Quick and Easy Projects

The Quick and Easy science toys are suitable for young kids, with a little help here and there. I used to make them with large groups of elementary age students. They generally take about half an hour to complete.

The Movie Wheel and inventions like it ushered in the age of movies, then video. You can make pictures come alive.

Call it a Vortex, whirlpool, tornado, hurricane, dust devil, water spout... whatever you call it, it happens a lot in nature.

Cartesian Divers date back to the days of Galileo Galilee. It was so mysterious some people called it the "Devil's Diver."

What does the Snake Charmer's Duck Call have in common with saxophones and bagpipes?

What makes the Propeller Stick spin mysteriously when you rub it. This is an easy version of an old folk toy that's also a great science toy.

They are as old as the hills, but there is something cool about TOPS. This one is easy to make and it writes patterns in its track.

Alternately pull the strings and the Climbing Creature shimmies up. Yet another old folk toy that will never go out of date.

The Oscillating Woodpecker is another timeless folk toy, now easy enough for kids to make.


I don't know what you will catch with it, but this Moose Call demonstrates how acoustic string instruments amplify sound.

This Spinning Balloon hovers mysteriously in the air, but it's not filled with helium.


Got some old boom box, computer or any speakers? The Recycled Speakers Phone is an easy to make intercom.

You don't need a submarine to make a Periscope.


Easy Projects by Guest Contributors

Katrina shows us how to make one of those Grassy Head people.

Katrina shows us how to make a center of gravity Balancing Toy.

What shape rolls best? Katrina shows us how to make a Tumble Person.

Father and Daughter relate the classic Spinning Button project to Newton's Laws of Motion.

When heated to glowing and defracted to a spectrum, elements have a unique "fingerprint". Build your own Rainbow Spectro-Scope to find it out.

9 year old scientist Shane shows us how to make a simple Rubber Band Ball.

I'd like to know how these projects go for you. I'm happy to answer questions about them. Feedback from you is an important way for me to know what works and what needs clarification.