Thanksgiving Science Ideas

We’ve got some great ideas on using some of your leftover ingredients to have some kid’s science fun all week long! From bending bones to lighting up potatoes we have some fun science projects that you can do to make Thanksgiving last as long as the turkey sandwiches.


Bending Bones

This is especially fun if you happened to cook two turkeys (I know, it seems crazy but our family get together usually has 3-4 birds, so maybe 2 is not out of the ordinary?!). If you only have one turkey, just any two bones to check out this cool science project. If you happen to have two turkeys (and thus two wishbones) use the wishbones to make one that breaks and one that bends!

First, clean your bones really well. Scrub them under hot water and get off all the excess meat. Then get two glasses, one full of water and one full of vinegar. Put one wishbone in water and one in vinegar and wait a week – then try to break it to make a wish!

bending bones thanksgiving science

What is happening in the bending vinegar bone? The vinegar is reacting with calcium carbonate in the bones similar to how baking soda and vinegar react (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate). Once the calcium is removed from the bones they become rubbery!

Make your own butter

This is a fun science project to explore how liquids can turn into solids. All you need is a little extra whipping cream and a glass jar! Half fill the jar with the whipping cream and start shaking. Open it up every now and then to see what the mixture looks like. It will go from liquid whipping cream, to whipping cream, to butter as more air is added into the mix! There is, of course, the added benefit of all that shaking getting out some extra energy!

kids thanksgiving science porjects

Floating cranberries

Most small fruit like raisins and cherries sink, but cranberries seem to float, why? Fill a glass with some water and drop various nuts and small fruits in. What happens? Now try cranberries. Why do cranberries float? Slice a cranberry in half along its mid line. What do you see? Cranberries have four air pockets in them that give them buoyancy.

thanksgiving science with cranberries

Light bulb Potatoes

Potatoes are stock full of ions, ions that we can use to light up LEDs! You need a potato, some zinc nails, copper pennies, wires, and LEDs. Hook the zinc of one potato slice to the copper of another, and then to the LED. What happens?

Thanksgiving science with potatoes


We hope you enjoyed these Thanksgiving science activities!!

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