Science labs can get a little messy sometimes! And I don’t know about you, but I get a little nervous about my kids dirtying their school clothes during our labs. I mean you never know what’s going to permanently stain their uniforms, right? That’s why this year I’ve decided to eliminate the stress by having my kiddos DESIGN and MAKE their own lab coats. I figured it would be a great activity to incorporate into Back To School week! It’s also something that the kids can use throughout the entire year and even on special occasions…
Making these lab coats is pretty simple and a great way to get kids excited about science! Once the kids put them on, they’ll magically transform into real scientists It’s also a great way to start off the year! Imagine all the conversations you can have with your students about the role of scientists, what tools they use, how they conduct experiments and so many others. I mean talk about high engagement!!!! And the best part is that these are all topics we end up covering in the first 2 weeks of school anyways when we begin our Intro. To Science Unit .
- Men’s white t-shirt size large or X-large. (You’ll want to make sure they’re large enough to cover the children’s clothes.)
- Crayola Markers (Don’t use permanent markers such as Sharpies because they bleed right through the t-shirts and the last thing you want is permanent marker stains on your classroom desks )
- Blank t-shirt design (This is so students can sketch out their designs first.)
- Some Science Inspiration (Science related clipart or pictures.)
- Pencil and eraser
- Fold the shirt in half and then cut down the middle. Make sure you’re cutting through ONLY the top layer of the t-shirt. You’re basically cutting the front of your shirt so it opens up like a jacket.
2. Have students design their lab coats on a blank sheet of paper. I like having my students sketch out their designs first so that they don’t make mistakes on their actual shirt. It’s much easier to erase something from a sheet of paper than from a t-shirt. Before sketching, we also take some time to discuss some science tools or words. I’ve found that this helps to get the creative juices flowing. If you notice that kids are still having difficulties you can always show them the science related pictures or clipart. Just remind them that this is only for inspiration. They do NOT need to draw exactly what they see on that sheet. You’re just giving them a few ideas. Now you want them to make it their own.
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3. Have students copy their design onto their white shirt using a pencil.
4. Use markers to outline and color in your design.
Besides pictures students can also write words on their lab coats that scientists might use. For example: question, problem, hypothesis, data, experiments, conclusion, results, explore, curious, etc… If they want, they can even draw on the back. The possibilities really are endless. That’s what I love so much about this project. They’re going to have so much FUN!!!!! You’ll be the #coolclass in no time!
5. The final step is to put on your new lab coat and let the experimenting begin!!!!!!
Are you ready to have your students design and create their own lab coats? I’m sure they’ll be up for the challenge.
Elsa SalgadoAugust 28, 2018 at 11:06 pm
I like be the lab coat idea. Did you use regular crayons markers or fabric markers?
MelissaJanuary 13, 2019 at 2:53 pm
We used regular Crayola thin markers. I tried using sharpies and didn’t like that they would bleed right through the t-shirt. Then thin markers worked perfectly!
Mary WestMay 14, 2019 at 3:43 pm
Thanks for this! I’m running a Cub Scout Day camp that’s all about science, and the kids will LOVE these! I did a practice run using Crayola Fabric markers and it worked great.
MelissaMay 14, 2019 at 8:27 pm
Oh WOW that sounds like so much fun! I’m sure the kiddos are going to love wearing their lab coats and dressing the part :0)
Love the idea of using fabric markers. Thanks so much for sharing!