Thursday, June 18, 2015

We are only a few days away from the longest day of the year when we celebrate the life-giving power of the Sun. So today I want to move beyond melted crayons and share 10 fantastic experiments to help kids “play with the sun” and learn more about solar energy.
Solar Energy Experiments for Kids
Image courtesy: Whatever blog by Meg Duerksen
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1. Build a Light Box

Build a light box and enjoy the play of sun and shadows following instructions from True Aim.
White Bottles that look like lightbulbs

2. Build a Solar Oven

This project is always popular in summer camps, since it requires very little equipment and doesn’t take long. Kids Activities Blog explains how to build a simple solar oven:

3. Build a Parabolic Solar Cooker

This is the project for older kids from one of my favorite blogs Almost Unschoolers. Explore geometry and learn to focus sun rays with this DIY parabolic solar cooker.
Parabolic Solar Cooker

4. Is It Hot Enough to Fry an Egg?

This experiment from Growing a Jeweled Rose does not require much prep and a lot of fun when kids can see not just melting chocolate and marshmallows but an egg being fried by the power of summer sun.

5. Why Do We Need Sunscreen?

Our skin is not like paper, but this visual demonstration from I Can Teach My Child shows the protective power of sunscreen

6. Build Your Own Solar Light

Amaze your kids with this easy DIY Mason jar solar light from TinkerLab.

7. Build a Solar Desalination Station

Show kids how the Sun can be put to work by making a simple solar still with the instructions from Capri+3
Solar desalination still

8. Build a Solar Powered Car

If you have a small solar panel from a science kit, you can power any self-made car with solar energy following the instructions from Science Experiments for Kids.

9. Make a Solar Updraft Tower

See solar energy move things without a battery with this solar updraft tower from Almost Unschoolers.
Solar Updraft Tower

10. Melted Crayons

Well, melted crayons is the only experiment we have made at home so far (checking the difference between melting them on different surfaces). We produced traditional “mixed color shaped chalk”. If you want a spectacular crayon melt like the one in the head image of this post, spend more time and make a crayon rainbow melt from Meg Duerksen.

Your Turn

What kind of solar energy experiments have you tried?
10 Solar Energy Experiments for Kids

More Summer Science for Kids?

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Gifts for Future Solar Scientists

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An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Thanks again for the links - and additional inspiration!

Ticia said...

You know, we've never successfully cooked anything outside. I should give it a try with the kids again.

Bethany@Math Geek Mama said...

Wow, this is a fantastic list! Such good ideas! I will have to try at least one of these before the summer is over ;)


Theresa A said...

That is such a great collection of experiments. Thanks for including our solar still. Pinned.

Anonymous said...

We made a solar oven last year, and it worked amazingly well. Granted we were at Lake Mead and it was 115 degrees out.

Emma @ P is for Preschooler said...

I've always wanted to try that solar oven one!

shelah moss said...

What great solar experiments to try with the kids. I really like the solar powered updraft tower.

Abe Farag said...

i want to see that Solar Updraft tower in action. SO I get to build one. -abe farag

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