Summer Science Challenges

Our Summer holidays are about to start so I thought it would be a good time to spruce up this post full of STEM challenges. They are all very simple and use mostly things you probably already have around the house.

The lovely Mrs Mactivity has also created us some fun printable science challenges that you can cut out and use as prompts. Scroll to the bottom of the post to download.

If you haven’t heard of Mrs Mactivity, do go and take a look at her website, she has some wonderful primary resources available.

If you’d like to join us, I’d love you to share anything you try on social media using #SummerScienceChallenges

Science Challenges for Summer

Build a tower with Sugar Cubes

  • How tall can you build a tower before it falls down?
  • What happens if you spray the cubes with water?
  • Can you add anything to waterproof them?



Make your own lava lamp

All you need to make a lava lamp is oil, water and an alka seltzer or effervescent vitamin tablet.


Make a treasure map

Use coffee or tea to colour your paper and draw a treasure map, can your friends follow the trail?

girl and treasure map

Invisible ink

Just mix a little lemon or lime juice with a some of water and draw your message on some paper.

Ask an adult to put in the oven and your message will appear.

write secret messages


What can you build with a cardboard box?

Can you build something functional with a cardboard box?

We added a kitchen roll holder and space for a sink to our cardboard kitchen.

cardboard box kitchen

Make a solar oven

Can you make S’mores in a solar oven?

Video instructions here 

Full blog post instructions

solar oven

Simple sinking and floating

Can you design a sinking and floating experiment? Make predictions first, then investigate to see if you’re correct. Do any of your items surprise you?

Science challenge

Spinning felt tip pens

Use cardboard discs to make spinning pens. You could try with paper and thinner/thicker card to see which work the best.

Spinning pens

Coke and mento reaction

Drop a mento into a bottle of fizzy drink and watch what happens, remember to stand back and drop the mento in as fast as you can!

Do low sugar drinks work better than full sugar varieties?

Coke and mento reaction

Go on a bug hunt

What bugs can you find around your garden?

bug hunt

Investigate which substances react with baking soda

Can you predict which substances will react with baking soda? Were your predictions correct?

baking soda reaction


Set up an easy egg drop experiment

Something like our Humpty Dumpty egg drop experiment always works well

Which material protects the egg the best?

Science challenge - egg drop

Blow up a balloon with alka seltzer

Can you blow up a balloon with alka seltzer? What else do you think might work?

You could also try an effervescent vitamin tablet or even popping candy. Which works the best?

science challenge - blow up a balloon

Build a structure with marshmallows and straws

Warning – this can be a bit sticky!!


Make a marble maze

You could make a LEGO marble maze? Or use marbles inside a cardboard box.

LEgo maze

Make a Volcano

The one below is made using papier mache, but you could also use sand or even snow!

Check out our volcano ideas for inspiration.

Make a volcano

Baking Soda Reactions

Set up some simple baking soda reactions, these could be fairy themed, witchy potions or just for some fun messy play.

Baking soda reactions

Make Music

Can you play a tune using water and  glass bottles?

music with bottles

Square Bubbles

Can you make a square bubble?
Square bubble

Candy House

Can you make a house from sweets? You could use different types of “glue” and see which works the best. How would you test your house?

Candy house

Ice Painting

Try some ice painting, simply freeze a sheet or ice shape and paint over the top. Once finished you can wipe away your creation and start over.


Ice painting

Find the colours of the rainbow

Can you find the colours of the rainbow in a bubble?

colours in bubbles

Split light with a prism

Can you split light into a rainbow using a prism?

make a rainbow with a prism

Make ice cream with ice and salt

Can you make ice cream with ice and salt?

make ice cream with salt

Dissect a flower

Can you dissect a flower and separate the parts? Do you know the function of each?

Dissect a flower

Fairy Potions

Make a fairy potion, collect flowers and herbs to make a lovely smelling potion. Does the water change colour? Which smells are the strongest?

make a fairy potion

Jumping Frogs

Can you make some jumping frogs and learn about static electricity?


Sand Volcano

Make a volcano with sand. We covered this one with cling film to keep the sand clean.

Sand Volcano

Baking Soda Explosion

Can you make a fizzy baking soda explosion?


Build a raft

Can you build a raft with sticks?


Cork boats

Can you make a cork boat and test to see if it floats?

cork boats

Rainbow in water

Can you spot a rainbow in a spray of water?


Spin art pictures

Use a salad spinner to make a spin art picture.


Slime time!

Make colourful slime using cornflour, water and food colouring.

Scrunch it to make it solid and then watch it run through your fingers as it turns into a liquid!


Football box Game

Make a football in a box game, by blowing down a straw to move marbles covered in paint. How many goals can your score?


Playdough Brain

Can you make a playdough brain?


Make an egg float

Try a bit of science magic and make an egg float.


Pizza Dough

Do you know why pizza dough rises?


More Science Challenges

Make Raisins Dance

Make raisins dance around a glass with some clever science.


How to make raisins dance

Build a Giant Catapult

We used our giant catapult as a tennis ball launcher, but you could try water balloons or table tennis balls too.

Giant catapult

Science Challenge Cards

Brand new for 2018 are these amazing Science Challenge printable cards made for us by the wonderful Mrs Mactivity. Click the image to download.



Science Challenge Printables


Don’t forget we also have a brand new book available!

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