This adorable DIY bouncy ball is Kelley green and a super-fun, hands-on way to add St. Patrick’s Day science to your classroom!
This St. Patrick’s Day, we’re going all out for hands-on St. Patrick’s Day STEM activities. We’re focusing mainly on science, and STEM topics this year, and my kids loved their Valentine’s bouncy ball experiment so much, we decided to do a bouncy balls experiment variation for St. Patrick’s Day. Find out how to make your own bouncy balls recipe and how to make it into a STEM lesson below!
Check out this list of Rainbow science experiments!
WHAT ARE STEM ACTIVITIES?
A STEM activity (sometimes called STEAM activities, too, if there is an art element) are activities for kids that include elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. These four elements are the cornerstone of modern careers and scientific advancements. Children can benefit from completing STEM activities not just because it helps them learn more in the STEM subjects, but also because it helps them see how these subjects are used in the real world. As a side benefit, STEM activities help children learn to think creatively, logically, and critically about everything they do and see.
STEM activities at the toddler and preschool level focus on exploring, sensing, spacial awareness, cause and effect, counting, sorting, and patterns.
Get the STEM SUPPLY LIST and make setting up your STEM centers a breeze!
WHAT DO KIDS LEARN WITH STEM ACTIVITIES?
Kids can learn a lot with St. Patrick’s Day STEM activities. Young children can learn topics including:
- Cause and effect
- Color mixing
- Sorting and classifying
- Scientific terms
- Math terms
- Spatial awareness
- The scientific method
The goal of STEM activities at the preschool and toddler level is to explore the world and learn the basics of the scientific method, the creative process, and how to tie all elements of science, technology, engineering, and math together. Sensory bins are the first path toward establishing a love of STEM topics that will last a lifetime. In addition to establishing a love of science and exploration, St. Patrick’s Day STEM activities help children explore the world creatively and inspires the to ask the big questions that will one day change our world.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SEASONAL STEM ACTIVITIES?
You probably agree that STEM activities are important to do even with the youngest kids. But you may not want to try seasonal STEM activities with your class. There are tons of evergreen STEM activities that you can do, and you’ll probably never run out of STEM challenges. So why bother with seasonal STEM?
I like doing seasonal STEM activities with my kids because it adds an educational element to our holiday celebrations. Rather than just doing a seasonal craft, we do a few STEM activities that match the current season or holiday. Seasonal-based activities also provide a way to engage kids who might be reluctant to do science or STEM challenges on their own. Some kids might not want to design an energy efficient house, but they’d be perfectly happy to build a leprechaun trap for St. Patrick’s Day!
GET THE STEM ACTIVITY WORKSHEET!
Use this worksheet to record the results of your STEM activities.
WHY DO ST. PATRICK’S DAY STEM ACTIVITIES?
St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally a holiday about rainbows and magic coins, but, you can definitely tie in the STEM elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math into your St. Patrick’s Day fun! Learn about the science of rainbows, or engineer your own leprechaun trap! There are tons of fun ways to learn and play using STEM thinking skills that will help prepare children for a lifetime of critical thinking and logic with these fun St. Patrick’s Day STEAM activities! Kids are naturally curious, and science and STEM is all about answering those questions that so many preschoolers have about the world.
Through touch, exploration, and research, even the youngest kids can learn a lot about science and how the world works. Kids who are introduced to science and STEM from the start are more likely to have a love for STEM topics as they continue their school careers and enter into careers as an adult. If you don’t want the mess of bins, you can also make science discovery bottles for your class for quick science learning.
BOUNCY BALL STEM EXTENSIONS
Making the ball is only the first part of what makes this DIY bouncy ball experiment so interesting. What makes this project educaitonal is the math and science behind the activity. With this activity, kids are open to discussing physics, polymers, gravity, the laws of motion, and energy.
The reason these DIY bouncy balls don’t bounce as high as rubber balls is fairly complicated. Simply put, since the balls are made of a softer material, when they hit the ground, they absorb some of the reaction and bend, rather than bouncing. The more energy you expend dropping or throwing the ball, the higher it will bounce. Experiment with changing the shape of the ball or comparing bounce height to a traditional bouncy ball.
HOW TO DO THE DIY BOUNCY BALLS EXPERIMENT
This fun bouncy ball STEM activity is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day thanks to its bright green color!
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What you’ll need to make your DIY bouncy ball:
MAKE YOUR OWN BOUNCY BALLS EXPERIMENT DIRECTIONS
In the second cup, mix 4 tablespoons of hot water and 1 teaspoon of borax powder. Mix until the borax is dissolved, or else your bouncy ball will be grainy.
Add the liquid mixture to the glue cup. Stir with a fork until you can’t anymore, then take it out and squish it between your hands. There might be pockets of glue, so be careful. Keep massaging the mixture until it starts to form a ball.
Once the mixture fully hardens, you can roll it into a ball.
Try out your new ball on any hard surface! Watch as it bounces to nearly waist height.
Discuss why this ball isn’t quite as bouncy as rubber balls. Why would the glue mixture not bounce as much?