Science From Home
Welcome to our Science From Home page! Here you'll find simple science activities to try at home with your family, coloring pages, outdoor activities to explore the nature around you, and more! We are constantly adding and changing the contents of this page, so check back often!
Academy Science Camp From Home is a set of weekly themed science from home activities and videos for self-paced summer engagement. Click here to visit the Science Camp From Home page for the first two weeks of activities and videos!
Academy Science Camp From Home Schedule:
Survival of the Slowest
July 6–July 10
Learn all about the wacky adaptations that keep animals moving…slowly! Meet live slugs up-close and create some super sloth crafts.
Calling all paleontologists! Discover the lives of dinosaurs and their relatives alive today. Travel back in time to the Mesozoic Era to create some dandy dinosaur crafts.
Into the Wild
Amaze yourself with the wilderness around you. Get your hands dirty as you find out what it takes to make your garden grow and build a backyard habitat for local wildlife.
Animal All Stars
Investigate the amazing world of animal adaptations. Meet live animals up-close and create toys and treats for the critters that you have at home.
From dinosaurs and trees to sharks and shells, fossils are amazing! Discover how they form and why they offer a window into the past.
Journey deep into the dirt and observe the world from a bug’s-eye view. Get up close with live invertebrates.
Secrets of the Museum
Unlock the mysteries of the museum as you explore some rarely seen specimens and create your very own museum exhibit.
Explore engineering in the natural world! Discover the interesting ways creatures build their homes and catch prey, and even create your very own camping lantern!
Living on the Edge
August 31–September 4
What does it take to survive? What wonderful adaptations do animals, plants, and insects have to beat out the competition? Explore some of the weirder ways that nature takes it course.
Click here to visit the Science Camp From Home page for the first two weeks of activities and videos!
Totally Turtles Weekend
Join us for Totally Turtles Weekend, a digital festival celebrating everything turtle, tortoise and terrapin!
- Tune in to Facebook Live to meet our leopard tortoises and box turtles.
- Check out the Turtle Thunderdome to see which competitor can grab the most snacks.
- Download Turtle From Home activities and crafts!
Just added! Try these fun, hands-on activities that are easy to do with materials you usually have at home. Show us your at home projects! Message us on Facebook, or find us on Twitter and Instagram at @acadnatsci.
The Academy Nature Project
Doctors and psychologists have long recognized that spending time in nature leads to a healthier well-being. Time spent outdoors is related to lower stress levels, decreased blood pressure, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as asthma, allergies, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Many people are experiencing nature differently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are taking more walks to break up the monotony of staying at home, some are taking fewer trips outside because they are unable. Many people are watching the world from the windows of their houses and seeing things outside they'd never noticed before. People are rearranging travel plans as the future remains uncertain, while others are dreaming of places they've been to escape what sometimes feels like an endless cycle of bad news.
At the Academy, we want to know how you are interacting with nature during these difficult times. We'll be posting a different photo/video prompt each week on our social media channels to encourage you to share both current and past nature photos.
For our first week, we are asking people to post photos to show spring in their location. Post your comments on our Facebook post or use #AcademyNatureProject on Instagram and Twitter.
When the museum reopens, we hope to showcase many of your photos at the Academy alongside our Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit.
Click here to learn more about The Academy Nature Project.
Build Your Own Bird Feeder
You can reuse many household materials to build a cute and useful bird feeder! Check out your recycling bin for a coffee can or milk carton. Then plan out and craft a bird feeder for your outdoor space.
Download our April Kids Club Activity Sheet for complete instructions.
Looking for even more ways to build homemade bird feeders? Click here for six more ideas you can try.
Color a Garden Bed
Gardening, whether in your yard, in pots on your windowsill or in your imagination, is a wonderful way to enjoy nature, especially when we’re stuck at home. On this printable activity sheet for kids, you can exercise your creativity and draw your very own garden bed.
Click here to download.
Home Science Activities
Try these fun, interactive, hands-on activities that are easy to do with materials you usually have at home. Explore with your child and learn together while having fun. We hope you enjoy the activities listed here while you spend time with your child, sharing your knowledge and gaining new experiences as you explore the world of science together.
Happy Science Adventures!
Simple science activities to try at home:
Color Our Collections
Coloring can have many benefits for people of all ages. It can help enhance motor skills and vision, reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus.
Click here to download a PDF coloring book made of images from the Academy's Library and Archives.
Get Outside Nature Hunt
Listen for bird calls, smell a flower and hug a tree to complete this outdoor scavenger hunt! Bring your completed scavenger hunt on your next visit to the Academy for a free child’s admission with a paid adult admission.
Can’t print this page right now? No problem! Record your answers on a separate sheet of paper and bring it with you. Already a member who visits for free? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a special renewal discount for completing your scavenger hunt.
Click here to download the nature hunt!
Biodiversity Bug Talks
Learn about the biodiversity of bugs and meet some of the insects that live at the Academy with educator David Schloss in these three short videos:
Amblypygid and Vinergaroon
Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Millipedes and Centipedes
Exploring the World of Bugs
photo: Isa Betancourt
Reading as a family can be an excellent gateway to the natural world. Step Gently Out by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder encourages an exploration of the insect world. Featuring macro photography and poetic text, the book asks readers to consider what would happen if they looked at the outside world in a different way — quietly and carefully.
Find a digital copy of the book from your local library or on YouTube. Then step outside with your family for a closer look at bees, spiders, fireflies and more. If you can’t find a copy of the book, you can still learn about nature on your own. Just take a trip to an isolated area of your local park, sit quietly in a grassy area and fix your eyes on a patch of grass or a flower bed.
When you're ready, complete the activities in our Exploring the World of Bugs blog post.
Planting for the Environment
In Plant the Tiny Seed, Christie Matheson helps the youngest naturalists understand how tiny seeds bloom into stunning flowers. Through delicate collage and watercolor graphics and poetic, simple text, she demonstrates the steps involved in planting a few seeds, taking care of them and watching them grow.
Readers are encouraged to “push” the seeds into the pages, wiggle their fingers to water the seeds, tap the clouds to bring rain and clap to wake up the sun. They then can follow the growth of a zinnia and better understand the role it serves in a garden of bees, butterflies and other animals.
Find a digital copy of the book at your local library or on YouTube. Then, do the following activity (or help your kids help plant a garden of their own) to learn more about the process at home. While you work, explain the main things that plants need to grow, including sun, water, soil and space.
Don’t have the book at home? No problem! Follow the prompts in our Planting for the Environment blog and learn about planting on your own!
Reading List: Taking Care of the Environment
You probably care deeply about keeping the environment clean. You likely take steps to be an environmental steward, perhaps rinsing and sorting your recycling, composting, conserving water, reusing items and more. You may even encourage members of your household to do the same. But have you considered how to explain the importance of these actions to your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews or friends? How will you help to prepare the next generation to work hard to make the planet a more sustainable place?
Whether you’re seeking a starting point for conversation, you want to further your own knowledge or you’re looking to join a global movement, this reading list will help you find a place to start.
Looking for more? Our Academy Kids Club Activity Sheets have lots of great science ideas you can try at home. Download the sheets below for hours of entertainment for your kids:
What is science, and how can parents help?
Science is the effort to discover and increase human understanding of how the physical and natural world works. It is amazing how science touches every aspect of our daily lives; from turning on the lights in the classroom to the snacks we eat daily. Science is about encouraging and asking questions, it is a process rather than a set of facts to memorize. As members of society, it is important that your child gains understanding of what science is and becomes familiar with the work and activities associated with science.
In all types of science, we use the same tools for investigation. We question, observe, study, experiment, and then discover and uncover new findings. As parents, we can model these activities with our children and, through hands-on activities, build and nurture their sense of curiosity. Young children are natural scientists. It is our role to encourage them to continue in their explorations.
Ten Good Reasons to use Science as a Vehicle for Learning
- Science responds to children’s need to learn about the world around them.
- Children’s everyday experience is the foundation for science.
- Open-ended science activities involve children at a range of different developmental levels.
- Hands-on science activities permit teachers to observe and respond to children’s individual strengths and needs.
- The scientific approach of “trial and error” welcomes error and interprets it as valuable information, not as failure.
- Science strongly supports the development of language and literacy.
- Science helps children with limited language to participate in the classroom.
- The problem-solving skills of science easily generalize to social situations.
- Science demonstrations help children become comfortable in large group conversations.
- Science connects easily to other areas, including play, art, math, music, movement, and social studies.