Enchanted Mommy

Make Summer Fun For Your Kids With These Science Experiments

Summer looks a lot different this year due to the social distancing rules in effect across the country. Normally, our kids’ schedules would be jam-packed with fun activities, like day camps or sleepaway camps, scouting, sports, and more. But this year, as we’re all faced with lots more time at home, lots of moms are looking for creative, educational ways to fill the endless summer days!

Bentham Science Publishers, an international publishing company that publishes well-known scientific, technical, and medical journals, knows how important it is to develop an early love of science, technology, engineering, and math (or, STEM). Our kids are the doctors, researchers, engineers, and mathematicians of the future, and we should do our best as moms to foster and encourage their curious minds.

These fun science experiments use easy-to-find ingredients and will spark your little ones’ imaginations! Kids young and old will have fun exploring and playing, and you can feel good knowing that you’re supporting their learning and development. Make sure to supervise children as they do these experiments, since some of the ingredients can irritate skin and eyes. 

A lot of these experiments are best done outside, since they can make a mess. Embrace that mess! Once you’re done with your afternoon of science fun, clean off with the hose or sprinkler. It’s lots of fun, and very effective at cleaning up after small scientists!

Without further ado, here are our best summer science experiments!

Rainbow Volcano

Supplies:

  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Food Coloring
  • Clear glass cups or jars

Instructions:

  • Take your clear cups or jars and add a few tablespoons of baking soda to each one. Add a few drops of food coloring to each jar as well. You can experiment with color theory and combine colors to create new ones!
  • Pour the white vinegar into each cup or jar slowly, and watch as the colorful foam erupts!

Summer Snow

Supplies:

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup shaving cream 
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Large bowl

Instructions:

  • Pour the cornstarch into a large bowl. Add the shaving cream and stir to mix. If using food coloring, add that in now too. 
  • When the mixture comes together in pieces (similar to shredded cheese), use your hands to squish the mixture and combine. It should quickly come together into balls, with a texture similar to dough.
  • If your mixture is too wet and sticky, add more cornstarch. If it won’t come together, add a bit more shaving cream.
  • Use the summer snow to make snowmen, igloos, snow forts, and more! 

Elephant Toothpaste

Supplies:

  • Clean 16oz plastic bottle
  • 20 Volume Hydrogen Peroxide (This is a 6% solution which can be found at beauty supply stores. If you can’t find this, you can use the standard 3% solution available at most pharmacies, but the reaction will be smaller. Caution: Handle with care as Hydrogen Peroxide is corrosive in nature.)
  • 1 packet of dry yeast
  • Liquid dish soap
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Small cup
  • Funnel

Instructions:

  • Using the funnel, carefully pour half a cup of the hydrogen peroxide into the bottle, and then add about 10 drops of your preferred food coloring. 
  • Add about 1 tbsp of liquid soap and swish it gently around in the bottle.
  • In the separate cup, combine the warm water and yeast. Let sit for about 30 seconds–it should look like the consistency of melted ice cream. You can add more water if needed.
  • Using the funnel, pour the yeast-water mixture into the bottle and stand back! This foam eruption will be epic!

Clean Putty

Supplies:

  • Cornstarch
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Large bowl

Instructions:

  • Add 2 tbsp of cornstarch to the bowl followed by 1 and a half tbsp of liquid dish soap. Add the food coloring now too if you’re using it!
  • Mix and squish together in the bowl until it forms a putty consistency. If it is too dry, add a little more dish soap. If it is too wet, add a little more cornstarch. 
  • This putty should last a few hours, and it is way cleaner and less sticky than the common glue-based slime recipes online!

Homemade Lava Lamp

Supplies:

  • Wide-mouth glass container (like a vase, pitcher, or tall drinking glass)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
  • Water
  • Alka-Seltzer tablet

Instructions:

  • Fill the container about three-quarters full with the oil, and then fill the rest of the way with water, making sure to leave a couple inches at the top of the container. 
  • Watch as the water and oil separate and the oil falls to the bottom–so cool!
  • Once settled, add about ten drops of food coloring to color your lava lamp. Wait and watch as each drop sinks through the oil and settles in the water. 
  • Finally, drop in the Alka-Seltzer tablet and watch as the carbon dioxide gas bubbles push the colored water up into the oil like a lava lamp! 

While all these experiments can be enjoyed by people of any age, many are aimed at younger children. Bentham Science does offer resources for older children and young adults looking to dive deeper into science and technology, including free, open-access textbooks and informative webinars.

Who knows, moms – maybe you’ll learn too! Learning is a lifelong process, and it’s never too late to teach yourself something new!
For more from Bentham Science, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Learning the Letter “Y”

The letter “Y” is close to the end of the alphabet, which means we’ve worked together to teach almost 26 letters. Great job, parents! We are nearing the end of the alphabet, and also nearing the end of our shelter-in-place orders. It will be fun to take your kindergartener or preschooler out into the world with their new ability to identify and write all these letters. 

To learn many of the letters of the alphabet, crafts are a fun and creative way to teach your child. We’ve made all kinds of fun projects over the last few weeks, like a rainstick for the letter “R”, and Tic-Tac-Taco for the letter “T”. But today, we’ll be doing something a little bit different than the other crafts and activities. 

The letter “Y” is for YOU and this activity is all about YOU! There are no printouts needed here. Just the items listed below and YOUrself:

  • A plain piece of paper
  • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • A photograph or a mirror 

To learn the letter “Y” and discover the beauty of their individuality, have your children draw themselves! It might be helpful to offer them a mirror or a photograph of themselves to use as reference. 

Once your self portraits are complete, share the finished product with us in the comments below! It will be so fun to see all of the diversity in how we see ourselves! 

Other words that start with “Y”

  • Yoga
  • Yarn
  • Yawn
  • Yum
  • Yellow

Learning the Letter “W”

In our world, there are so many words that start with the letter “w”, like water, wet, waffle, witch, watermelon, wolf, and of course the animal we are going to be learning about today, wolf.

Want to get started learning about wolves? Wonderful!

Wolves can seem like big scary animals, but on paper and in pictures they look like cute fluffy dogs. Here are five interesting facts about our furry wolf friends:

  • Wolves are the largest members of the dog family.
  • Wolves are legendary because of their howl, which they use to communicate.
  • The largest wolves are said to weigh upwards of 175 pounds, although most weigh in the neighborhood of 100 to 125 pounds. 
  • Wolves travel and hunt in packs of up to seven animals.
  • Wolves are extremely social animals that develop very close social bonds with family members and their pack.

While you take the time to learn about wolves with your preschooler, have them spot the differences in the pictures below:

Do you have any fun facts about wolves? Share them in the comments below. We can’t wait to continue learning!

Learning the Letter “V”

Letter V is an easy one to draw, but it can be awfully tough mastering how to say it. In fact, most kids won’t learn to properly pronounce this sound until they are 4-5 years old! That being said, you and your little one can still have plenty of fun with letter V.

You can use the included printable to play two simple games that focus on that tricky letter V sound. Download and print the sheet, then carefully cut apart the vegetable cards. Be sure to keep them in a resealable plastic bag in between play sessions so they won’t get lost.

Letter V Activities for preschool children

Game #1: Matching

  • Separate the vegetable cards into two equal sets – one for you, one for your preschooler.
  • Lay your preschooler’s vegetables in a row on the table or floor in front of them.
  • One by one, show a card to your preschooler and ask, “Where is this vegetable?”
  • If they can point to the match, you declare “Victory! V is for Vegetable!”

Game #2: Making Soup

  • Get a small cooking pot and wooden spoon from the kitchen.
  • Explain that you are going to make Letter V soup together. Only things that start with v can be added to the soup!
  • Move through the room together, proposing different items for your soup. First, ask your preschooler about some items that definitely don’t qualify. For example, “Pepper! I like pepper. Does pepper start with v?” (Little people love to call out silly grownups when they get something wrong, so expect some very energetic no’s!)
  • Every few letters, circle back to your pile of vegetable cards. “How about vegetable? Does vegetable start with V?” Add one or two of your cards to the pot.
  • Once you’ve gone through a few rounds of this, stir up your soup and take some pretend bites together.
  • If you have other V-items around, turn them into soup too! A small bottle of vanilla, a toy van, paper valentines, and wild-growing violets from the yard are all great choices.

After playing hard, you may both need a snack. You can learn the shape of letter V by shaping it out of real vegetables. Carrot sticks, celery, and strips of cucumber are all nice, straight shapes that are suitable for making V’s.

Don’t be vexed – verily, a valiant effort will vanquish your troubles with vicious, villainous Letter V!

Here’s how you can involve kids in your workouts so you don’t have to sacrifice exercise right now

With the kids home from school and daycare, many parents are struggling to find a balance between work-life, mom-life, and self-care. Staying on your health and fitness grind during quarantine is hard and there’s no beating around that bush – but there are ways for it to be a little easier. 

Let’s face it. Kids need our undivided attention right now. If they’re old enough, they are most like confused about what is going on. 

“Why is mommy home so much?”

“Why is mommy ignoring me while she’s on her laptop every day?” 

These are valid questions that shouldn’t go unanswered. It’s important to explain to our children that while things might look a little different right now, schedules and guidelines within the home need to be followed. Whether it’s quiet time during meetings or TV time with dad during a quick jog, things that are of higher priority to you shouldn’t fall by the wayside. 

Working out is so essential to our health, especially during a pandemic, because it boosts our immune systems to keep us healthy. And if you’re like thousands of mom’s out there wondering how to keep up with your workouts during a time like this, you aren’t alone. Here are some of the best workouts you can do at home that allows the kids to get involved while still getting your sweat in.  

Riding Bikes

If your family owns bikes, this is a fantastic (and fun) way to get active outside. With car traffic down 75% right now, there really is no better time to get outside and start riding. Kids typically don’t view bike riding as exercise, so this is a sly way to get in your exercise without any objections from the little ones. If you don’t own a bike yourself, let the kids ride while you jog beside them. 

Yoga

Kids have an affinity for stretching, bending over, doing flips, and contorting their body in multiple different ways – because well, they can. You can find thousands of free yoga videos on the internet, like YouTube, some of which are kid-oriented. Lay down a blanket or yoga mats if you have them in the living room and start practicing. The kids will find this exercise challenging but fun at the same time as it requires concentration and coordination

HIIT 

You might be wondering, what is HIIT? HIIT is high-intensity interval training and one of the top exercises in the United States right now. It’s a cardio exercise that involves short bursts of intense exercise, like jumping backs, high-knees, and burpees. HIIT is amazing to do with kids because there are no props or weights required. Kids also have terrific stamina and will surely challenge themselves and you to keep at it. This workout is especially is fun for mom because this will surely tire your kids out for the rest of the day. 

Let us know in the comments if you tried any of these exercises with the kids! 

Learning the Letter “U”

The letter “U” is one of the most unique letters in the alphabet. While not many words start with the letter “U” in the English language as others do, there are tons of fun words that begin with this letter – from umbrella to unicorn to ukulele. 

Perhaps one of the most exciting words that start with the letter “U” is (u)nderwater. From oceans to lakes to pools, being underwater is such a fun activity, especially when it’s hot and sunny out. Not only is being underwater a nice and refreshing place to be to escape from the heat, but swimming fantastic physical activity to keep you healthy and strong. 

Underwater Coloring Page

While you might not live close to an ocean or pool or not know how to swim yet, this underwater activity is something you can do in your own home. Not to mention, you can stay dry while doing so! 

This coloring book page features the beautiful underwater scenery of the ocean. Many of the things illustrated on this page you might have never seen before! For instance, coral reefs, octopus, jellyfish, and starfish are hard to see underwater unless you dive really deep. This coloring book page gives you an awesome window into a whole other world in the deep blue sea. 

Here is what you’ll need for this activity: 

  • Printer
  • Crayons, Colored Pencils, or Markers 

Check it out below! 

Once you’re done with your coloring page, hang it up on a window and see how the sunlight reflects through the ocean water, just like how it does with real ocean water. If you have any sea creature stickers at home, add them to the page for a unique touch!

Do you have a favorite sea creature? A fish? Or maybe a shark? Let us know in the comments below and snap a picture of how your underwater coloring book page turned out!

Learning the Letter “T”

Terrific, tremendous, and tasty are all words that start with the letter “T”, and they also describe today’s special “T”-themed activity: Tic-Tac-Taco! 

This fun and re-usable activity includes a printable game board and pieces that kids can color however they want before cutting them out to use as moveable game pieces. All you need to get started is a printer and some crayons, markers, or colored pencils.

The first step to this activity is to print out the following game board:

Letter T Activities for preschool children

While the board comes pre-colored, you can always choose to print it in black and white to let your kids have complete control over how it looks after they have decorated it.

Once you have the game board ready, it’s time to print out your tic-tac-taco pieces. What sets this game apart from regular tic-tac-toe is that instead of playing with Xs and Os, this version of the game uses two different foods that start with the letter T: tacos and tortilla chips. Even better, these game pieces can be cleared off the board and re-used time and again so you aren’t using an entirely new sheet of paper every time you play!  

To get your game pieces, print out the following sheet and have your kids color in the tacos and tortilla chips however they want. Once they have been brought to vibrant life, it’s time to play! 

Letter T Activities for preschool children

Learning the Letter “P”

The letter “P” starts plenty of words that provide perfect activities for your preschool child! Especially these days, when children are home from school, parents are looking for low maintenance, easy to set up activities. This one is great for staying inside on a rainy day, keeping your kids entertained for a bit, and enjoying a fun final product that they can keep!

Today we will be learning how to make your own puzzle!

All you need for this project is to download and print the picture below! You’ll need a pair of scissors, some markers, crayons, or colored pencils, and one imaginative child. 

Start by having them color a picture on the puzzle image below, anything that they like! Once they’ve completed their masterpiece, either you or your child can carefully cut out the puzzle pieces, mix them up, and try to put the picture together again like a puzzle. 

If you have two kids, all the better! Have each of them make a puzzle, cut it out, and then swap them so the activity lasts even longer. To make it a little bit harder (or buy yourself a few extra minutes of quiet, entertained kids) you could even mix the multiple puzzles together and have your kids try to put their puzzles back together from the one pile.

Some puzzle ideas:

  • Draw your favorite animal.
  • Draw your favorite food.
  • Draw your family.
  • Draw your house.
  • Draw their favorite movie character.
  • Draw their favorite thing to do.
Letter P Activities for Preschool Children

Parents are always looking for new activities for their kids to do, especially when they’re stuck inside! These projects give you double the value since the activity is to create an activity! Your preschooler will be able to create their own puzzle and then put it together, again and again, giving them further entertainment while you take care of whatever you need to do.

Learning the Letter “O”

Alright boys and girls! Time to get your creativity caps on and the art supplies handy, because today, we’re learning about the letter O! So many wonderful words start with the letter O, like onion, over, oven, and orange. Even common phrases we read in story books start with O, like “once upon a time.” To help us learn this letter, we’re going to do an arts & crafts project with our favorite animal that starts with O: an octopus in the ocean.

We’re going to learn how to create a toilet paper roll octopus! To get started, here’s the supplies that you’ll need:

  • A toilet paper roll 
  • Acrylic paint or markers
  • Googly eyes
  • A glue stick
  • A scissors
  • A black sharpie

First, start by cutting 1.5 inch long slits at the bottom of the toilet paper roll with your scissors. Then push the roll down on a flat surface, so that the slits spread out like octopus legs. Next, grab your acrylic paint and paint the outside of your octopus a bold color of your choosing. Paint the interior of the roll at the top and underneath the legs a different color for contrast. Then, use a glue stick to stick on some googly eyes or feel free to draw the eyes on with a black sharpie. 

Use a black sharpie to add a happy smile onto that octopus face, because he or she is happy to be alive and in your home! Finally, feel free to add on stickers, gems, or other decorations to your heart’s content! Don’t forget to create 3-4 of these guys so your octopus can have some friends.

These octopuses are taking over the world of Pinterest right now, as parents are starting to get exponentially more creative with keeping their kids stimulated at home. See the photo of Holly Homer’s toilet paper roll octopus below to catch a glimpse of the potential here!

Lastly, we’ve created a coloring book illustration of an octopus in his natural habitat. Octopuses are fascinating creatures with three hearts, high intelligence, and the capability to camouflage themselves by changing color. Feel free to print out copies and invite your kids to color this scene! 

Know any other fun preschool activities that start with the letter O? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!

Learning the Letter “N”

Not sure how to teach the necessary letter N? You’ve come to the right place. 

For kids who are preschool aged and who are starting to learn the alphabet, it’s fun to find different activities to help them learn the letters. That way, there’s something to remember the letters by! It’s always fun to start teaching your kids new things, and with different activities, not only will you be able to keep them busy but you’ll also be able to make some memories with them. 

While there are tons of different words starting with the letter “N,” there’s nothing more magical than the starry night sky. 

That’s why we thought it would be fun to teach the letter “N” by creating a beautiful glow in the dark night sky for your child’s bedroom ceiling. Let’s get started. 

Here’s what you’ll need

To get set up to make these glow in the dark stars, you won’t need many materials. You’ll definitely need to supervise your preschooler while you use some spray paint that’s involved, but otherwise, this is a no muss no fuss type of craft! 

These are the materials you’ll need to create your night sky: 

  • Scissors
  • Old cereal boxes 
  • White paint 
  • Glue dots or command strips 
  • Glow in the dark spray paint (you don’t have to use spray paint if you’d like to use a paint you can brush on instead) 

The first step is to outline your constellations and stars on the cereal box. You can use the stencils below for your stars! 

Letter N Activities for preschool children

Your next step is to paint the stars, moons, and other planets of your night sky white. Let them dry completely before moving on to the next step. Step three is to use your glow in the dark paint and coat the night sky stars, moons, and planets with several thin coats of the paint. 

Charge your night sky by leaving it out in the light for 15-20 minutes where the light or the sun can charge the glow in the dark paint. Then you’ll be ready to stick your stars on the ceiling and create a beautiful night sky! 

You need the letter “N”, so here are (n)ine other words that start with “N”: 

  • Nose
  • Nickel
  • Nurse
  • Ninja
  • Necklace
  • Name
  • Noise
  • Nana
  • Noodles