Activity Ideas

Here are some simple ideas you might like to try at home. These experiments are great to encourage children to explore and learn.

Poipoia te kākano kia puawai 

 Nurture the seed and it will grow

Bee Science

Magic paper flowers

Lizards / mokomoko

Bubble Mixture

Bubbles are great fun to experiment with. Can you make a bubble that lasts a long time? Can you make a big bubble? Can you make a square bubble? Can you make a bubble inside a bubble?

Basic Bubble Mixture recipe:

1 cup of water and 2 Tablespoons of detergent.

Try making different bubble mixtures with less detergent or more detergent – does it make a difference? Try adding 1 Tablespoon of glycerine or sugar to the solution and leaving it overnight before using it. Is it better for bubbles? How could you test it? Try making bubble mixture using different detergents and see which one can make the longest lasting bubbles.

 Bubble domes and double bubbles

  • Put a spoonful of bubble mixture onto a tray or flat kitchen surface and add a teaspoon of water. Put a straw into the bubble mixture and blow through it gently to make a dome shaped bubble. Blow again to make another dome shaped bubble inside your original one. Now you’ve got a double bubble! See if you can add even more bubbles inside your double bubble. How many can you make?

Bubble Trumpet

  • Take a soft drink bottle and carefully cut around the top third of the bottle. You have now created both a bubble trumpet and a container to keep your bubble mixture in.

Indicator Blue

This experiment uses water that has had red cabbage leaves soaked in it to form an indicator solution. It will change colour depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the substance added to the indicator solution.


Cut up 2-3 red cabbage leaves. Place in a large bowl and cover with HOT TAP WATER. Leave to soak for 5 minutes. Remove the cabbage leaves and keep the water. This is your indicator solution. It should be a blue colour – it may be purplish depending on the alkalinity of your tap water.

Pour a little indicator solution into several plastic cups. Keep one cup of solution as a CONTROL (do not add anything to it). This is so that you can compare it to note any changes when you add substances to other cups.

Find a variety of substances from around the home to test. I suggest baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, washing powder.

Simply add a little of your chosen substance to a cup with indicator solution and observe what happens! Experiment with various substances.

What colour do acidic substances go? CLUE – Lemon is acidic.

What colour do alkaline or base substances go?

How can you tell which substances are more acidic?

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