Ah, DNA It’s real, it’s interesting, it’s a part of everybody – and every body. Making learning science fun for kids is always rewarding – and gives them a head start in school and life! You might not know where to begin teaching kids about DNA. Many kids learn and retain information best when a hands-on approach is taken, so DNA crafts are a great way to sit down with them and teach them about DNA. Read on for a list of 5 kid-friendly DNA crafts!
1. Perhaps one of the most fun and easiest to make DNA models involves using at least 4 pipe cleaners and large, plastic pony beads, or any other beads that can be threaded through the pipe cleaners, in at least 6 different colors. You will preferably want to use 2 different colors of pipe cleaners for this craft, one color will represent the phosphate, while the other will represent the deoxyribose. You can find detailed instructions on how to do this craft at Wikihow.
2. A LEGO DNA model is an exciting project for both adults and children. It is very easy to figure out how to put it together by viewing this photo of a DNA model someone else built. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 40 2×1 Red Technic Bricks
- 20 Gray Technic Pins (Without Friction)
- 80 Transparent 1×1 Cylinders In 4 Different Colors
- 4 Modified 2×1 Plates
- 1 2×8 Plate
- 1 Round 8×8 Plate
Once you gather these items, you’ll want to build it starting with the base from the ground up, one rung at a time. If you get stuck, you can check out instructions from How To Adult for extra help.
3. A Family Hand Tree is a much simpler craft that even the youngest children can participate in. You will need:
- 1 Large Piece of Poster Board/Paper
- Colored/Construction Paper (1-2 sheets per family member)
- Pens or Markers
- Glue or Tape
The child can trace the right and left hand of each family member, as well as their own, onto the colored paper. They will then cut out the handprint, list inherited traits on one handprint, and learned traits on the other. When they’re done, draw a tree trunk on the large poster board/paper, then glue each set of hands above the trunk to form a tree.
4. A Candy DNA Model is a sweet addition to this list – and something the kids can look forward to eating after they finish this project. All you need is thick Twizzlers or Redvines, soft candy in 4 colors, and toothpicks to make the rungs of the DNA ladders.
5. You can make a really flexible Straw DNA Helix from four colors of straws, 2 differently colored tapes, and some pretty easy cutting, taping, and twisting!
With these crafts, the sky’s the limit to learning. Be inspired by these kid-friendly crafts and use similar ideas, the possibilities are endless with your imagination.