Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
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We love science at Little Sprouts, all different kinds. These science activities for toddlers and preschoolers are right up our alley. It’s a great addition to your activities for daycare.
We add science into any unit we do. There are so many ways to learn about science and the activities are always so much fun. We have science in our pumpkin unit, by exploring the nature of pumpkins, cooking them, and mixing colors to make orange.
We have science activities for toddlers and preschoolers in our dental health unit by doing experiments with eggs that show the qualities of our teeth and even talking about the science of nutrition and how it affects the strength of our teeth as we grow.
Even our dinosaur party had science when we made a dirt volcano erupt in the yard. We just love learning about science. Here’s another volcano idea you can do using playdough. Preschoolers will love building their own volcano from play dough. Then create a fizzy lava eruption for a fun science experiment.
Science activities for toddlers in childcare
Our garden provides endless science opportunities. We study insects and their life cycles, habitats, diets, habits and so much more. Also, we have studied worms, caterpillars, butterflies, ladybugs, praying mantis, squash bugs, and all kinds of beneficial and harmful insects in the garden. In additions, we also study the habits and diets of animals that visit our garden for food.
The garden is full of opportunities for pre-reading skills, math skills, and science to be learned. We learn colors, counting, measuring, sorting, planting, germinating, watering, the qualities of the sun, how soil is made up and on and on.
One science activity we do often in the garden is cutting down a giant sunflower or okra stalk after the season and seeing how tall it is. We lay it out on the patio and see how many inches it is, how many feet, and how many toddlers tall it is. We have grown okra over 14 feet tall. Amazing.
A great place to learn a lot of science is the compost pile. We compost our food scraps in a traditional compost in our composting spinners, we also have a compost bin, and we compost with worms. We learn so much about how food breaks down, what worms do (they get in the regular composters too) and about bacteria and microorganisms. It’s so interesting.
We have studied the qualities of our soil to determine what it needed to be healthier. Also, we have added compost for more nutrition. And we have studied how differently foods taste when they are ripe as opposed to not ripe and found out why. The garden is an endless opportunity for all kinds of learning.
Obviously, we study botany and how plants grow, what they need, their nature and qualities. There is a ton of sensory learning in the garden as well with so many sights, smells, textures, sounds, and tastes all around the garden.
So, the garden covers botany, agronomy, ecology, environmental science, zoology, entomology, ornithology, meteorology, microbiology, and so much more. I’d say it’s definitely a great teacher! Here are a bunch of science activities for toddlers and preschoolers in the garden.
Science activities for preschoolers
Think about all the other things in nature that teach kids. Why do leaves turn colors and fall? What’s inside of a flower? What makes the wind? How are clouds formed? Nature is an endless teacher of science activities for toddlers.
Another great sensory activity is this DIY green tea playdough you can make with your kids. It smells great, it feels great, it strengthens fine motor skills too!
Make a rainbow using the qualities of water with your kids. Have fun growing sprouts on a sponge with our step by step Sprout House Science Project for Preschoolers. This sprout house craft is a full tutorial on how to make a sprout house with sponges while exploring the science of sprouting seeds.
Preschool Weather Science: How can we stay dry? This Rain Cloud in a Jar Science Experiment is perfect for preschool science. It gives your children a chance to explore weather with hands-on activities.
This Craft Stick Building Set for Preschool comes together in minutes with only two items that you probably have or can grab at the dollar store.
This lava lamp science project is fun for kids of any age. It never gets boring watching it and you can do it over and over again.
Don’t forget about cooking as a science activity. Baking cookies is an activity that teaches kids about leavening and measuring as well as other things. There are so many recipes kids can make that are fun to do. Check out these recipes for cowboy cookies, monster cookies, pumpkin cookies, peach bread, banana bread, and more.
Have you ever tried making sherbet? It’s easy for young kids to make, with ingredients you can easily find at the grocery store. And they can feel the chemical reaction right on their tongue! What’s the difference between a solid and a liquid? Experiment with jelly/jello/gelatin for a sensory (and tasty) hands-on lesson on states of matter.
Kids can explore if they can walk on eggs without breaking them with this fun, hands-on (actually feet-on) activity. Or let little ones create their own moon rocks with this simple recipe! Then create a moon rock explosion for even more fun.
This gorgeous science experiment helps students connect science with art as they discover if oil and water mix.
Science lesson plans for preschoolers
We like to do a lot of experiments with ice. How does water turn into ice? What happens when you put salt on ice? Why? How do road workers use that in winter to help keep people safe? What happens when you hold ice in your hands? How long does it take water to freeze into ice? How cold is ice? Is ice hard or soft? Playing with ice is so much fun!
Have all the fun of playing in the frost and snow in your own kitchen when you do this frost experiment. Did you know you can make your own GLOWING ice from one simple grocery store ingredient (and a UV flashlight)? Yes, it actually glows! And it’s totally taste-safe for youngsters that still put things in their mouths. So much fun for glowing, sensory, science play! Also, check out How to Make a Catapult from Popsicle Sticks.
Transform this basic scientific discovery into art when you use watercolors instead of clear water for an enlightening oil and water experiment! Or do this low prep sound science activities let little ones see sound and learn how sound waves really work. These are super easy but show sound in a way kids can understand.
This Melting Rainbows science activity is low prep and lots of fun. Keep little ones busy making the colors fizz and “melt.” It’s a great intro to chemistry for little kids. Can you think of any better science activities for toddlers?
This Magic Milk Science Experiment is a great Science idea for preschoolers as an introduction to learning about chemical reactions and colors
Science for toddlers
Great sensory science activities for toddlers and preschoolers we love to do is oobleck. Just mix equal parts of corn starch and water and check out what happens. When you touch it, it’s solid, but when there’s no movement, it goes back to a liquid. It’s amazing. Try it out and you won’t be a bit sorry. Your kids will play with it for a long time.
You can teach kids about how energy works using toy cars! Raised Salt Painting is extremely fun – Spring STEAM Science Experiment that will engage a preschooler in science. Using salt, glue and watercolors for art. We had a blast with this super easy coffee filter science experiment – the perfect science experiment for toddlers, preschoolers or kindergartners! So many aspects can be taught through this very simple science experiment for kids.
This simple upcycled catapult is easy enough for preschoolers to make! Or let them make their own DIY balance scales! Great way for toddlers and preschoolers to explore and compare weight and mass through play.
Build a foundation of inquiry and science explorations with a few simple science items you can find at home. Set up a discovery area to encourage critical thinking skills through play!
A lot of GREAT ideas 🙂
Thank you so much!