Splash and Bubbles-inspired #EarthDay activities for you and your little ones

Earth Day is this Sunday (April 22). What better time to engage your kids in an activity that allows them to explore life science topics and apply scientific ideas in a fun and creative way?

Our Early Learning Coordinator, Sarah Thomas, assembled these two fabulous activities. In both projects children will learn about life science topics (for example, physical structures and habitats) while expressing themselves in the creative arts. Absolutely try these at home, and share your results on your favorite social network! (Use #PBSSoCalKIDS so we can see your projects!)

Bioluminescent Clay Creatures

Did you know some species in the deep ocean can glow in the dark? This ability is called bioluminescence. Create your own bioluminescent Firefly Squid!

What You Need
air-dry clay
skewer
paint
ribbon
scissors
glue or tape
googly eyes
colored paper
glow stick

Instructions

  1. Roll a handful of air-dry clay into a football shape.
  2. Put your index finger in the center. Push down and gently roll your finger back and forth, making the inside hollow like a boat. Pinch the clay to make the thickness even on all sides.
  3. Turn your boat shape upside-down. Pinch one end to appear pointed.
  4. Pierce the clay with a pointed object like a skewer. Create a pattern with the holes.
  5. When the clay dries, decorate with paint and eyes. Glue or tape ribbons to create arms and tentacles. Cut out two paper triangles to create fins.
  6. Activate the glow stick. Fold it in half and tape it to the bottom of the jellyfish. The deep ocean is dark, so take your jellyfish into a dark room to see what a bioluminescent jellyfish would look like in its natural habitat!

Download printable instructions here.

Bioluminescent Jellyfish

Did you know some jellyfish in the deep ocean can glow in the dark? Just like with the squid, this is called bioluminescence. Create your own bioluminescent jellyfish!

What You Need
paper bowl
pen
paint
ribbon
scissors
glue or tape
cellophane
paperclip
string
glow stick

Instructions

  1. Have an adult pierce the bowl in several places with the a small sharp object such as a pen.
  2. Decorate the underside of the bowl with paint. Cut out cellophane squares and glue around the bowl to add more color. Cut and glue or tape ribbons to create tentacles.
  3. Once the paint has dried, attach a paper clip and string to hang the jellyfish.
  4. Activate the glow stick and glue or tape it to the underside of the bowl. The deep ocean is dark, so take your jellyfish into a dark room to see what a bioluminescent jellyfish would look like in its natural habitat! The more glow sticks, the brighter your jellyfish will be.

Download printable instructions here.


Take The Activities Further

  • What is it like to live in the deep ocean?
  • Deep ocean animals use bioluminescence to attract prey, communicate with others, and protect themselves from predators. Stand with a partner at opposite ends of a dark room or outdoors in a safe space at night. Can you use glow sticks to communicate a message?
  • What other bioluminescent creatures can you create? Visit the library or use the internet to find pictures of jellyfish, Anglerfish, and other deep species that display bioluminescence.

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