Science projects create some of the best school memories. They’re visually interesting, exciting for learners, and educational, even if the child doesn’t realize it. There are also many advantages to early STEM education, ranging from the scientific to the creative.
Here are some of our favorite preschool science experiments that you can do at home.
Density experiments are always visually exciting for young children, and they’re wonderful to teach your child about how liquids can differ.
You’ll want to use a tall cylinder for this experiment so you can layer many different substances on top of each other. Pour in equal amounts of honey, dish soap, water, and vegetable oil into the container. Make sure to pour each liquid slowly so that it can settle. When you pour the water and vegetable oil into the cylinder, use a basting brush to gently drip the liquids in on the inside of the container – you don’t want to mix any of this together!
While you can stop the experiment here, you can teach your child even more about density by finding a few small objects to drop into your cylinder. Anything will do, as long as it fits in the glass and you don’t mind it getting wet. Some objects will be denser, and they’ll drop right to the bottom of the liquid mixture, and others will settle at the top or even in one of the middle layers.
This easy experiment shows your child the effect of acid as a cleaning agent.
You don’t need many supplies for it either, just a few old and rusty pennies and some vinegar or lime juice. Fill a small cup with some vinegar and throw in the rusty pennies – make sure to leave a few out or take photos to show your children the difference later! After a few hours, you can take the pennies out and rinse them with some water, revealing clean and shiny coins that look newly minted.
Baking Soda Ice Cubes
We know you’ve heard of the classic baking soda volcano, but this experiment puts an interesting spin on the baking soda fizz.
Mix some water with a fair amount of baking soda (you can also add food coloring if you’re feeling creative!) and pour the mixture into an ice cube tray. These need to freeze overnight, so do this in advance if you want the best results.
When the baking soda cubes have frozen, let them sit outside in a tray with some vinegar lining the bottom. Because the baking soda is frozen, it may take some time for the fizzing to start, but it’s sure to keep your child entertained.
Young minds can always use some stretching, and there’s nothing better than stretching a child’s STEM knowledge by allowing them to make their own hypotheses before an experiment.
Preschoolers can make guesses about which of several items will dissolve when mixed with water. Collect several cups and fill them roughly halfway with water, setting a spoon or stirring stick beside each one. Next, choose some items from around the house for your preschooler to use in the experiment. You can use sugar, sprinkles, flour, and oatmeal, along with anything else you find in your pantry. Before you try mix each one with water, ask your child if they think the substance will dissolve. They might get a lot of the guesses wrong, but It’s all about the learning process.
Color Changing Flowers
Some science experiments can look like magic, and this is one of them!
Set out several cups with a water and food coloring mix filled about a third of the way. You’ll want to use a fair amount of food coloring, at least 10 or 15 drops, but feel free to use more for richer colors. Place a white carnation or rose with the stem still attached in each plastic cup, so that the stem is resting in the water.
Check back in a few hours to see the petals begin to tint the shade of the food coloring. The longer you leave the flowers, the brighter they’ll be in color. This is a great way to show your child that flowers absorb water from their stems and pull it up to nourish the petals!
STEM At Providence Children’s Academy
These are just a few preschool STEM activities that can foster scientific minds. At Providence Children’s Academy, we endeavor to teach with STEM in mind in our day today. No child is too young to gain a sense of wonder for the scientific world around them, and these simple science experiments form the base of future education.
Contact us today for a tour of our facility, and discover how we keep fun and engaging education at the core of all we do.