That Ben Franklin was a pretty bright guy. He discovered. He invented. And let’s not forget what he said: “Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” Heck, if Mr. Franklin were alive today, he’d definitely give a big thumbs-up to our free Family Science Night program (he’d also be on the PTO—cochair of All the STEM Things, of course).
No worries, though—you don’t have to be a Ben Franklin or a Bill Nye to host a Family Science Night at school (after all, most of us need Google to answer why the sky is blue). Our Family Science Night kit includes everything you need, from 25 kid-friendly experiments to Facebook graphics.
So go on, do Franklin a solid and get that Family Science Night on the calendar. Here are 33 fun ideas to get you super stoked for this awesome event!
1. Invite families to wear mad scientist costumes.
2. Donate all that leftover candy corn in the name of science. See how far it flies with this fun catapult activity.
Get a “build a catapult” activity in PTO Today’s free Family Science Night kit!
3. Use Facebook to remind parents about your event. Hey, even Albert Einstein had trouble remembering dates (typical parent).
via PTO Today’s free Family Science Night kit
4. A dancing Bill Nye gif will get their attention, too.
5. Drive attendance by raffling off a door prize, like this Mad Scientist gift basket.
via PTO Today
6. Don’t forget the Mad Scientist gift tag!
via PTO Today’s Family Science Night kit (free download)
7. Get volunteers in the spirit with these science-y T-shirts. Pair with mad scientist wigs (bed head works in a pinch, too).
via Chummy Tees
8. Have a “make a mess” station that includes the messier, more tactile things to do. Activities like make your own bouncy ball, slippery slime, and oobleck are always popular with the under-11 crowd.
Get a “make your own bouncy ball” activity in PTO Today’s free Family Science Night kit (free download).
9. Just make sure you’re prepared for any spills...
10. ...especially if you’re planning to make elephant toothpaste!
Get this “make your own elephant toothpaste” experiment in PTO Today’s free Family Science Night kit (free download)!
11. Encourage families to take a few photos at your “Cell-fie Station” (see how much fun life sciences can be?!). Just don’t forget the photo booth props.
via PTO Today’s free Family Science Night kit (free download)
12. It doesn’t get easier than this backdrop made of plastic tablecloths and black trash bags.
13. Bring the stars inside! Poke constellations in black paper and hang them from windows.
14. Send kids home with a fun badge to show how many “science things” they learned.
15. Turn Dixie cups into flowers to show how bees pollinate.
Get this “bee and pollination” activity in PTO Today’s free Family Science Night kit (free download).
16. To truly understand the power of pollination, one must eat a lot of Cheetos. No complaints here.
17. These bee snacks are pretty cute, too.
via Laurie Berkner
18. Frankenstein was created by a mad scientist, so naturally, you’d want to serve these.
19. Give a nod to the earth sciences with some geological Jell-O.
via Being Benjamin
20. Experiment with your decorations! Start with a giant cardboard beaker.
21. No kid can resist a snack served in a petri dish. Trust us.
via Korea Mom
22. Generate excitement for your event with a mad scientist lab coat T-shirt drive. Then invite families to make their own!
23. Put everyone’s newfound STEM skills to work and make your own rocket ship bananas.
24. Or, because kids are super-science-smart now, you could just ask them to build their own molecules. No biggie.
25. Clear plastic cups + permanent marker = instant beaker cups.
26. Don’t forget the H20!
27. Bunch balloons together to make atoms.
28. How could you pass up this experimental drink station?
via Mrs. Mouthy
29. Beach balls and tablecloths make for an intergalactic evening.
30. Set up a periodic table battleship station for the older kids.
via Teach Beside Me
31. Hold an on-site supply drive for your science teachers.
via Teach Bake Love
32. Turn the lights out for this fun experiment!
33. When all is said and done, you’ll have learned a lot, too. Let’s just hope that this is next week’s science homework.
Electrifying hairdos aside, there’s really so much good that can come out of parents and kids getting together to do more science, more often. Download your free Family Science Night kit now and it’ll be easier than ever for your group to make that happen!
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Originally posted in 2016 and updated regularly. Family Science Night™ is a trademark of School Family Media®.