To celebrate Roald Dahl Day on the 13th September, I’ve put together a fun collection of Roald Dahl 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 suitable for younger children.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Activities
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.
Try adding a little golden syrup to the chocolate, does this affect the texture and taste?
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 doubled in size!
Try different types of sweets and compare the changes.
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.
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? How about M&Ms?
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?
If you don’t fancy shrinking crisp packets we’ve used shrinky art sheets before to make key rings and they worked really well.
Willy Wonka Playdough
I love, love, love this Willy Wonka inspired play dough from The Imagination Tree.
Try smelling it, mixing the colours or use forces to squash, push and pull it. Try to make a shape using the least number of movements you can.
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 Experiments
Make a delicious ( or disgusting ) smelling potion using herbs and flowers from the garden.
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 Activities
The Enormous Crocodile camouflages himself throughout the story so the children don’t spot him. Can you experiment with camouflage? Try leaving different coloured wool threads in the garden, which are the hardest to find?
Can you camouflage an object so it’s hard for a friend to find.
The Enormous Crocodile See Saw
The Enormous Crocodile pretends to be a see saw in part of the story, can you build a see saw from recycled materials?
Danny the Champion of the World Activities
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 Activities
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 Activities
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 wormy spaghetti
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.
How to make worms from juice
Teach Beside Me makes some fantastic worms from juice!
Make glue and an upside down house
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.
You can also make glue from milk! Try investigating how long this will hold a piece of dolls furniture upside down for.
The BFG Activities
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?
How tall is the BFG?
Sophie fits inside the BFG’s shirt pocket, if she is the size of an average 8 year old, how tall ( roughly ) do you think the BFG is?
Matilda reads a lot of books but did you know you can stack books on eggshells without them breaking?
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!
More Roald Dahl Science Activities
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?