Stuck at home? Let’s make the most of it!

This week on Make it! DIY, explore the wonders of our planet by making clouds in a jar, building tiny terrariums, and recreating the many layers of the ocean.

Once you’ve explored the earth, head into outer space with our Space Explorers camp — one of many hands-on Make it! Summer Camps, designed to keep you active and engaged.

Ready. Set. Make it.

Nature Explorers

1. Cloud in a Jar

Clouds are created when water vapor turns into liquid water droplets. These water droplets form on tiny particles, like dust, that are floating in the air. Create your own cloud in a jar!

Suggested Materials:

  • For older kids:
    • Warm Water
    • Jar with a lid
    • Ice cubes 
    • Aerosol Hairspray
    • Food coloring
  • For younger kids
    • Jar with lid
    • Water
    • Shaving cream
    • Food coloring

Tips and thoughts:
Learn about different types of clouds

Potential Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Take this challenge to the next level: With adult supervision create a cloud in jar using a match.

2. Model the Earth's Core

The Earth is made up of four distinct layers: inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust. Make your own model of the different layers of the Earth!

Suggested Materials:
– Construction paper/Cardboard
– Scissors
– pencil/pen
– tape/glue
– markers

Tips and Thoughts
What are the layers of the Earth made of?

Potential Resources:
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Take this challenge to the next level: Make a 3d model of the earth’s core using playdoh or a ball

3. DIY Sundial

A sundial is a device that tells the time of day using the position of the sun. This ancient device dates back to 1500 BCE. Create your own sundial in a few easy steps!

Suggested Materials:
– Paper plate
– Pencil
– Ruler
– Compass
– Protractor

Tips and Thoughts
– Why do you think you have to adjust your sundial for the different seasons? Learn about the history of the sundial 
Learn how to read a sundial

Potential Resources:
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Take this challenge to the next level: Create a more accurate sundial by printing out a guide 

4. Ocean Layers

The ocean has five different layers: Sunlight layer, Twilight layer, Midnight layer, Abyss layer, and Trench layer. The levels represent how much sunlight each layer gets, dictating what sea life can live where. Create your own ocean layers in a jar and see what the Trench layer looks like!

Suggested Materials:
– Large glass jar (mason jar)
– Vegetable oil
– Dawn dish soap
– Light corn syrup
– Water
– Rubbing alcohol
– Black, blue and dark food coloring
– 5 paper cups (for mixing)
– 5 plastic spoons (for mixing)

Tips and Thoughts
Learn more about the animal life in each layer

Potential Resources:
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Take this challenge to the next level: Make ocean waves in a bottle

5. Tiny Terrariums

An ecosystem is all the plants, animals, and other living things that make up a specific area or community. Create your own mini ecosystem using plants from your garden, some gravel and dirt, and a clear container.

Suggested Materials:
– Clear jar or large plastic container
– Dirt
– Rocks or gravel
– Plants
– Optional: small toys or animals for decoration, scissors or box cutter (adult supervision required), scrap of thin plastic, sand.

Tips and Thoughts
– What are the main things that plants need to survive? How can you make sure that your plant gets each of these?
– How will you make sure that the roots of your plants can drain excess moisture?
– What kind of tiny decorations can you make for your tiny world?

Potential Resources:
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Take this challenge to the next level: Add miniatures decorations to your terrarium.

We'd love to see what you make!

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