Plan and host your own homeschool science fair with this easy printable guide and project fair ideas!
Hold Your Own Homeschool Project Fair or Science Fair
Homeschoolers often don’t have access to the traditional school science fair, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get in on the fun! There are so many wonderful reasons to put on a project fair or science fair in your homeschool. Over the years these projects have created memories my kids still talk about to this day. Find out how to use project fairs in your homeschool and get some great information for hosting your own project fair in this Homeschool Project Fair Guide.
Why Host A Homeschool Science Fair Or Project Fair?
Hosting a science fair or project fair in your homeschool is a great way to take a break from scheduled lessons and allow your kids to dive into a project. A project fair teaches kids a variety of life skills on a large project scale. Working on a large project by reducing it into a series of smaller projects is one of the many skills that will help your kiddos be successful throughout their lives.
There are many advantages to incorporating a science fair or project fair into your homeschool.
Doing so will teach kids to:
- Narrow a topic appropriately to define a clearer research angle.
- Create a plan to accomplish a large task by breaking it into smaller tasks
- Discover ways to convey an idea or set of facts in a clear and concise manner
- Use graphic design concepts to make information more easily understood like using big, bold titles, and using white space appropriately
- Combine projects, facts, experiments, and research in a complementary way to inform about a specific topic.
- Stick with a large project until completion
- Experience the feeling of accomplishment when they’ve completed a large project that possibly felt too big for them at the start.
Science Fair vs. Project Fair
While science fairs are a great activity for diving into a specific idea or branch of science, a project fair is equally as exciting and rewarding. If you’re interested in having a science fair in your homeschool, your kids can choose any number of specific topics that go along with their current curriculum, their favorite type of science, or something that they’re curious about learning.
Once you get the hang of holding a science fair, you can see how a project fair for any subject would be just as fun!
Some great topics for a homeschool project fair are:
- Social Studies
- Economics / Entrepreneurship
- Famous poet/author/literary works
- Book reports
- “What I did this summer”
- “All about me / my family”
Regardless of the topic, I recommend having your children do a combination of project board, research paper, and physical component. The physical component can be an experiment, a physical model, even a game to teach the concept studied.
Science Fairs & Projects Fairs Are Perfect For All Grades, Subjects, & Curriculum
The very best thing about science fairs and project fairs is that they’re absolutely perfect for ALL grades and ages! As a mom of 4 kids I absolutely love that we can work on a project like this that’s so adaptable to each kid’s level.
Your youngest kids can do a one page paper or a simple list. Or they can use my FREE My First Report Printable For Beginning Writers or my FREE 1st Grade Research Paper Writing Template. You can work with them and print out symbols and items for them to color and put on their project board. You can use play dough, stickers – all the fun craft supplies – to allow them to create a presentation with materials they’re familiar with.
Meanwhile, your older kids can work on their papers and projects at their grade level. You set the requirements for them and see what they create! It’s so fun to watch them grow through this process and see how much they learn.
Whether you’re a scheduled, type A homeschool, unit-study loving family, or an eclectic do-what-you-want type of teacher, there’s a place for project fairs in every homeschool.
Scroll down for a free printable project fair guide.
Science fairs and project fairs are perfect for:
- Year long major projects
- The end of a big unit to present what kids have learned
- Opportunity to dive deeper into a subject learned through your current curriculum
- A vehicle for delight directed learning
An all learning style friendly way to help your child understand a tricky concept
- Or even a summer learning opportunity.
How To Plan And Host A Homeschool Project Fair
Things To Consider:
Before you begin planning, here are some things to consider about hosting your own project fair or science fair:
- Subject & Topic: I suggest really helping your kids decide on a niche topic within the subject you assign them. The more specific their topic or slant is, the easier it will be to do their research and design a relevant project. Spend plenty of time brainstorming topics and possible details to research.
- Length Of Time For The Project: – Set a clear schedule for when each component of the project will be due. Older kids can handle just a few deadlines – research paper due, physical component due, & final project complete. However, your younger kids will benefit from your guidance in breaking the project into manageable pieces. They’ll also learn from your example so they can tackle more project management in the future.
- Research Paper Component – You’ll want to set clear expectations for your child’s research paper requirements. You can use a paper template for the younger kids and set your own guidelines for your older kids like page length and number and quality of sources.
- Physical Component – I love adding a physical component to the science fair or project fair because we can tap into those other learning styles. Ideas for this component are a physical experiment, model or diorama, painting or other work of art, a game to teach the concepts learned,
- Entry Form – You can easily design your own “entry form” that your kids fill out with their proposed topic, research paper slant, and physical component idea. You can use this tool to give your kids feedback to steer them in the right direction and provide a final OK that their project idea is approved.
- Grading the Project – You’ll want to decide if you will grade the project and how. If grades are important to you, you can write up a short grading rubric so your kids know what is expected of them. We have generally chosen not to grade these, but I do offer written feedback.
Essential (and optional) Materials For Project Fairs:
Of course the main component of a project fair is the classic three fold project board. I find these at my local dollar store along with plenty of poster making materials. You can still get a great deal on project boards on Amazon if you buy a bulk pack – a great choice if project fairs will be a big part of your homeschool. You can also get some great poster supplies on Amazon as well.
If the large project boards are intimidating or you want to start small, you can do a mini project fair! Use a file folder and fold the sides inward to make a mini tri-fold project board. This is such a great way to practice creating and presenting projects.
Helpful Materials To Have On Hand For Project Fair And Science Fair Boards:
Tips For Holding The Science Fair or Project Fair
When your kids have completed their projects, it’s a great time to make a big deal about them! Your kids have worked hard on these projects, so make sure they get plenty of feedback and accolades for a job well done.
Consider inviting relatives over for a special dinner and allow them to peruse the projects.
You can hold a virtual project fair by invited friends and family to hop on a zoom call while each child presents their project.
You could also hold a larger project fair with other homeschool families or even a co-op. This takes very little planning and could even be done play-date style at a local park.
What to do with the project boards after it’s all over?
This is a major consideration to think about before you jump all in. Honestly, I have many of our stored in a closet because I just can’t bring myself to throw them away! But consider taking plenty of great pictures and even making a scrapbook page out of them. Then you can throw away the big project board without all the regret!
I hope you’re inspired to host your own Science Fair or Project Fair in your homeschool! I’d love for you to share your pictures on this Facebook Post or on Instagram using the hashtag #pk1kids. Show off your kids’ amazing projects!!
Feel free to snag this free printable guide to help you and your kids plan out their next Science Fair or Project Fair!
[…] to them and give them the responsibility of completing a project for that topic. We love doing project fairs in our home – I see the most educational growth with these […]