OTTAWA -- When you can’t visit the museum due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ingenium - Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation are bringing the museums to your home.

Ingenium’s Melissa Gruber and Catherine Emond have put together a list of ten science activities you and your children can do at home. Ingenium is responsible for the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and Canada Science and Technology Museum.

You can make a string instrument out of cardboard, make a Solar Still, or build a compass to bring on your next adventure.

Here’s a look at a couple of the experiments you can do.  The full list of ten science activities you can do at home is available on the Ingenium Canada website.


What you need:

  • A wine cork
  • A clear plastic container
  • Tap water
  • A magnet
  • A metal sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • A printed copy of the compass rose template (in the PDF on the website)

Make it

  1. Print out the compass rose template
  2. Fill the plastic container with water and place it in the middle of the compass rose
  3. To magnetize the needle, rub the magnet along the needle at least 50 times – always in the same direction, from the eye to the tip
  4. Cut the cork in half lengthwise with the scissors. Ask an adult for help with this step: corks can be hard to cut
  5. Using the scissors, carefully scrape out a notch lengthwise down the centre of the cork
  6. Place the cork on the water, with the cut edge facing up
  7. Carefully place the magnetized needle into the notch made in the cork

Test It

Once your compass is built, the needle should point north. Ask an adult to verify this using a map, compass, or GPS.

It should take 10 minutes to build the compass.

Make a Kazoo

What You Need:

  • Paper towel or toilet paper roll
  • Elastic band
  • Wax paper
  • Scissors

Make It

  • Cut a piece of wax paper that is significantly larger than the opening of your roll
  • Place the wax paper over the opening of the roll, and secure it with the elastic band
  • Carefully poke a small hole in the side of the tube using the scissors

Test It

Sing into the open end of the roll. Make sure you don’t totally cover the end of the roll with your face.

The museums are also posting random activities kids can do at home on their social media accounts.

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is inviting families to investigate how air flows around aircraft wings.

All you need is a toy airplane, a chopstick, fishing line, a clean container, water and food colouring.

You are invited to continue to watch the museums social media channels for more fun activities.