Engaging in STEM activities can be both fun and educational. By using simple household items, you can explore scientific concepts and enjoy the process of discovery together. Here are three simple STEM experiments you can try at home that will spark curiosity and provide hands-on learning for kids of all ages.

Coffee Ground Fossils

Create your own fossils using everyday kitchen items.


  • 1 cup of used coffee grounds

  • ½ cup of cold coffee

  • 1 cup of flour

  • ½ cup of salt

  • Wax paper

  • Mixing bowl

  • Small objects for impressions (toys, nature items)



  1. Mix the ingredients: Stir together the coffee grounds, cold coffee, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl until well combined.

  2. Knead the dough: Knead the dough to ensure it’s well-mixed, then flatten it out on wax paper.

  3. Shape the dough: Cut out circles or fun shapes from the dough.

  4. Create impressions: Press small objects firmly into the dough to leave an imprint, then remove the objects.

  5. Dry and harden: Let the coffee ground fossils dry and harden overnight. Now you have your very own personal fossils!


During this experiment, talk with your children about how fossils are formed in the real world. When an organism is buried by layers of sediment, the sediment protects bones, teeth, shells, and other hard material from rotting. Over time, the sediment will harden and reveal a fossil through erosion.

Crystal Butterflies

Explore the fascinating science of crystal formation by creating your own sparkling crystal butterflies!


  •  Pipe cleaners in spring colors

  •  Scissors

  • Pencil or chopstick

  • Clothespins (optional)

  • Borax powder

  • Water

  • Glass jar

  • Hot glue, glue gun (with adult help)


  1. Make butterfly wings: fold a pipe cleaner into a figure-eight shape to form the butterfly wings. Twist the center of the pipe cleaners to hold the shape together.

  2. Prepare the solution: With an adult’s help, boil two cups of water. Stir in 1/2 cup of Borax powder until it dissolves. Let it cool slightly.

  3. Attach the wings: Tie another piece of pipe cleaner to the butterfly wings. Tie the other end to a pencil or chopstick. Use a clothespin to help hold it in place if needed.

  4. Submerge in solution: Place the butterfly wings into the glass jar. Rest the pencil or chopstick across the top so the wings are fully submerged in the Borax solution.

  5. Grow crystals: Leave the wings in the solution for 24 hours. Crystals will start to form. After 2-3 days, the wings will be covered in crystals.

  6. Finish your butterfly: Remove the wings from the jar and cut off the extra pipe cleaner. Let the butterfly dry on a paper towel. Cut two small pieces of pipe cleaner for antennas, twist the tops, and use hot glue (with adult help) to attach them to the wings.

  7. Repeat: Try making different shapes or using different colors of pipe cleaners for a variety of beautiful crystal creations/


During this experiment, talk with your kids about how crystals form. Crystals are created when molecules in a liquid gather together as the liquid cools and hardens. This process can be seen in nature with crystals like quartz and diamonds.

Chromatography Flowers

Explore the science of chromatography, or the separation of compounds, with colorful coffee filter flowers.



  • Coffee filters

  • Washable markers

  • Plates

  • Water

  • Tape

  • Sticks



  1. Draw on the filter: Choose a marker and draw a thick circle around the center of a coffee filter. Place scrap paper under the filter to catch any marker bleeds.

  2. Fold the filter: Fold the coffee filter in half, then in half again to form a cone shape.

  3. Prepare the water: fill a short glass or cup with a small amount of water.

  4.  Set the filter: Balance the cone-shaped filter on the glass, ensuring the tip just touches the water. Avoid submerging the marker circle in the water.

  5. Observe: Let the filter sit and watch as the water flows up the paper, carrying the marker ink with it. This process takes about 20-30 minutes.

  6. Repeat: Try using different colors to create a variety of beautiful chromatographic patterns.


During this experiment, talk with your kids about art and science. Did you know that chromatography was first used by artists hoping to perfect dyes on clothes and textiles? Over time, it became an important tool in chemistry and is used today to understand and purify mixtures.



These simple yet fascinating experiments are perfect for sparking interest in STEM and making learning a delightful experience. For more STEM activities, head over to any Thanksgiving Point venues. With over 100 daily shows and programs, your child will become curious and confident in STEM topics. Happy experimenting!

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