching device? Would you entice the pheasants into a box using a certain smell or food or would you make a friendly trap?

James and the Giant Peach

Can you make a peach fly using helium filled balloons, or can you make a parachute for a peach?

Make a Wormery

Learn about earthworms by making your own wormery.



The Twits

Mr Twit has a dirty beard with bits of food clinging to it. Discover what happens when food decays in this rotting apple investigation.

Make some wormy spaghetti like Mrs Twit did for Mr Twit. To make this simply cook spaghetti in water and a bit of food colouring and add some pretend worms and a little vegetable oil for a fun sensory activity.

worm spaghetti

Muggle Wump turns The Twits house upside down using Hug-Tight Sticky Glue. Can you investigate which sticky substance makes the best glue to turn a dolls house upside down? We tried blu-tack, glu-dots and sellotape.

The Twits House


The BFG blows dreams from bottles into children’s rooms, I imagine these bottles to be filled with a sparkly, glittery potion, maybe a bit like this lava lamp? What do you think?



Could you make a nightmare version using black or dark green food colouring?


Matilda reads a lot of books but did you know you can stack books on eggshells without them breaking?

Books on an egg


Do you remember the part where Miss Trunchbull swings Amanda Thripp around be her pigtails? Can you fill up a bucket of water and swing it around in a circle over your head without the water spilling?

The reason this works is down to centripetal force. If the rate of rotation is high enough that the centripetal force is at least as great as gravity the water won’t spill out of the bucket.

Photo coming soon!

Other ideas

This is actually not a book I have read, but I noticed Rainy Day Mum has some lovely Minpin inspired pots on her site.

Anna at The Imagination Tree has a great post about her Willy Wonka inspired birthday party.

If you need a costume for World Book Day, how about this Fantastic Mr Fox  mask from Red Ted Art.

Which is your favourite Roald Dahl book?


Roald Dahl activity ideas



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