20 Simple and Fun Preschool Science Experiments and Activities

Dorothy S. Bass


Every day is a new opportunity for toddlers to ask “Why?” over and over. Tap into that curiosity with these fun and engaging preschool science experiments and activities. They’re all easy to set up and will help kids understand some basic science concepts. Have fun while you learn!

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1. Try The Floor is Lava stem challenge

Toy bears stacked on plastic cups, wood craft sticks, and index cards

You might not want pre-K kids climbing all over the classroom furniture to play “The Floor is Lava,” but they can do the same thing with their toys in this cute STEM challenge!

Learn more: Forward With Fun

2. Watch rice dance in water

Glass of blue liquid with rice floating and moving in it (Preschool Science)

There are lots of cool baking-soda-and-vinegar experiments out there (ever made your own volcano?), and this is always a favorite with little ones. The acid-base reaction causes the rice to dance and jump around in the water. So cool!

Learn more: Green Kid Crafts

3. Reveal colors with chemical reactions

Preschool student squeezing a bottle of vinegar into muffin tin cups filled with baking soda and food coloring

Here’s another fun take on the baking-soda-and-vinegar experiment. Fill muffin tins with a drop of food coloring topped with baking soda. Then let kids squirt in vinegar to reveal fabulous foamy hues!

Learn more: Busy Toddler

4. Discover strength in shapes

Three pieces of paper folded into columns as circle, square, and triangle

Combine learning shapes with a little science! Fold paper into various shapes to form columns and ask kids to predict which will be able to support the most books.

Learn more: All For the Boys

5. Find out what sinks and floats

Preschool science student placing objects in bins of water to see if they sink or float

Kids love to play around in water! This preschool science activity helps them learn to make a hypothesis, conduct a simple experiment, and sort their findings by property.

Learn more: Fun With Mama

6. Learn what dissolves in water

Preschool science student mixing various solids into glasses of water

Keep the water fun going by having kids predict which items will dissolve in water and which ones won’t. Keep track of your results and see if they have anything in common.

Learn more: Hands On As We Grow

7. Watch hot water rise and cold water sink

Plastic bin of colored water, with red on top and blue on the bottom

This early exploration into the concept of density is always impressive to see in action. Explain that the same applies to air, and see if kids can think of a way to observe that in action too.

Learn more: Hot and Cold Water/Mombrite

8. Grow a paper towel rainbow

Paper towel strip draped between two glasses of water, with colorful marker rainbow ink moving from each side to meet in the middle (Preschool Science)

“Capillary action” might be a real mouthful for preschool science students, but they don’t need to remember the term to be impressed by this experiment! All you need are markers, a paper towel, and two glasses of water.

Learn more: Paper Towel Rainbow/Mombrite

9. Mix up some “magic” milk

Preschool science student mixing a bowl of colorful milk swirls

A drop or two of dish soap will make food coloring dance and swirl across the surface of a shallow bowl of milk. To little ones, it seems like magic, but it’s all about surface tension and chemical reactions.

Learn more: Laughing Kids Learn

10. See how easily germs spread

Lysol glitter germs science experiment

We spend a lot of time reminding kids to wash their hands. Help them see why it’s so important with this simple experiment that uses glitter to stand in for germs.

11. Predict and observe what will melt in the sun

Muffin tin with different objects in each well (Preschool Science)

You’ll need a hot sunny day for this preschool science experiment. Help students choose a variety of items to place into a muffin tin and have them predict which ones will melt. Set the tin out in the sun for an hour or two, then bring it in and record your results.

Learn more: Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls

12. Build an apple toothpick tower

Preschool science student using toothpicks and apple pieces to build a tower

Put a healthy spin on a classic STEM challenge by substituting apple pieces for marshmallows. You’ll have a tasty snack when you’re done!

Learn more: Preschool Powol Packets

13. Make shaving cream rain clouds

Square glass vase filled with water with shaving cream floating on top. Food coloring is dripping down through the cream into the water.

This is a classic science activity every kid should try at least once. It helps them understand how clouds become so saturated with water that they must release it in the form of rain.

Learn more: One Little Project

14. Drop balls to introduce friction

Toddler holding a blue rubber ball

Gravity can be a complicated subject, but all pre-K kids need to understand are the basics. Drop balls of all sizes to discover that they all fall in the exact same way.

Learn more: Inspiration Laboratories

15. Head to the playground to explore gravity and friction

Preschool science student sending a rock down a playground slide

What goes up must come down! A playground slide is the perfect place to help kids understand gravity. This is a good chance to learn about friction too.

Learn more: Buggy and Buddy

16. Test objects with magnets

Preschool science student using a bar magnet to test other objects

Magnets are an endless source of fascination for kids. At this stage, you can worry less about explaining how magnets work and instead just let kids explore which items are attracted to magnets and which aren’t. Have them sort the items into categories, then see if the items have anything in common.

Learn more: PreKinders

17. See sound waves in action

Glass bowl covered in plastic wrap with confetti on top, and a tuning fork touching the plastic

This series of simple experiments lets kids see sound waves at work. Start by making waves with a Slinky, then move on to tuning forks and bouncing confetti.

Learn more: Hands On Teaching Ideas

18. Grow delicious rock candy crystals

Rainbow colored jars with rock candy sticks in each

Crystal experiments are a hit with kids of any age. This one requires a little patience, but kids get to eat the yummy results!

Learn more: Growing a Jeweled Rose

19. Move pompoms with air pressure

Young student using a straw in a plastic bag with sponges to move a green pompom across a wood table

Understanding the idea that air can have enough force to move objects can be a little challenging. This simple experiment using household items lets little learners see it happen before their eyes.

Learn more: Kids Activities Blog

20. Blow bubble towers

Preschool science student blowing a tower of soap bubbles

There are lots of fun science activities you can do with bubbles to explore concepts like surface tension. Or, you can just have a blast seeing who can make the tallest tower with bubbles and straws!

Learn more: Happy Hooligans

Need more ways to help little ones learn? Stock your classroom with these 25 Best Educational Toys and Games for Preschool.

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