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Life is one giant science project for preschoolers. Everything they encounter in life is still new enough to them that they have plenty to keep their curious minds busy all day every day. It’s useful to have a big list of science projects for kids up your sleeve, ready to provide science fun at a moment’s notice.
Sometimes it’s nice to provide specific science activities though. My favourite preschool science projects are ones where there’s plenty of scope for the children to modify things for themselves, to make changes and see what happens – that’s where the real learning is.
So, here’s a huge list of science projects to try with your preschoolers. Some are more involved than others, but I think everything here is pretty easy to set up. If you’re looking for fun and easy science activities to engage your children, then you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s jump in!
Oil And Water Exploration.
You’ll see lots of different versions of this popping up when you search for science experiments for kids.
This version uses pipettes, making it great for developing fine motor control. Also, pipettes just feel science-y. My little ones have always really enjoyed any science or art activity that uses pipettes. We bought a gazillion pipettes from Amazon a few years ago, and it was definitely a worthwhile investment.
This is a really simple way for children to explore what happens when you mix oil and water. As with every activity you do with your preschoolers, there’s huge value in stepping back and just watching and listening to them as they play.
Everyone loves a rainbow.
This walking rainbow project lets your children experience colour mixing and capillary action. There’s also plenty of room for trying their own variations. Do you need to set this up a certain way to get the rainbow to work? Can you use something other than kitchen roll?
Let them play with the materials you’ve set out for them. The walking rainbow might provide the most Pinterest-worthy photos, but the real learning comes when the children are allowed to experiment and figure things out for themselves.
Static Electricity Butterfly Experiment.
This little investigation is such fun.
We’ve all rubbed balloons on our hair & enjoyed making it stand up on end. This science project applies the same principle to a tissue-paper butterfly.
Science for kids works best when they’re making something happen, and where they can see tangible results based on their actions. That’s why this one’s so successful.
Rainbow Explosion Slime.
We talked about slime recipes already, but I make no apologies for including this one here.
Rainbows and slime. Who could resist?
My one warning with this one is that it looks so delicious, your children might be tempted to eat it. I would be happy to make this rainbow slime with preschoolers, but only in situations where you can properly monitor what’s going on. You need to be absolutely sure that no-one’s going to put this stuff in their mouths!
That said, let them explore it properly. Let them pour the sprinkles onto a big puddle of slime and watch what happens. They’ll love it!
What Dissolves In Water?
An easy and fun investigation to set up for preschoolers.
Little ones love pouring and scooping, playing with water, and making concoctions from different ingredients. It’s part of the appeal of mud kitchens.
This activity takes that enjoyment and turns it into a science project. Let your child guess what’s going to happen when they add different ingredients to the water, and resist the urge to tell them ‘the answers’. Sometimes it’s hard to let them make mistakes, and it’s hard to remember that the object of any kind of scientific play activity is for the children to develop their own skills and to find things out for themselves.
Magic Milk Science.
I love activities like this, that combine art and science. You’ve probably got everything you need at home already, which is always a big plus point as far as I’m concerned.
Also, if, like me, you’ve bought an enormous bag of pipettes, then you’ll love having something else to use them for.
This is a simple science project that even the smallest toddlers will be able to do successfully.
What Melts In The Sun?
Take advantage of the sunshine and get outside to do your science projects.
This investigation lets children choose different materials and make predictions about what will happen when they’re left out in the sun. It’s awesome for teaching children how to record their predictions and then test them.
How Clouds Make Rain.
If you don’t have enough sunshine to try melting things outside, then maybe you’ll like the idea of rainy-day kids’ science experiments.
This is a super-simple way to demonstrate what happens when clouds produce rain. I love the whole process of documenting the children’s thought process as they conducted the experiment. It’s so important for them to understand that science isn’t about being right all the time. It’s about making predictions, testing them to see if they’re right, and then trying to figure out why.
Why Do Leaves Change Colours?
This one is great for the autumn. Kids love stomping in the fallen leaves, crunching their way through and throwing them up into the air.
The way that leaves change colour is one of many things about the world that we tend to take for granted as adults, but which are fascinating to children. When your children start asking questions about why leaves change colour, you’ll want this science project on standby to help them understand.
Science or magic?
Really, it’s just another twist on the baking soda and vinegar thing, but your preschooler will love this little activity.
Any science project where your child gets to squeeze, squirt, pour, or otherwise add one thing to another and make something happen is bound to be a hit.
This one is like magic because of the colours that appear when they start to play.
Air Pressure Game.
Remember what we said before, about kids loving to see that they have made something happen?
Well, here’s another easy science project to let them have that experience.
The equipment needed is very basic, and you’ve likely got most of it on hand already. Once they’ve got the basics down, your kids will find different ways to adapt this experiment. Let them see what happens if they blow up the bag like the boy in the blog post. See if the air is enough to move a toy car, or a brick. Give them plenty of time to really go deep into science projects like this, because the real learning comes from their own experimentation as much as from the initial project.
Homemade Ice Cream.
It’s a miracle that I’ve made it this far down the list without talking about edible science projects.
Really, all kinds of cooking activities are science projects in themselves.
This one’s special, though, partly because it’s ice cream, and partly because it’s so hands on. Your child can literally see the ingredients turning into ice cream before their eyes – magic!
We first came across this activity in The River Cottage Family Cookbook, and we’ve made it dozens of times over the years. (Actually, we’ve probably made every recipe in that book dozens of times – it’s such a good resource for teaching your children about food and cooking.)
Watercolours And Salt.
When art and science combine, you can get stunningly beautiful results. The magic milk experiment above gives beautiful results, but this science project produces a longer-lasting piece of art.
I’m a big fan of choosing process art activities over formulaic crafts. I like the same approach with science.
This salt-and-watercolour activity succeeds on both counts. Plenty of scope for playful exploration of the materials, and beautiful results that your children will be proud of.
Sometimes the simplest activities can be the best, and you can’t get simpler than this bridge building activity for preschoolers.
Using only lolly sticks and plastic cups, it’s an activity that requires almost no set-up, and it won’t be hard to clean up either.
I really like the list of extension questions in the blog post – it’s helpful in encouraging you to think of ways to extend any activity you do with your children.
Colour Changing Flowers.
Another experiment that will seem like magic to your preschoolers. It’s super-simple, and probably something you can remember doing at school in the dim and distant past.
You need to plan ahead a little, because you have to source the white carnations that work best for this science project. Other than that, though, it’s a very simple activity.
This is a great one for teaching your children to observe things over a period of time.
Oil And Water Painting.
We started out with oil droplets in water, and here’s another science-meets-art project that demonstrates what happens when you mix oil and water.
It’s a beautiful process art activity. (And it uses those pipettes again, which is an added bonus!)
I can remember a long period of time when my big boys were small boys, and we had parachutes of various kinds being thrown down the stairs every day. (And complicated pulley systems dangling over the bannisters, pulling stuffed toys and secret messages up and down).
These plastic egg parachutes will be easy for your preschoolers to make, with a little help, and HUGE fun for them to play with!
More edible science! My favourite!
Teach your kids about the different components of healthy soil, and create a delicious sweet treat while you’re at it.
This is a fun science project for little ones that enjoy helping in the kitchen. Everything is easy enough for them to do without help, which is always a bonus in my book.
Science and art combine, once again, for this fun STEAM project.
Kids are fascinated by magnets, and this project is a great way to tap into that fascination.
We’ve got a collection of magnets, and metal bits and pieces that would be perfect for this. I love that it’s a messy activity that shouldn’t actually be too messy in practice!
Christmas Lights Experiment.
An easy and fun activity to introduce children to electricity.
Let them play around with the materials and figure out for themselves how to make the Christmas lights work.
Pick A Science Project And Try It.
Even if you’re not used to doing science projects with your preschoolers, take the plunge and give one of these a try.
Our children are born scientists, artists, engineers, and they bring those skills to everything they undertake. Providing activities like this is one way for you to nurture that curiosity, and help them figure out how the world works.
If you want to remember these ideas for later, then pin this post so you can find it later.