DIY Science Fun

Science is everywhere, and learning can happen anywhere

For the family that loves to experiment, this Do It Yourself series is sure to inspire your inner scientist.

We’ve got hands-on games and activities that range from getting your hands slimy to crafting gravity-defying chutes to exploring the nature in your backyard.

These easy-to-follow guides are simple, fun, and appropriate for most ages (with adult supervision).

Pick an activity below to get started.

Colourful maple leaves.
Preserve Fallen Leaves

Can't get enough of fall? Preserve the reds, yellows and oranges of freshly fallen leaves using simple household materials, and learn the science of fall colours along the way!

Preserve Fallen Leaves
A green maple leaf.
Leaf Identification Game

Do you know your white oaks from your red maples? A Quercus alba from an Acer rubrum? Challenge yourself and learn something new by matching leaves to their trees in this play-at-home game that will have you looking up on your next trip outside.

Leaf Identification Game
A plastic lunar lander in the middle of some sandwich cookies.
Moon Munch & Match

Sunny summer days are a great time to experiment with shadows! Learn how shadows are created and produce your own shadows to trace using a toy of your choice.

Moon Munch & Match
Plastic toys casting shadows.
Summer Rays and Shadow Play

Sunny summer days are a great time to experiment with shadows! Learn how shadows are created and produce your own shadows to trace using a toy of your choice.

Summer Rays and Shadow Play
A close up of a person making paper.
From Pulp to Paper

Recycle scraps to make your own paper.

From Pulp to Paper
A close-up photo of colourful crystals.
Grow a Crystal

Diamonds, snowflakes and even pencil leads are all crystals. Got a few days? Grow your own crystal, in a jar, using materials you can find around your home.

Grow a Crystal
An egg in a clear liquid.
Coral Reef Acidification

Get the basics on pH as you learn about the impact of acidity on marine life. Test how long it takes an eggshell to dissolve in vinegar—and don't forget to write down your observations!

Coral Reef Acidification
Coral made out of dyed coffee filters.
Coffee Filter Coral

Want to create a colourful coral craft? All you need is a pipe cleaner, some food colouring and a few coffee filters! Discover the beauty of coral reefs with this fun, easy activity.

Coffee Filter Coral
Cut out paper shapes and a roll of tape.
Hyperbolic Heptagons

Investigate the negative curves of hyperbolic geometry by creating your own coral-inspired structure. Cut out colourful heptagons, then use them to build a hyperbolic model inspired by the round shapes and curves found in nature.

Hyperbolic Heptagons
A girl holds her arms out in front of a blackboard.
Magic Square

Learn how to create and solve a magic square, where the sum of the numbers in any horizontal, vertical or diagonal line is always equal. Then impress your friends & family with your mad math skills!

Magic Square
A hologram projected from a smart phone on a folded piece of plastic.
Pepper's Ghost Illusion

Create your own Pepper's Ghost! This illusion is a tried and true trick that dates back to 1584. With just a few basic materials, construct a projection pyramid to produce an authentic-looking apparition—all while learning the science of optics.

Pepper's Ghost Illusion
A piece of paper with many parallel slits cut in it.
Walk Through Paper

Can you climb through a hole in a sheet of paper? Find out how to fit your entire body through a piece of paper while learning about perimeter and area. With practice, you might be able to squeeze through an index or business card!

Walk Through Paper
People in winter clothing jumping outdoors.
Outdoor Winter Pentathlon

Test your flexibility, jump, speed, agility and strength in five different outdoor events. Fun for the whole family, this pentathlon blends friendly-competition, exercise and science. Go for the gold!

Outdoor Winter Pentathlon
A woman helps an astronaut suit up.
Women in STEM Word Search

Look for notable women scientists in this word search and learn more about their contributions to modern science history. 

Women in STEM Word Search
A girl holds snowballs while dressed for winter.
Homemade Snow

Create a winter wonderland indoors by making your own snow using common household supplies. Easy to make, this packable, rollable and buildable snow keeps for up to a week.

Homemade Snow
A hand folded paper toy with drawing of snow on it.
Ice and Snow Fortune Teller

Make an origami finger game that reveals snowy science facts--from the coldest temperature to the biggest snowfall.

Fold The Facts Ice And Snow
A child rolls out homemade play dough.
Homemade Play Dough

Play with chemistry as you measure, mix and knead ingredients to create play dough you can pull, squeeze, twist and poke!

Homemade Play Dough
A toy beaver.
Animal Track Cookies

Lots of wildlife lies low during the colder months, but many creatures stay busy as ever. They leave behind traces of their activity everywhere, especially after a fresh snowfall! Create your own animal tracks from the warmth of your kitchen—and prepare a tasty treat while you’re at it. Once you’re done munching on cookies and studying the toes, claws, size and gait of common creatures, why not head outside and look for the real thing?

Animal Track Cookies
A child creates a crayon rubbing of a leaf.
Create Colourful Leaf Art

Collect as many different types of leaves as you can find for this leaf rubbing activity. How many trees can you identify based on their leaves?

Create Colourful Leaf Art
Photo of an Arctic Fox curled up in the snow
Wildlife in Winter

From monarch butterflies to raccoons, animals have different strategies for surviving the winter. Find out about the most common strategies and then test your knowledge.

Wildlife in WInter
Photograph of an impact crater
Make an Impact

Simulate the crashing and smashing of a meteor impact at home using flour, cocoa and marbles to learn how craters are madefrom rim to rays.

Make an Impact
A homemade carnival headpiece.
Create a Carnival Headpiece

Use your design and engineering skills to create a headpiece for this year’s virtual Toronto Caribbean Carnival.

Carnival Headpiece
A beaver's face.
Who Am I? Trivia Countdown Game

From the mighty moose to the grumpy goose, test your knowledge of Canadian critters with this simple trivia game—and learn lots along the way!

Who Am I
Close up of s'mores.
Soft, Sweet and Spongy Science

Make vegetarian (gelatin-free) marshmallows in time for camping season.

Soft Sweet and Spongy Science
Water moves between cups through towels.
Walking Water

Play with primary colours to create a rainbow using the forces of cohesion, adhesion and gravity.

Walking Water
Tomatoes on the vine.
Fruits and Veggies Crossword

Enjoy a serving of fruits and vegetables in puzzle format.

Fruit and Vegetable Crossword
A child places a piece of food in an adult's mouth.
Test Your Taste Buds

Do other senses affect your ability to taste? Find out by conducting an experiment- blindfolded!

Taste Test Your Taste Buds
Several drinking glasses.
Do-It-Yourself Crystallophone

Make a percussion instrument out of ordinary glass containers. It’s as simple as Do, Re, Mi!

A picture of the sun.
Make a Sundial

Chart the passage of time using a homemade sundial, and observe how the shadows change their length.

Make a Sundial
A flying fish made of paper.
Spinning Paper Fish and Helicopter

Make two simple paper objects and explore their aerodynamics--how they move through the air.

Make a Flying Fish and Helicopter
A school of fish swimming over coral.
Ocean Word Jumble

Have a whale of a time as you unscramble the letter jumbles to reveal words related to ocean life.

Word Jumble
A jar filled with layers of rainbow coloured liquid.
Layering Liquids

Explore the densities of different liquids through an easy layering experiment. Try creating a five-layer rainbow in honour of Pride Month.

Rainbow in a Jar
Close up of a snake's face.
Snakes and Letters Crossword

From top to tail, how much do you know about snakes? Try your hand at this puzzle.

Snake Crossword Puzzle
Two jellyfish in the water.
Make a Pet Jellyfish

Upcycle a plastic bag to create your own pet jellyfish and learn about the dangers ocean plastic poses to sea turtles.

Make a Pet Jellyfish
Several different audio speakers.
Make A Flame Dance

Turn up the bass! Use music vibrations to make your flame groove to the beat.

Make a Flame Dance
Magnetic balls and a traditional U-shaped magnet.
Move Atoms to Make Magnets

Change a material’s performance by rearranging its atoms, creating a magnet.

Move Atoms to Make Magnets
The planet Saturn.
Science Is Everywhere Crossword

Solve general science clues to complete this playful puzzle.

Science is Everywhere Crossword
A child squirting ketchup in the air.
Electrify Your Ketchup

Use ketchup to conduct an electrical current in this easy, overnight experiment. It’s not just for fries!

Electrify Your Ketchup
A man holds up a small, plastic parachute.
Parachute Shapes

Explore gravity and air resistance by making and testing different shaped parachutes.

Parachute Shapes
Two smiling young girls in glasses.
Bake Ice-Cream in Your Oven

How can you put ice-cream in the oven without having it melt? Conduct this edible experiment to find out!

Bake Ice Cream
A planter made out of a plastic bottle with a plant growing in it.
Create Your Own Bottle Garden

Repurpose a plastic pop bottle to create your very own indoor or outdoor bottle garden. It’s a perfect springtime activity for both big and little hands!

A young girl plays with homemade slime.
Make Your Own Slime

Ready to get goopy? Make your own slime using our tried, tested and true recipe.

Make Your Own Slime
A small vehicle made of cardboard and household objects.
Make a Cardboard Mars Rover

Learn about the forces of potential energy, kinetic energy and friction when you create your own rover from simple materials and test its ability to move over different terrains. Plus, discover the challenges awaiting NASA’s Perseverance rover on the rough, windy surface of Mars.

Make a Cardboard Rover
A rocket launching into space.
Build a Bottle Rocket

Set up your launch pad, build your bottle rocket and prepare for an impressive display of Newton’s three laws of motion. Create an equal and opposite reaction to remember with this explosive experiment!

Build a Bottle Rocket
A close up of fingers, wool and thumbtacks.
Calculate Launch Windows

Uncover the calculations behind timing a trip to Mars as you plot out the orbits of Earth and Mars around our Sun, dive deep into the Hohmann transfer orbit and learn the importance of timing for space travel.

Calculate Launch Windows

Family game night fun

A close up of flowers.
Backyard Biodiversity Bingo: Spring Edition

Biodiversity measures how many different kinds of things can live together in one place. Bring your bingo card and see how your neighbourhood is doing!

Backyard Biodiversity Bingo: Spring Edition
A woman with a piece of paper attached to her head that says Planet on it.
Cranium Qs

We’ve taken the classic game HedBanz and added a science twist! Introducing Cranium Qs. This game is a great way to review-and pick up!-science vocabulary.

Cranium Qs
A young girl cutting paper with a pair of scissors.
Science Doodle

What do you get when you combine Pictionary with science? Science Doodle! This fun, family game gives players a chance to sharpen their drawing skills while reviewing—and picking up!—science vocabulary.

Science Doodle
A child smiles while wearing a headband with the word Mars on it.
Cranium Qs: Space Edition

Brush up on your space vocabulary during your next family game night. Take a card—no peeking!—and ask “yes” or “no” questions until you guess what the card says. Communication is key to this game!

Cranium Qs: Space Edition

Enjoy these videos

Science of Hormones

Learn how your body uses hormones to send messages to itself. From transforming food into energy, to responding to stress and beyond, different hormones play many important roles to keep your body running!

Download The Chemical Messengers Matching Game
Make Sensory Seed Balls

Celebrate spring by planting your favourite flowers, herbs or vegetables. Enjoy some sensory play as you mix up a batch of seed balls. Then, toss them in your garden and watch them grow!

Download Instructions Here
Punctured Polymers

Poke holes in a water-filled bag without losing a single drop. Magic? Nope! This trick relies on the science of polymers. Sharpen some pencils and try this experiment yourself.

Walk Through Paper

Can you climb through a hole in a sheet of paper? Find out how to fit your entire body through a piece of paper while learning about perimeter and area. With practice, you might be able to squeeze through an index or business card!

Dinosaur Ramp Walker

Use the fundamentals of physics to create a dinosaur that can "walk" down ramps.

Download instructions here.

Honey Harvest

Find out how to harvest honey—from capping to extracting—from our friends at the Toronto Beekeepers Collective.

Plus, learn why geometry is essential to the strength and space-efficiency of honeycombs here.

Build a Tensegrity Structure

Surprise your eyes with a structure that seems to defy gravity and learn how to use tension to create structural integrity in your own tensegrity build.

Sensory-friendly Saturdays: Building Routines

Find out how to createand stick to!a routine, and learn to make a squishy, sensory stress ball.

Fireworks in a Jar

Experiment with immiscible liquids to create a colourful, slow-mo show in a jar.

Lava Toffee

Explore how heat affects chemicals in the sweetest of ways.

The Science of Sourdough

Harness the power of fermentation to make a simple sourdough starter from scratch.

Find the instructions here.

Soaring Science

Make an easy, unlikely-looking paper plane that really soars.

Layering Liquids

Explore the densities of different liquids through an easy layering experiment. Try creating a six-layer rainbow in honour of Pride Month.

The Science of Laundry

Explore the best way to remove stains through a series of controlled experiments.

Make Bubbles at Home

Blow big, beautiful bubbles using our tried, tested and true bubble recipe!

The Science of Taste

Try this tongue-based experiment to determine where you’re most sensitive to the five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami.

5-minute Ice Cream

Make delicious, creamy vanilla ice-cream using five ingredients--and science, of course!

Kinetic Popsicle Stick Burst

Weave Popsicle sticks together and release them to unleash a burst of kinetic energy, sending the sticks flying.

Make Your Own Plant-based Paint

Extract pigment from fruits and vegetables to create a palette of beautiful, natural watercolours.

Milk Colour Explosion

Combine milk, food coloring and dish soap create a colourful chemical reaction that results in rainbow explosions.

Seed Starting

Learn how to start seeding indoors using recycled materials like egg cartons, take-out containers and pop bottles.

Memory: Math Edition

Test your memory and math skills all in one game! Easy to create at home, this game can be adapted to any math level. The goal is to match equivalent math expressions.

Make a Constellation

Simon shows you how to bring your favourite constellation to life at home in this fun and easy activity.

Marble Paper

Learn to marble paper with Fotini and Zoe and create beautiful art using shaving cream and food colouring.

Do It Yourself Science Experiments

Slime might be popular, but Oobleck is even better. Catherine and Morgan demonstrate how easy it is to make this non-Newtonian fluid at home, using three ingredients.

Explore science around us

Rachel explains how we can all be citizen scientists—even from balconies and backyards—by gathering much-needed cloud data for scientists around the world.