Ten Fall Stem Projects for Kids

By Pam Molnar

Hey Mom and Dad! You know the fun doesn’t end just because summer is over. If your kids are curious, like to get dirty and enjoy the magic of science, we have ten great seasonal science experiments for you to try with your kids.

1. Where does the Water Go? – Before the leaves change colours and start to fall, grab a few green leaves directly off the tree. Place the stems of the leaves in a mixture of water and red food colouring. You can see how the leaf absorbs the water as the colour moves through the leaf. Photograph and document the progress over the next 24 hours.

2. Candy Corn Lava Lamp – Pour 1 cup of water into a large mason jar. Add orange food colouring and mix together. Slowly pour in three cups of vegetable oil and let the mixture settle for 20 minutes. Then add an effervescent tablet into mixture and watch the coloured bubbles move around like a lava lamp.

3. Apple Volcanos – If you are looking for ways to use up the bad apples this fall, why not make a volcano? Cut out the center of a whole apple and fill with 1 ½ tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of red food colouring. Place the apple in a bowl to catch the “lava”. Slowly pour vinegar into the center of the apple and watch it erupt.

4. Seed Bombs – Gather newsprint, tear into small pieces and cover with water. After they have soaked for 30 minutes, add mixture to a blender to create a pulp. Mix with seeds you harvested from your summer flower garden and squeeze out excess water. Form into small balls and let dry completely. In the spring, drop seed bombs in areas that need a little colour and they will plant themselves. They also make great gifts!

5. Pumpkin Science – Compare two or more similar sized pumpkins by weighing, measuring the circumference, comparing the colour, the thickness of the shell and the number and size of the seeds. Before cutting them open, you can also see if they will sink or float by placing them in a bucket of water. Let the kids make predictions before each comparison.

6. Candy Corn Buildings – Use leftover candy corn (they usually go on sale right after Halloween) and toothpicks to create buildings, towers, bridges or whatever your engineer desires. You can even “bling up” your creations by adding beads to the toothpicks before adding the candy corn to contain them.

7. No one likes Brown Apples – There are so many methods for preventing sliced apples from turning brown, but which one works the best? Place a cut apple in each of these solutions: ginger ale, salted water (1/2 teaspoon salt to a cup of water), vitamin C crystals or chewable C vitamin, apple juice, lemon juice, honey water (1 tablespoon honey to a cup of water) and plain water. Compare the results.

8. Make Pumpkin Gut Slime – Create a simple sensory toy with the pumpkin guts and seeds, two bottles of clear Elmer’s Glue, 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of contact solution. Knead it together until it is no longer sticky. Refrigerate when not using and don’t keep for more than for a few days.

9. Oozing Jack-o’-Lantern – Carve a face into a pumpkin, removing the pieces from its eyes, nose and mouth. Next, cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, large enough to fit the pumpkin over a disposable cup. Fill the cup with 1 cup of water, a squirt of dish soap and 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Place the pumpkin over the cup. When you are ready, quickly pour ¼ cup of vinegar into the cup, replace the top of the pumpkin and stand back. The solution will ooze from the pumpkin face. This is definitely an outdoor project!

10.  Fire Pit Colour – Soak 2 pinecones in a mixture of water and 1 pound of salt. At the same time, soak 2 pinecones in water and 1 pound of Borax. Take them out after 30 minutes and let dry completely. When they are dry, place the pinecones into a fire pit and watch the colour differences. (Salt burns yellow and Borax burns green.)

Pam Molnar is a writer and mother of three curious kids. Follow her creativity on Etsy at Pam’s Party Printables.