If you're tapped out on model volcanoes and dinosaur dioramas, try out one of these clever science fair project ideas instead. With plenty of new ideas to try as well as some classic fair crafts, this is the best, most comprehensive list of fun science-based learning activities. Get your kids excited about the school year and this year's science fair and tackle one of these projects!
01 of 15
A sprout house is a perfect way to teach biology, ecology, and just a little bit of green thumb magic! Set up your sprout houses—or sprout villages and cities if you've got ambitious scientists in your midsts—and watch them grow. This is a great craft for kids of ages 4 through 9, and easily can be adapted to be more simple or more advanced.
02 of 15
Make this DIY kinetic sand as a standalone project to learn about chemistry. Or, you can take it a step up (literally!) and incorporate some physics by making some incredible sandcastles! We recommend this project for children ages 7 to 10.
Kinetic Sand from The Spruce
03 of 15
Craft Stick Catapult
Get in on some kinetic fun with a physics-inspired catapult craft. Launch pom poms and other small, soft objects as far as you can with an easy at-home mini catapult. We recommend this craft for children ages 5 and up.
04 of 15
Galaxy in a Bottle
This craft is super easy and perfect as an independent project for older kids. Do some reading on space science to learn about nebulas and black holes, and then make this galaxy in a bottle as a cute model. We recommend this craft for ages 3 and beyond. While it's easy for little ones, tweens especially will love to hang onto the final product as a cool room decoration long after the fair is over and done with.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
05 of 15
Slime is a fun craze these days and can be bought in any toy store. But just because it's a trend, doesn't mean it's not a great science project. And what better way to get kids excited about science than show them how one of their favorite things to play with is also a polymer? We recommend this project for children ages 6 and up—there's no age cap on slime!
Silly Slime from The Spruce
06 of 15
This super cool project shows your kids the light-science behind traditional 3D glasses. With DIY glasses that actually work, you can find some easy 3D images online or dig up an old 3D picture book from your garage (or find one at a used book store) to test them out. We recommend this physics and light activity for kids ages 6 to 8.
3D Glasses from The Spruce
07 of 15
Clouds and Rain Weather Model
Maybe you can't bring a storm indoors, but you can get pretty close with this creative weather model. If you've got some budding meteorologists in the house, this is a great way to talk about the process that changes clouds to rain. We recommend this craft for young children ages 3 to 6, as it requires no "lab" work.
08 of 15
See all the colors of the rainbow with an easy homemade spectroscope. It's a great way to recycle old CDs and DVDs that are scratched, broken, or out of use. This is a great color science/physics project for 4 to 10 year olds.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
09 of 15
Easy Fake Snow
Whether the weather is hot or cold, fake snow is a super-fun and science-y activity to make any day. This could work as both a meteorology project to talk about the weather or a chemistry project to talk about the process of turning baking soda and shaving cream into "snow." We recommend this as a sensory activity for younger children with lots of supervision, so it doesn't get in any mouths or eyes, and as a chemistry-based craft for kids ages 7 through 9.
Easy Fake Snow from The Spruce
10 of 15
Step up your homemade crystal game and make some crystal names! With just hand-shaped pipe cleaners, hot water, borax, and food coloring, you can make your own beautiful crystalized name. Talk with your kids about the chemistry behind the craft and the processes of crystallization with a helpful "Behind the Science" section on the tutorial. We recommend this craft for children ages 3 through 10.
11 of 15
Study the spread of water molecules and color particles with a science craft that doubles as a beautiful art project. Chromatography butterflies are a super sweet way to sneak school into playtime. For a science fair, set up some stations and string up a clothesline to display your "research findings." We recommend this color science activity for children ages 4 to 7.
12 of 15
Paper Plate Clock
For kids just learning to tell time, this is the perfect STEM-based craft. An easy paper craft with a practical application, have your kids move the hour and minute hands to different times to test how well they know analog time. We recommend this counting craft for kids ages 7 to 8, or whenever your children are learning about time in class.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
13 of 15
Maybe you'll remember this groovy little craft from your own science fair days—an at-home lava lamp! Teach chemical density science with just oil, food coloring, water, and some recycled water bottles. We recommend this craft for kids ages 7 to 9.
14 of 15
Bubble Blowing Mixture
Thought bubble blowing was just a fun summer activity? Well, it can more than easily make for a great science fair project, too. This is a chemistry project that we recommend for children ages 6 to 8.
15 of 15
Bounce into learning with this craft that doubles as a chemistry and a physics exercise. Walk your kids through the process of mixing the materials to make the balls, and discuss what makes some balls bounce and others drop and stay put. We recommend this craft for kids ages 5 and up.