30 Screen-Free STEAM DIYs for Kids

In today’s day and age, it can be tough to tear our little humans away from the screens and devices we’ve all become so attached to. But there’s nothing quite as enriching and satisfying for kids as getting their hands dirty and making something themselves. And of course, it never hurts if they learn something new along the way! Keep those tiny hands and brains busy year round with this list of screen-free DIYs for kids of all ages.

Ages 3-4

Milk Swirl Experiment

This experiment is easy and safe enough for kids of all ages, and uses only ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen. The end result is an explosion of colors, and it almost looks like magic!

Learn more: Milk Swirl Experiment

Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

Fossils need perfect conditions to form and they take a looong time to make. But what if you could make your own fossils in under two hours? Try out this project to find out how!

Learn more: Salt Dough Dinosaur Fossils

Giant Bubble Wand

All you need are simple household items to make this giant bubble wand and a bubble solution for giant bubbles. Once they’ve got the hang of it, challenge your kids to take turns trying to see who could make the biggest bubbles! 

Learn more: Giant Bubble Wand

Celery Experiment

Has your child ever wondered how plants get water from their roots all the way to their leaves? This simple celery experiment shows how colored water travels up a celery stalk!

Learn more: Celery Experiment

Fizzy Colors

Turn your kitchen into a chemistry lab with this simple science experiment! You only need three ingredients: baking soda, food coloring, and vinegar.

Learn more: Fizzy Colors

Capillary Action Rainbow

Capillary action is a way of describing how water moves when it gets into tiny tubes or spaces, like in between hairs on your head or fibers in a piece of paper. Check out capillary action at work in this wild, water-wicking experiment!

Learn more: Capillary Action Rainbow

Ages 5-8

Erupting Apples

Why not get a little messy and do some kitchen science? When your kids inevitably try and find the remains of their apple in the mound of foam, be sure to ask them what it feels like.

Learn more: Erupting Apples

Make Your Own Garden

This easy CD garden gives your kids a front row seat to the magic of sprouting seeds. Wheatgrass seeds grow super fast, so make sure they check in on their growing garden every day!

Learn more: Make Your Own Garden

DIY Lava Lamp

We love watching the bubbles in a lava lamp dance. Make your own colorful, bubbling lamp with this fun science experiment about mixing up unmixable liquids! 

Learn more: DIY Lava Lamp

Fluffy Slime

Is your slime feeling mucky and dense? Could your slime use a little pep in its step? Try mixing together this special concoction and make fluffy slime!

Learn more: Fluffy Slime

Unpoppable Bubbles

This simple trick will make your soap bubbles stronger, leading to hours of play time and discovery! Make sure to check out the “What’s Going On?” section at the bottom of the instructions to learn the wild chemistry behind these nearly-unpoppable bubbles.

Learn more: Unpoppable Bubbles

Electric Jellyfish

Learn about creating static electricity with this simple project. Explore more by using this technique to create a living birthday cake with candles, campfire, or wetland scene!

Learn more: Electric Jellyfish

Conveyor Belt Cinema

With the help of a cardboard box and some wooden skewers, you can craft a small-scale conveyor belt and create a cinematic experience. Try it out with the provided printables, and then try making your own scene!

Learn more: Conveyor Belt Cinema

Underwater Fireworks

With your kitchen as your lab and baking supplies as your ingredients, create your own underwater firework spectacular!

Learn more: Underwater Fireworks

Egg in Vinegar Experiment

Want to see a chemical reaction in action? With this egg in vinegar experiment, watch a regular egg transform into a bouncy egg. 

Learn more: Egg in Vinegar Experiment

Ages 9-12

Desk Catapult 

This DIY catapult doubles as a desk toy! It’s easy to build from common office supplies and leads to hours of play time. Make it a game by adding some cups to toss your projectiles into!

Learn more: Desk Catapult 

Baking Soda-Powered Boat

Fizz, fizz, zoom! This baking soda experiment boat is easy to build and fun to race. If you’ve ever dropped a fizzy tablet into a cup of water or made a baking soda volcano, you’ve made the same chemical reaction used here. But this time, we’re using that reaction to power a soda bottle boat, for a short distance at least.

Learn more: Baking Soda-Powered Boat

Iridescent Paper 

Did you know that you can create a rainbow with clear nail polish? Try this quick experiment using clear nail polish and black paper to make a swirling mix of colors.

Learn more: Iridescent Paper 

DIY Parachute 

In this experiment, we create a parachute toy using a sandwich bag to learn about air resistance and see it in action.

Learn more: DIY Parachute 

Balloon Hovercraft

You don’t need high-tech gadgets to make your own hovercraft! This balloon-powered toy is easy to make with household materials and is a ton of fun to send zooming around! 

Learn more: Balloon Hovercraft

Marbled Paperweight

With just some nail polish and water, you can transform an ordinary rock into your own marbled paperweight.

Learn more: Marbled Paperweight

Bottle Cap Bot 

Here’s a fun project that recycles bottle caps into little robots that dance and scoot in all kinds of surprising ways!

Learn more: Bottle Cap Bot 

Wave Machine

We’re surrounded by waves! Sound and light travel as waves to our ears and eyes. Ocean waves crash onto the beach. Radio waves broadcast music to our cars. We even use waves to cook our food – in microwaves! Try making this wave machine to see how all different kinds of waves move!

Learn more: Wave Machine

Ages 12+

Pressure Bottle Rocket 

In this DIY project, we’ll learn how to use the exact sample principles found in water squirters to launch a water rocket sky-high! Follow along with these simple steps and you’ll be blasting off in no time.

Learn more: Pressure Bottle Rocket 

Melted Crayon Art 

Melting. It’s a natural process that we can see everyday: the ice in a glass of water, the butter on bread right after it’s toasted, the candles on a birthday cake. Let’s try to melt crayons into a work of art!

Learn more: Melted Crayon Art

Muscle Machine

In this muscle machine, you’ll be mimicking the action of a muscle by pulling a string. This is actually pretty similar to how your muscles work!

Learn more: Muscle Machine

Graphite Circuit

Can you complete an LED circuit using a graphite pencil? Learn about the conductive properties of graphite and draw your own design to see it light up! This is a super quick and easy science experiment that is entertaining for both kids and adults alike.

Learn more: Graphite Circuit

Rubber Band Helicopter

Learn about helicopters by making a rubber band powered flying toy!

Learn more: Rubber Band Helicopter

Lung Model 

Curious about how the innermost organs of your body work? Observe your lungs at work with this easy-to-make model!

Learn more: Lung Model 

Paper Airplane Launcher

Take your paper airplanes to new heights by making a motorized launcher for them.

Learn more: Paper Airplane Launcher

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