Science projects are popular at our house, especially when I‘ve tried them out in advance to ensure a reasonable amount of success for the kids. The following is a list of activities that my family has enjoyed, and I hope yours will, too. Don’t be afraid of the messy ones. Do them outside in old clothes and remember to take pictures of your little Einstein’s at work!
Introduce earth science to your preschoolers with The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola. Read about clouds, their formation and their role in our weather. Foster an appreciation for these marvelous natural wonders by having children draw the clouds they see in the sky.
Make a Volcano
Help your little ones conduct their first chemistry experiment. This erupting volcano by Janice Davis at Learning 4 Kids uses baking soda for the base, and vinegar for the acid. When the two combine to form carbonic acid and carbon dioxide, your volcano will erupt with a fizzing lava flow. Have paper towels handy.
Here’s what you’ll need: 1 liter bottle, newspaper strips, craft glue, masking tape, shallow plastic container or bowl, baking soda, food coloring and white vinegar.
Rubber Band Motor Boat
How about giving your kids their first physics lesson? Would you believe that with a simple toy boat, you could demonstrate the concept of stored (potential) and released (kinetic) energy? Carolyn Erickson at Living on the Cheap has the simplest idea for a rubber band powered boat that I’ve seen.
Here’s what you’ll need: ruler, cardboard, rubber bands, duct tape.
The 4M Potato Clock is a great resource for your preschooler’s first lesson in electricity. No batteries are required when you use potato power!
Here’s what you’ll need: 2 potatoes and the 4M Potato Clock kit.
Your preschoolers will enjoy playing and learning with magnets. It’s exciting to feel the push and pull of magnetic force, and to find things around the house that are magnetic. Take apart some fridge magnets, or purchase magnets for hours of experimentation. If your science is rusty like mine, you may want to have a book like Magnets: Pulling Together, Pushing Apart by Natalie Rosinksy on hand to help answer questions!
I’ve saved the best for last. This is my family’s favorite chemistry experiment. First, read Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss to your kids. Then make oobleck, the green glob featured in this classic story. Oobleck is an amazing phenomenon! It’s called a non-Newtonian fluid, because it reacts to touch as both a solid and a liquid.
Here’s what you’ll need: water, cornstarch, spoon, measuring cups, food coloring.
Use one part water to two parts cornstarch. I like to use ¼ cup water to ½ cup cornstarch for each child. For green oobleck, add several drops of food coloring to the water. Then add the green water to the cornstarch. Stir until combined. It is really fun to tap it and find it hard, and to touch it gently and feel it give like quicksand. It’s messy, but fun!
Be sure to check out our rememberstuff.me optimized search for more activities to introduce the wonderful world of science to your preschoolers!