​‘Tis the season for indoor science

Discovery Place Science

Well, folks, it’s that time of year where you can no longer tell your kids, “Go play outside until it gets dark.” Instead, you have to figure out what to do with those long, dark, cold winter days inside. 

Have no fear – I am here with plenty of ideas to take the drab winter blahs and turn them into science oohs and aahs.

There are a few essential things all science-loving households need: baking soda, vinegar, glue and borax. You also will need an open mind because things could get messy!

The baking soda and vinegar can be used for making chemical reactions. The carbon dioxide in baking soda reacts with the vinegar and a rapid explosion occurs. Add some red food coloring and you’ve got lava spewing from a volcano.

With glue and borax, you can make slime that will entertain for days. Try this recipe.

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For the infants and toddlers in your life that aren’t ready for all that, there are easy and inexpensive things you can do that will entertain them for hours.

Sensory bins are a fun way to engage them without breaking the bank. My favorite materials for sensory bins are soil, rocks, fake grass and shovels. This way, you are bringing the outdoors in and your kids can explore at their leisure.

Another great STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity for toddlers is water play. While bath time is great for this, it’s just as easy to take a bin of water, set it up on a towel, add some kitchen utensils and watch the fun ensue. If you’re feeling really ambitious, add some shaving cream to the mess.

There are so many things around your house that can not only entertain your children, but help them learn. Remember that play is a child’s work, so even if it seems like just fun, that’s sort of the point.

For more ideas about activities for kids, visit www.getreadywithwords.org.