Science Craft for Kids: Write Mystery Messages with Invisible Ink!

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Kids love mystery! When you give this summertime science craft for kids a try, they will get the chance to create their own mystery when they make their own secret messages with invisible ink.

Science Craft for Kids: Write Mystery Messages with Invisible Ink!

Making invisible ink is a cinch, and it is a great chance to enjoy a mini science lesson about chemical reactions with your children. You don’t need a great deal of supplies at all, and this science craft for kids itself only takes minutes. Gather the kids and tell them they are about to embark on a secret mission. They will be more than willing to dive in!

First, introduce the concept of a chemical reaction. These are big words, so write them down so kids can see what they look like. Explain to them in very simple terms that chemicals can change in form when they react to another element. In this case, our lemon juice will be our chemical and will react to our heat source. Answer any questions they might come up with, write any questions you can’t answer down and promise to explore them later. Then, gather your supplies for this science craft for kids and get going.

Create this summer science craft for kids

Science Craft for Kids: Write Mystery Messages with Invisible Ink Supplies
Supplies needed for this fun summer science craft for kids.

Supplies needed:

  • 1-2 lemons
  • Empty plastic bottle (a 12 oz. soda bottle is perfect)
  • Paintbrush or q-tips
  • White paper
  • Various colors of construction paper
  • Lamp
  • Small bowl

As you will notice, everything here can be purchased at your local dollar store or in your own home!


  1. Squeeze the juice from your lemons into a small bowl. This will act as your magic ink.
  2. Taking your paintbrush or q-tip, dip it into the ink and encourage your child to write a secret message on the piece of white paper. They will have to do this slowly and carefully as it will be hard to see the message as they write it.
  3. Allow it to dry.
  4. Once dry, roll into a tube shape.
  5. Place the paper in a clean and dry plastic bottle.
  6. Using your colorful construction paper, rip off tiny bits to make some fun confetti and sprinkle into your bottle for extra color and pizazz.
  7. Have your child give the secret message to another family member.

Now, have the recipient open up the paper. All you see is a plain white piece of paper right? Now, hold your paper up to a heat source. An ideal heat source is a light bulb. Of course, you will want to monitor this portion of the project carefully as these is a burn hazard. After holding the paper near the heat for several minutes, the chemical reaction will take place and your message will appear out of nowhere!

How cool is that? Have the recipient read the message out loud, and then discuss how the heat made the lemon juice react. Then, try this science craft all over again! Kids will love writing secret messages to give to each other and watching their writing magically appear.

This is another perfect rainy day science craft for kids that you are sure to enjoy doing together. Gather your supplies and your mystery message writers and give this one a try!

Looking for more great educational science projects? Our summer science craft for kids series is a great way to keep kids learning all summer long! Check out how to blow up a balloon using gas and how to make your own table top volcano!

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    • My Kids Guide says

      Thanks, Texas Mom Blogger! Lemons have a lot of uses and this just happens to be one of the fun ones!

    • My Kids Guide says

      That is really awesome Mitch! Definitely sounds like you have some great crafting projects over there!

  1. says

    WE used to do this all the time when the kids were younger. It was neat to see what they could come up with to write. :)

    • My Kids Guide says

      That’s great, Pam! Kids can be so creative, we are doing this again this weekend and I can’t wait to see what they write this time

  2. says

    This is definitely a good one to have for rainy days. We have so many rainy (and snowy) days here that I am sure we will get to use this one before too long! The kids love doing anything with science, so I am going to have to dig a little deeper into the chemistry of this one before I roll it out because they will pepper me with questions!

  3. miriam says

    Such a cute, educational activity! I can see this being a blast for kids who are into playing “spy” games. I like that it keeps it simple and doesn’t involve a complicated science lesson that could be boring for young kids.

  4. says

    I love this project! Anything that has an educational twist is really awesome. I can just see kids’ eyes lighting up seeing their hidden message reveal itself under a light bulb, this is really so fun. Thanks for sharing this fun craft!

  5. says

    This looks like an awesome summer activity for kids! I especially like that it is all-natural! Great post, and an awesome way to have the learning continue through the summer!

  6. Dia says

    OMG! This is such a cute idea. I remember buying the book that had a pen that you could write with invisible ink on one side and you could reveal what you wrote with the ink on the other side of the pen. I love that this is a safe and non toxic way for kids to have fun!

  7. says

    What a fun science project for the kids to do this summer! I loved doing little science experiments like this at home in the summer time. I don’t think I have done this one before.

  8. says

    I remember doing this when I was a little kid! I used to love anything that had to do with science, being a detective and solving some of life’s small mysteries! I am very much still like that today!

  9. says

    This is a super fun activity for kids! I have friends who’ve sworn by lemon juice ink as a serious time killer – at least for a few hours. Their kids are so tickled by drawing random things they can’t really see, then being able to discover the whole crazy picture by lamplight.


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