You don’t need a laboratory or fancy equipment to do science experiments or have fun with STEM. Don’t believe us? Just check out these 7 activities you can do using things you can find at any dollar store!
1. Start a Fire
Buy a cheap pair of reading glasses and ignite the flames. You’ll need to gather dry materials like wood, paper, lint, or cotton together in a tight bundle. Place the glasses a few inches above the materials until you focus the sunlight into a very small dot. Keep it still and be patient – eventually it will start to burn!
2. Inflate a Balloon Without Using Your Breath
With a bag of balloons, you can have a ton of fun! Use a funnel to add 3 teaspoons of baking soda to a balloon. Then fill a soda bottle 1/3 full with vinegar. Without dropping in the baking soda, fit the balloon top over the bottle opening. Hold up the balloon and let the baking soda fall into the vinegar and see what happens.
3. Make Your Own Silly Putty
You’ll need to purchase glue and food coloring. Mix two tablespoons of glue with two tablespoons of water, then add one drop of food coloring. Add one tablespoon of borax (which can be found at most grocery stores) into a cup of warm water until dissolved completely. Add two tablespoons of the borax solution into the glue-water mix and see it form a blob. Keep stirring, then pour out the excess liquid. Put the solution into a Ziploc bag and knead it for a few minutes…and voila! Your homemade silly putty is ready.
4. Have a Paper Airplane Contest
Craft paper can be found at any dollar store and isn’t just for drawings. Experiment with different ways to fold the paper to find out what paper airplanes fly the farthest distance.
5. Make Jell-O/Fruit Treats
Making this delicious treat definitely counts as a science experiment, but you can take it one step further by putting the Jell-O solution in ice cube trays with different fruits inside the sections. See what happens when you mix pineapple and Jell-O…
6. Shrink An Egg
Who knew your breakfast food could lead to cool experiments? For this one, set fire to a small piece of paper and place it in a glass milk carton. Quickly put a hard boiled egg with the shell taken off on the mouth of the bottle. Even though egg normally wouldn’t fit through the hole, see how it falls in! To get the egg out, remove the burnt pieces of paper, then blow into the bottle.
7. Grow Gummy Bears
Buy a bag of gummy worms, gummy bears, or whatever kind of gummy animal you so choose. Pop it in a cup of water overnight, and see it grow!
And, one bonus…make a lava lamp!