10 Fun and Educational Science Activities for Preschoolers

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Written By Olivia Miller

Author at Montessori Expert.

Has your little one ever been mesmerized by a pinwheel spinning in the breeze, or stopped to watch a caterpillar inch across the sidewalk?

That innate curiosity is the perfect springboard to introduce the wonders of science.

Nurturing that curiosity through engaging activities fosters a love of learning that will last a lifetime.

These simple, hands-on experiments will transform your home into a mini science lab, igniting your child’s fascination with the world around them.

Science is all about discovery and wonder! These 10 easy science activities use everyday household items and spark a love of learning in preschoolers.

They explore concepts like germination, magnetism, and states of matter in a fun and engaging way.

Activity 1: Seed Sprouting Surprise

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Clear container (jar or plastic cup), paper towel, beans (dried)

How to Perform: Watch the magic of seeds turning into plants! Fill a clear container with a little water. Place a paper towel on top and dampen it. Put a few beans on the damp paper towel. Set the container in a sunny spot and watch the beans sprout roots and leaves! Talk about how seeds need water and sunlight to grow.

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, Plant science

Activity 2: Fizzing Fun

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Baking soda, vinegar, shallow dish, spoon

How to Perform: Create a fizzy science reaction! Put a spoonful of baking soda in a shallow dish. Carefully add a little vinegar and watch the mixture fizz and bubble. Talk about the chemical reaction that makes the fizzing happen. This activity can be messy, so be prepared to clean up spills.

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, Chemical reactions

Activity 3: Sink or Float?

sink or float activity
sink or float activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Large bin or tub, water, various objects (plastic toys, metal spoon, cork)

How to Perform: Spark scientific curiosity with a sink or float experiment! Fill a bin or tub with water. Collect a variety of objects made from different materials (plastic toys, metal spoon, cork). One at a time, place the objects in the water and see if they sink or float. Talk about why some things float and others sink (weight, material).

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, Understanding density

Activity 4: Rainbow in a Glass

color mixing magic activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Shallow dish, water, clear glasses or cups, coffee filters, food coloring (various colors)

How to Perform: Make a beautiful rainbow with water and color! Fill a shallow dish with water. Add drops of different food coloring around the edge of the dish. Place a coffee filter in the center of the dish, touching the water. Watch as the colors travel up the filter, creating a rainbow!

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, Color mixing

Activity 5: Magnetic Mystery

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Magnet, paper clips, small metal objects (buttons, washers)

How to Perform: Discover the power of magnets! Give your child a magnet and let them explore what it attracts. See if the magnet picks up paper clips, buttons, or other small metal objects. Talk about how magnets attract certain metals but not all materials.

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, Magnetism

Activity 6: Volcano Boom! (Baking Soda Volcano)

baking soda volcano activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Baking soda, vinegar, dish soap (optional), shallow tray, modeling clay or play dough, construction paper (optional)

How to Perform: Erupt with excitement with a baking soda volcano! Mold the modeling clay or play dough on the shallow tray to create a volcano shape. Carefully add baking soda inside the volcano crater. Pour a little vinegar into the volcano and watch it fizz and erupt! Add a drop of dish soap for a more foamy eruption. You can decorate the volcano with construction paper for a more dramatic effect. (Adult supervision recommended with vinegar)

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, Chemical reactions

Activity 7: Cloud in a Jar

cloud in a jar activity

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Clear jar with lid, shaving cream, water, dish soap (optional)

How to Perform: Create a fluffy cloud inside a jar! Fill a jar about ¾ full with water. Squirt some shaving cream on top of the water to create a thick cloud layer. Carefully add a few drops of dish soap on top of the shaving cream. Watch how the dish soap disrupts the shaving cream, creating a wispy cloud effect.

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, States of matter (gas)

Recommended: 300+ Fun & Easy Toddler Activities for Hours of Fun

Activity 8: Ice Excavation

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Small plastic toys, shallow dish, water, salt (optional), dropper or spoon

How to Perform: Unearth hidden treasures in a frozen landscape! Place small plastic toys in a shallow dish. Fill the dish with water and add a little salt (optional, salt lowers the freezing temperature). Freeze the water overnight. Once frozen, let your child chip away at the ice with a spoon or dropper to rescue the hidden toys. Talk about how freezing water changes its state and becomes solid ice.

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, States of matter (solid)

Activity 9: Sun Printing Fun

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Construction paper, various objects (leaves, toys), clear plastic wrap, sunshine!

How to Perform: Make magical prints with the power of the sun! Place leaves, toys, or other flat objects on a piece of construction paper. Carefully cover the entire design with clear plastic wrap. Put the creation outside in direct sunlight for a few minutes. The sunlight will fade the exposed areas of the paper, leaving a silhouette of the objects. Bring the creation inside and be amazed by the sun prints!

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, Light and shadow

Activity 10: Walking Water Experiment

Age Group: 3-5 years old

Materials: Two glasses, paper towels, water, food coloring (optional)

How to Perform: Defy gravity with a walking water experiment! Fill one glass almost all the way with water. Add a few drops of food coloring (optional) for a visual effect. Fill the second glass completely with water. Place a paper towel flat on top of the full glass.

Carefully flip the full glass upside down on top of the empty glass, holding the paper towel in place. Slowly lift the top glass while holding the paper towel firmly. The water should remain in the top glass, defying gravity! The paper towel acts as a seal between the two glasses.

Area of Development: Scientific exploration, Observation skills, Capillary action

science activity image use for pinterest

Conclusion: Cultivating a Scientist

Science isn’t just about complex experiments and lab coats; it’s about fostering a questioning mind and a love of discovery. By incorporating these activities into your playtime, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating a little scientist in your own home. Remember, there are no wrong answers in science, so encourage exploration, experimentation, and most importantly, have fun!

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25 Easy & Fun Montessori Activity Ideas for Your Child

Boost your child's growth and development with these 25 fun and educational Montessori activities. Don't miss out on this FREE printable guide!