Activities for 12+ Year Olds to Do at Home

Inspire innovation and creativity with STEAM activities!

Activities You Can Do with Household Items

Make a Rocket Engine with Pasta

It sounds crazy, but you can build a hybrid rocket engine with yeast, hydrogen peroxide, a jar, fire and – last but not least – a piece of uncooked pasta.

When the yeast mixes with the hydrogen peroxide, they react to create pure oxygen gas. If this pure gas is then funneled through a burning tube of pasta, you’ve got yourself a rocket flame!

Learn more: Make a Pasta Rocket

Simulate an Oil Spill Cleanup

Image via Futurity

Explore the unique, serious challenge of cleaning up after an oil spill. All it takes is vegetable oil, water, creativity, and this handy simulation guide from National Geographic.

Learn more: Simulate an Oil Spill Cleanup

Create a Google Maps Adventure

Create an adventure around the world – while at home! Find interesting spots in Google Street View and send those snapshots to family and friends. Have them guess where they are! There are several handy online tools to create even more detailed Google Maps adventures.

Learn more: Geoguessr

Learn Sign Language

Studying sign language builds awareness of the deaf and hard of hearing community, along with appreciation of the community’s culture. While there are a variety of sign languages in the world, this video features ASL (American Sign Language).

Learn more: Sign Language 101

Outline a Novel

Image via Evernote

Interested in writing an awesome story, but don’t know where to get started? Create an outline!

Learn more: Outline a Novel

Corrugated Cardboard Challenge

Corrugated cardboard is a great and sturdy building material. What’s even better is that it’s super easy to come by–just check your recycling bins! So, here’s your challenge: Make a sturdy stool or a chair using corrugated cardboard!

Learn more: Corrugated Cardboard Challenge

Carbon Sugar Snake

Make a fiery black snake rise from the ground with this exciting experiment! Using simple household ingredients, learn how a burning mixture of baking soda and sugar can create a stunning carbon snake.

Learn more: Carbon Sugar Snake

Ping Pong Glow Lights

Your room will shine a little brighter thanks to this easy-to-make light string! Add a personal touch to your room and experiment with different colors, patterns, and designs!

Learn more: Ping Pong Glow Lights

Brainstorm a Business Idea

It’s never too early or too late to brainstorm an awesome business idea! All it takes is time, a pencil, and some guidance. What would you sell? What would your logo look like?

Learn more: How to Brainstorm Small Business Ideas

Marbled Paperweight

These pretty rainbow rocks are perfect for brightening up your desk! With just some nail polish and water, you can transform an ordinary rock into your own marbled paperweight.

Learn more: Marbled Paperweight

Make a Stop-Motion Video

Stop motion is a fun method of filmmaking, and it’s way easier than you’d think! Just grab your phone, think up a concept, and follow this tutorial!

Learn more: Make a Stop-Motion Video

Sharpie Tie-Dye T-Shirts

This project is quick, fun, and enables you to create some awesome t-shirt designs! 

Learn more: Sharpie Tie-Dye T-Shirts

Rotating Candle

Harness the power of physics to make a candle teeter-totter back and forth. This rotating candle kicks itself back and forth like two kids on a seesaw pushing off the ground. But how does it do that without any legs to kick? The secret is in the wax that drips off both ends.

Learn more: Rotating Candle

Lung Model

Curious about how the innermost organs of your body work? Observe your lungs at work with this easy-to-make model! Breath in. Breathe out. Do you feel your chest expand and shrink when you breathe? That change in size is how you get air into your lungs! It all has to do with the physics of air pressure, which you’ll investigate in this project.

Learn more: Lung Model

Brainstorm a Board Game

The process of making a board game can be vast and intimidating at first glance. But all you need to get started is creative energy, a pencil and paper, and this detailed guide.

Learn more: The Board Game Design Process

Learn Hand Lettering

From chalkboard menus to national ad campaigns, you can discover hand lettering everywhere. But it’s also intimidating for those of us who are just getting started. Luckily, this great guide from Emily Potts makes it easy!

Learn more: Hand Lettering for Beginners

Make Your Own Crossword Puzzle

Design your own crossword puzzle using a handy online tool! Then print it out and have someone try to solve it. What’s the theme of your puzzlet? What kinds of clever hints can you invent?

Learn more: Crossword Puzzle Guide

Fixed Pulley

This cute little desktop flagpole is a single fixed pulley. A fixed pulley like this one doesn’t win you any mechanical advantage, but it can still make things easier to lift since it lets you pull down instead of lift up.

Learn more: Fixed Pulley

Make Your Own Ice Cream

Image via Elizabeth Griffin

Do you love ice cream? Make some for yourself! It’s easier than it sounds and the results are sure to be tasty. Don’t forget the best part: you get to choose all of your favorite flavors!

Learn more: 40+ Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

Design a Garden

Gardens can change the appearance, mood, and even the smell of a home. To get started designing your own garden, all you need is a pencil, some paper, and an awesome vision!

Learn more: How to Design a Garden

Egg in a Bottle

Impress your friends and family with this simple, quick, and super-cool science trick! You’ll learn how to harness the power of expanding and contracting gasses to suck an egg into a bottle in which it would never normally fit.

Learn more: Egg in a Bottle

Geometric Mobile

Decorate your world with this eye-catching geometric mobile! The project takes a little bit of patience and experimentation with balancing, but the results are sure to impress. Hang your geometric mobile outside to see it move in the wind, or use it as an unique indoor decoration!

Learn more: Geometric Mobile

Heart Mug

Make a heart mug using a fun dotting technique! Add unique flair to each mug by using different shapes and colors — a perfect way to create a custom gift for friends, family, or yourself!

Learn more: Heart Mug

STEAM Projects Delivered to Your Door

Headphones

Build the headphone headband, rig up the speaker drivers, and experiment with stereo sound. Explore how speakers and other electroacoustic transducers turn electricity into sound, then learn about the historical technologies that made modern headsets possible.

Learn more: Headphones

Glow Lab

Mix up chemical solutions that glow in the dark! Contains everything you need to try 3 chemistry experiments exploring the science of fluorescence, phosphorescence, and chemiluminescence. With a UV light and a spiral stand to help mix up your solutions, you’re good to glow!

Learn more: Glow Lab

Slime Circuits

Engineer a basic circuit, using your slime as a conductor to light up an LED (and a love of science!). Then conduct a series of electric experiments that showcase the science of switches, resistance, LED color-mixing, and more!

Learn more: Slime Circuits

Vortex Lab

Build a magnetic mixing machine and spin up a chemical cyclone! Contains everything you need to try 4 chemistry experiments exploring the science of solubility, diffusion, and oxidation-reduction. Experience some cool color-changing reactions and mix it up — with chemistry!

Learn more: Vortex Lab

STEAM Subscriptions for Monthly Enrichment 

Eureka

Put science to work and engineer something amazing. Every month brings a new design challenge that takes hands-on creativity to solve and helps you dive into science.

Learn more: Eureka Crate

Maker

Whether you’re 14 or 104, Maker comes with everything needed to experiment with new craft techniques, and take pride in a finished project that’s both fun and functional.

Learn more: Maker Crate

Tinker Crate

Materials, instructions and education for STEM projects that inspire young innovators to think outside the box. 

Learn more: Tinker Crate

Doodle Crate

From yarn to washi tape, this crate has everything you need to create amazing DIYs.

Learn more: Doodle Crate

Things to Watch

Podcasts for Kids

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