One of the earliest subjects that a child engages with is science. As a baby, most of their initial exploration and discoveries are science-driven. They start with sensory learning, object permanence, cause and effect, and much more. These scientific discoveries are key to their physical and mental development. And this love for science can also lead to growth and enrichment in later life.
As an infant, the environment around us offers much for scientific discovery. But as a toddler, attention spans are shorter and the little ones need a small nudge to discover the joys of STEM learning. Are there simple ways to encourage and build this spark of curiosity into an all-rounded love for STEAM subjects from the comfort of your home?
Of course, there are! Science experiments for kids are one of the best ways to do this! Kindergarten science has a plethora of topics that can be learned through DIY experiments for kids.
By DIY experiments for kids, we don’t mean that you build pristine laboratories with shelves upon shelves of equipment. Not all of us can afford Dexter’s Laboratory hidden in our basements! And, of course, combining dangerous chemicals with smoky, explosive results is out of the question too. We are simply talking about everyday science experiments that can be done using pantry ingredients and kitchen equipment. The kind of regular science observations that may seem mundane to our adult minds but induce much awe into the minds of our budding baby scientists.
Most of the time, you can research DIY, cost-effective, easy preschool science experiments online, for free, and on the go. You can then build a list, bookmark pages, or build a board of science activities based on your child’s current interests, experiments that come together instantly, experiments you can prepare for long weekends, or kindergarten science to explore over the vacations.
DIY experiments for kids are something you can do to spend time together or to encourage independent play while you observe from a safe distance. Science experiments for preschoolers can be combined in many ways to encourage multiple kinds of learning.
It has been proven that STEM science experiments enable language development. So why not also plan science experiments for kids that also teach alphabets, shapes, colors, spellings, etc.?
Science for kindergarten or early introduction to STEM builds concepts that lead to prime educational and growth trajectories. You can use science for preschoolers to enhance their cognitive development, critical thinking, curiosity, motivation, and problem-solving, among other things, and contribute to their personality development. The benefits of focused DIY experiments for kids are many. So let’s get busy building a fun and knowledgeable STEM environment for your little one at your home. Here are some of our favorite easy preschool science experiments.
Fizzy colors experiment with baking soda and vinegar
Fun DIY experiments for kids that fizzles and foams and lead to much giggling and learning. An early introduction to the scientific world of chemical reactions, this one is an easy-to-put-together activity.
- 6 scoops of baking soda
- Food coloring
- Muffin tin
- Squeezy bottle
Set the muffin tin on the tray to catch the overflow.
Fill each muffin tin with a few drops of different food colors and top with a scoop of baking soda.
Fill the squeezy bottle with vinegar.
Let your child discover the hidden colors in a cloud of fizz.
You can pour the colored liquid onto the tray and let your kids play until the material is exhausted.
As the vinegar touches the baking soda, colorful foam fizzes out of the tins. You can use this activity to introduce the concept of chemical reactions to your children. Also, the added benefit of this activity is that you can teach them colors and let them mix these colors to get new combinations. You can also let them practice pouring for added fine motor skills benefits. Simple science for preschoolers that your little one will love.
Clouds and rain experiment with shaving cream
A fun science experiment for kindergarten students using shaving cream and blue water to understand the water cycle and precipitation. This one lets you build your own clouds and there couldn’t be anything more awe-inspiring than that!
- Shaving cream
- 1 vase (transparent)
- Blue coloring
- Dropper or spoon
Fill the vase ¾ full with clear water.
Build a fluffy, foamy cloud with shaving cream on top of the water in the vase.
In a cup, mix water with blue color.
Start gently adding the blue water to the foam cloud with a dropper or spoon.
Once the foam cloud starts getting saturated with the blue water, it starts raining down the vase.
You can use this science experiment for kids to physically demonstrate the rain cycle in a simple and fun way. While they observe the trail of blue rain trickling down the foam, explain to them how clouds form, how the clouds get a heavy soaking in all that water that eventually leads to rain.
The hand wash experiment with glitter and soap
Covid-19 has taught us the significance of clean hands and the importance of teaching young kids early on about maintaining good hand hygiene. Here is our top favorite from DIY experiments for kids that you can do at home to get the young ones excited about following a proper hand wash routine.
- Dish soap or hand soap
- A shallow tray or container
Fill the container with 2 inches of water and sprinkle fine glitter powder on it.
Fill a bowl with dish soap or hand soap.
Invite your child to dip a finger in the soap bowl and try to touch the floating glitter.
Finally, let the child submerge their hands in the water and get glitter on them.
Ask them to wash their hands with soap for twenty seconds or while singing the Happy Birthday song twice.
When your child brings their soap-coated fingers to the glitter on the water surface, the glitter disperses away. Explain how the glitter in this scenario is germs and how they stay away from the soap. Finally, when they get glitter splattered on their hands, ask them to wipe it off with a tissue first. The glitter won’t clear up completely. Invite them to observe what happens when they wash it off with soap. This is the perfect science experiment for preschoolers since they are entering an environment where they’ll interact with many kids in a completely new space.
Ice cream in a bag
Let your kids scream in delight for this magic ice cream that comes together in 5 minutes. This is one of the most fun DIY experiments for kids to do over the summers!
- 1 cup heavy cream or double-fat milk
- Rock salt
- 2 gallon-sized ziplock bags
In the first gallon-sized ziplock bag, add the ice and salt until the bag is at least halfway full.
In the second gallon-sized ziplock bag, add the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla.
Put the sealed cream bag inside the ice ziplock bag.
Once both the bags are sealed, shake, shake, and shake the bag vigorously for 5 minutes.
Grab a spoon and dig into happiness.
Get curious with your child and observe together how the ice cream mix’s temperature and texture change before and after shaking it in the ice bag. Explain the role of salt in bringing down the melting temperature of ice. Let them get some exercise shaking the bag as well. Science for preschoolers or party science, you decide!
Day and night experiment with a globe and torch
One of the earliest concepts of time we teach our kids is when we teach them to distinguish time by “when the sun comes out” and “when the moon comes out.” So teaching them about day and night on planet Earth with this simple kindergarten science experiment makes sense. And if your child has already discovered the joys of PlayShifu Orboot globes, this experiment is even more fun.
- 1 globe
- 1 torch
Dim the lights in the room.
Switch on the torch and direct it towards the globe.
Slowly rotate the globe so that the lighted part shifts around and the shadowed parts fall under the torch light.
Notice how the torch lights up half the globe, and the other half remains in the shadows. Explain how the torch is playing the role of the Sun here. Tell them how planet Earth rotates on its axis every day and the part that falls in front of the Sun lights up into daytime while the other part experiences nighttime and vice-a-versa. Isn’t it one of the simplest DIY experiments for kids?
Cardboard and sandwich bag lungs experiment to explain breathing
It’s difficult for small children to visualize internal organs. Here’s a simple science experiment for preschoolers that lets your child build a set of sample lungs out of simple craft supplies at home. You can then spend fun hours observing your personal lung prototype into action while you teach them all about the breathing system.
- 1 piece of cardboard
- 2 bendable straws
- 2 plastic sandwich bags
- Scissors and colored pens
Draw two lungs on the piece of cardboard. You can draw freehand, make an outline, use a stencil or even download a template online. Cut out the shape, or let your child do it.
Bend the straws and tape them next to each other, pointing in opposite directions.
Next, tape the plastic bags tightly over the straw openings near the bent ends.
Tape the bent part of the straw over the lungs stencil. You can even use nose and mouth cutouts and tape to the top of the straws.
Ask your child to blow air down the straw.
Now it’s time to observe how the sandwich bags inflate when the child blows air through the straw and deflate when they let go. The visual lung model is the simplest way for kids to learn about lung anatomy and how it works to keep us breathing. One of the most interesting DIY experiments for kids, this one lets them feel empowered from building the model to gaining knowledge.
Colored water xylophone experiment
Music is something that most little children enjoy. So, a sound-based sensory activity has got to be the most win-win kinda science experiment for kids and parents alike. This particular experiment lets them create their own music and is visually appealing, as well. Here’s how to build a rock and roll rainbow album at home.
- 7 tall glasses
- Rainbow food colors
- 1 tray
- 1 spoon
Set the glasses in a line on the tray and fill them with varying quantities of water.
Add a different color to represent each note glass by glass, making it look like an array of rainbow glasses.
Ask your child to tap the rim of an empty glass and then tap the rims of the glasses with the colored water.
Let the concert begin.
Now notice the different sound vibrations emitted by the glasses with different amounts of water. Explain how more water slows down the vibration speed and produces a low-pitched sound. Similarly, lesser water lets vibrations travel faster and create high-pitched sounds. Now, let them create their own music by tapping in different patterns. You can also use the same activity to teach them about colors. Or let them combine the colors, and try pouring practice for a few free minutes for yourself.
The most significant advantage of these DIY experiments for kids is that they address so many STEM questions with a single setup. You can combine visual, olfactory, and sensory learnings in a single experiment or set up age-appropriate science experiments for kids that have them analyzing, problem-solving, critically-thinking, and much more. You can include activities that build fine and gross motor skills while focusing on cognitive development. And, can also use these easy preschool science experiments to teach patience, build focus and attention, and enhance engagement.
More importantly, science for preschoolers can be utilized to build a love for STEAM at a young age so that it only progresses and reflects on their overall development as they grow up. Start them young to reap the benefits later, right? Let us know which of these activities you plan to do with your little one this weekend and which one was their favorite.