Build an Ecosystem
This activity uses recycled materials and some items from your local aquarium center to create a self-contained ecosystem. Just be sure not to use invasive plants or animals!
Solar S’mores Oven
What could be better than roasting s'mores over a campfire? What about baking them in your own oven that uses the power of the sun!
This activity helps young children develop their creativity and motor skills, and it is a fun activity for kids of all ages. Let them experiment with how long they can get their bubble snakes to grow.
Children love to study and collect rocks. In this activity students use chemistry to create their own crystals or geodes in egg shells. In a similar activity, kids can also grow crystals on Pipe cleaners, or simply in a jar.
This is a great list of activities for kids who love the challenge of designing and building things. You could have a different catapult challenge each week in the summer!
Nature Scavenger Hunts
Turn any trip, family visit, or day in the yard into a scavenger hunt! You can create hunts for kids of any age using pictures or riddles.
It is the time that children and teachers have been waiting for all year; welcome to summer! Summer brings with it plenty of time to spend indoors and out in free play, but it also brings with it that dreaded phrase, “I’m bored.” Boredom often brings out the most creative ideas in your kids, but it might be a good idea to have a few activities up your sleeve for these moments. When boredom strikes, VINS suggests some great summer science activities (although many of them can be done year round.) Just because school is out, doesn’t mean the learning and discovery have to end! Below are a list of some of our favorite activities to keep your kids curious and exploring throughout the summer.
Mary Ellen Kelly is a former Field Teacher/Naturalist with Mass Audubon. She currently splits her time between Woodstock, VT and New Rochelle, NY, and is the part-time Executive Director of a small nature center in New York.
Michelle Amato is a Science Educator at VINS. She spent eleven years as a middle school science teacher but wanted to spread her passion of environmental education and joined the VINS CEE team. Michelle earned her MEd at Miami University of Ohio and her BS in Middle Childhood Education at Kent State University.
Ben Fletcher is the Communications and Outreach Intern at VINS. He was inspired by VINS mission to assist school-teachers in instilling passion for science in students throughout the Upper Valley community. Ben is excited to facilitate this period in the organization’s growth - as the CEE expands its reach to serve more students and teachers, at more schools throughout the region. Ben has a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of California Santa Cruz.
Hannah Gelroth is the Director of the Center for Environmental Education at VINS. Hannah has experience teaching a wide range of programs to audiences of all ages and brings her love of the outdoors to her work. She received a MEd through Antioch University New England, a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota- Duluth, and a BS in Biology from Earlham College.