Easy Science Activities for Kids

Optical Illusion

Optical Illusion
Optical Illusion
©2007, Publications International, Ltd.

This optical illusion is an easy science activity for kids that combines art and magic. Paint a plate with primary colors, spin the plate, and you'll see your design change in midair.

What You'll Need:

  • Compass instrument for drawing circles
  • Pencil
  • Paper plate
  • Blunt scissors
  • Newspaper
  • Poster paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Hole punch
  • Lightweight string or yarn
  • Ruler

Step 1: Use the compass to draw a 5-inch-diameter circle on a paper plate, and then cut it out.

Step 2: Cover your work surface with newspaper.

Step 3: Paint the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue on the circle, as shown in the illustration. Let the paint dry.

Step 4: Punch two holes close together near the center of the circle.

Step 5: Cut a 30-inch piece of string.

Step 6: Thread the string through the two holes, and tie it in a loop.

Step 7: Hold each end of the string loop, and rotate your wrists to twist the string.

Step 8: Pull the strings taut to untwist them, and watch the circle spin.

When the circle spins, the reds, blues, and yellows appear to blend together, creating exciting new colors.

What happens to balloons when you fill them with water and freeze them? Look on the next page for an activity to show you how objects freeze and expand.

For more science activities and other fun activities and crafts, check out: