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Train Your Brain Day – STEAM Activities & Crafts!

Train Your Brain Day – STEAM Activities & Crafts!

Happy Train Your Brain Day, Appel Farm friends!

In honor of today, we thought we would share a few innovative ways to engage your noggin’ with some fun, explorative STEAM activities.  During camp this summer, we held some exciting STEAM workshops in the art barn, giving campers a hands-on way to hypothesize, think critically and experiment, while creating some fantastic art to boot! – Kristina, Summer Head of Visual Arts.

We hope you will enjoy these STEAM activities at home, engaging your family in some brain training art!

Exploding Paint Bombs 

  • film canister (or similar container)
  • paint
  • water
  • Alka-Seltzer
  • paper

1. Mix your paint (both Acrylic or Tempera will work) with a little bit of water, filling the canister about 1/4 way full.

2. Add a piece of an Alka-Seltzer and close top.

3) Place on paper and wait!

Campers LOVED experimenting with the ingredients, varying the ratio of paint to water and the size of the tablet added. As we created, we formed hypotheses and timed the explosions, noting what caused the canisters to flip over or tip over, etc. There were endless opportunities for experimentation and we were left with a beautiful art piece!

Here’s everything you need!



Erupting Art

  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • liquid watercolor or food coloring
  • thick paper such as cardstock or watercolor paper
  • medicine dropper
  • toothbrush

1) Mix the liquid watercolor (or food coloring) with vinegar and set aside in cups. We have found darker the solution, the better the end result.

2) Sprinkle baking soda on your paper. Create mountains or shapes, however, you’d like!

3) Using a dropper, add the colored vinegar to your paper and watch the eruptions!

Once the paper has dried, use a toothbrush to scrape off the baking soda and admire your art!

Show your creativity the explode-y way!!




Pendulum Painting

  • paint mixed with a bit of water
  • paper cup
  • string
  • dowel or broomstick
  • drop cloth
  • two chairs
  • tape

Cover the floor with a drop cloth or tablecloth.

Take a paper cup and poke a hole in the bottom and on either side of the cup (see picture).

Tie your string through the two holes on the side of the cup to create a handle for your pendulum.

Place your dowel or broomstick horizontally between the two chairs, hanging your pendulum in the middle.

5)   Use a piece of tape to close the hole on the bottom of the cup, then add your paint.

6)   When you’re ready to create, remove the tape and give the pendulum a swing!

Pendulum art in action!


Have fun training your brain today!