Over the last 2 weeks, my son and I have tested, filmed, and approved a ton of easy science activities for preschoolers.
As a teacher and a parent of a preschooler, I know that doing fun activities with your child can take time and money.
Thinking of parents like you and me, this list only has activities that are quick, easy, and low-cost.
I’ve turned these 21 activities into a free ebook that you can download and use to do at home with your kids! Grab your free eBook with 21 easy preschool science activities.
++Plus! Get a super secret 7-Day Challenge.😮
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Check out what’s inside this list!
- Magic Paper Towel
- Magic Milk
- Pop Rocks 5 Senses
- Ice Excavation
- Sink the Egg
- Shadow Block Match
- Ice Cream In A Bag
- Color Water Transfer
- Skittles Rainbow Experiment
- Ice Hockey
- Ocean Bottles
- Growing Gummy Bears
- Butter In A Jar
- Nature’s Paint Brushes
- Edible Marshmallow Slime
- Sun Prints
- Floating Drawings
- Make Music With Water
- Flour Sensory Play
- Leaf Rub Coloring
- Slide Painting
- BONUS Activity!
- What’s Next?
Like always, be sure to do these activities with adult supervision.
Read on to start experimenting!
Paper Towel Surprise
- Fold a piece of paper towel in half.
- Draw on top of the paper towel the scene you want to show.
- Open the paper towel and trace the scene using the lines that bleed through.
- Draw the “surprise” image on the inside of the paper towel.
- Fold the paper towel so the inside image is hidden.
- When ready, place the paper towel in water.
- The “surprise” image should be visible!
- Use markers that won’t bleed when wet such as permanent or dry erase markers.
- Try these surprise art ideas:
- Dinosaurs popping out of their eggs
- Lava exploding from a volcano
- Fish/sea creatures appearing underwater
- Fireworks appearing in the sky
- Color appears from a black & white image (flower, boat, etc.)
- Toppings appear on a cheese pizza
- Butterfly wings appear on a caterpillar
- Sprinkles appear on an ice cream cone
Learn more about this activity at activelittles.com
- Color science
- Chemical reaction
- Pour milk on the plate until it covers the bottom.
- Add 3-5 drops of food coloring to the milk. (Do NOT Mix!)
- Dip the q-tip into the dish soap.
- Press the q-tip into the center of the milk and hold it there.
- Watch the colors swirl!
- Add primary color combinations to teach color mixing science.
- Using multi colors gives a contrasting effect
- Experiment with other materials. Can you add sparkles or other liquids?
Learn more about this activity at laughingkidslearn.com
Pop Rocks 5 Senses
- 5 Senses
- Pop Rocks
- Drawing or 5 senses printable(optional)
- Mini cups or containers
- Print and cut out pictures to represent the 5 senses and arrange them in a row.
- Set out 5 mini cups behind each picture and put a small amount of pop rocks in each cup (we used one packet for all 5 cups)
- Explain that our bodies use senses to experience things around us. Give a few examples such as “I can touch the chair and it feels smooth”.
- Explain that they will be using their senses to learn about the pop rocks.
- Tell them to use their eyes to see the Pop Rocks in the first cup.
- Touch the Pop Rocks in the second cup, smell the third cup, taste the fourth cup, and listen to the fifth cup.
- Ask your child questions as they experience each sense.
- “What does it look like, feel like, smell like, taste like, sound like?”
- Pour water into the last cup to better hear the popping sound.
Learn more about this activity at modernhomesteadmama.com
- States of Matter
- History: Dinosaurs, ice age
- Toys/small items
- Hammer or stone
- Goggles (optional)
- Fill a container with water.
- Place small toys/objects into the water.
- Freeze container.
- Use a hammer or stone to excavate the toys!
- Set the frozen container out to melt for about 5 minutes before trying to get the ice out.
- Poor water over the ice using a squirt/squeeze bottle to speed up the melting process.
- Learn other lessons by excavating other items like colors, shapes, or letters.
- Try excavating dinosaur eggs!
Learn more about this activity at lifeatthezoo.com
Sink the Egg
- Float or sink
- Comparing & estimating
- Plastic eggs
- Various small household objects…
- Pom poms
- Paper clips
- Nuts & bolts
- Have your child make predictions about which objects will make the egg sink.
- Fill the eggs with various items.
- Place the eggs in a bucket of water.
- Observe the eggs to see if your child’s predictions were correct.
- Use caution with small or sharp objects.
Learn more about this activity at happytoddlerplaytime.com
Shadow Tower Match
- Build a tower and cast a shadow using a flashlight.
- Tape the flashlight on a slightly elevated place (chair, nightstand, desk)
- Place the paper on the floor (use tape for extra security)
- Build a tower on the edge of the paper so the shadow is visible on the paper.
- Trace the outline of the tower’s shadow.
- Set the blocks aside.
- Repeat to create more shadow challenges.
- Invite your child to build a tower that casts a shadow that matches the outline on the paper. Have your child use the same blocks that were set aside.
- Use other objects to cast shadows such as LEGOs, action figures, or other small toys.
Learn more about this activity at handsonaswegrow.com
Ice Cream In A Bag
- States of matter
- Reversible change (liquid to solid then solid to liquid)
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 T sugar
- 3-6 Cups of ice
- ¼ Cup salt
- Toppings (optional)
- 1 Gallon size Ziploc bag
- 2 Quart size Ziploc bags
- Mix together 1 cup of half and half, 1 tsp vanilla, and 2T of sugar.
- Add the mixture to a small bag and seal the bag.
- Add 3-6 cups of ice and ¼ cup of salt to a gallon-sized bag.
- Place the smaller bag in the large bag of ice.
- Shake the bags for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse the smaller bag to prevent the salt from contaminating the ice cream.
- Start eating!
- Rinse the bag well before eating. Even rinsing the top of the seal prevents the ice cream from tasting salty.
- Use gloves when shaking the bag to protect your hands from the cold.
- Double up the bags to ensure the salt doesn’t leak into the ice cream bag.
Learn more about this activity at thebestideasforkids.com
Color Water Transfer
- Mixing colors
- 6 containers
- Food coloring: red, blue, & yellow
- Transferring tools: Measuring cups, Spoons, Droppers
- Fill 6 containers with water.
- Add blue, yellow, and red food coloring to 3 of the containers.
- Provide your child with various transferring tools.
- Let them explore and mix colors freely!
- Do this activity on your lawn. The food coloring may temporarily dye cement.
Learn more about this activity at handsonaswegrow.com
Skittles Rainbow Experiment
- 5 senses observation
- Arrange a Skittle pattern on a white plate.
- Carefully pour water onto the plate of Skittles.
- Within a few seconds, you’ll see the colors spread!
- Arrange the Skittles into new patterns and designs.
- Try different variations to this activity.
- “What will happen if we add…hot water, milk, vinegar, or different kinds of candy?”
Learn more about this activity at lifeovercs.com
- States of matter (solid, liquid, gas)
- Cookie sheet
- Small household items
- Craft supplies
- Kitchen utensils
- Fill a cookie sheet with water about halfway.
- Freeze overnight.
- Invite your child to slide various objects across the ice.
- Make predictions on which items will slide the best/worst.
- Try sliding materials of various textures to see how they compare.
- Play games like race who objects or play air hockey.
- If you are in a pinch for time, we were able to freeze the cookie sheet well enough within a couple of hours. It wasn’t frozen solid but it worked.
Learn more about this activity at creativefamilyfun.net
Ocean Wave Activity Bottles
- Ocean life
- Sealable container (jar, bottle)
- Vegetable or baby oil
- Blue food coloring
- Small bowl
- Ocean Decor:
- Mix blue food coloring with the water.
- Add the mixture to the container.
- Pour vegetable oil into the container.
- Add decorations inside.
- Play, tilt, and explore!
- Make sure the lid is sealed! Try super glue or a hot glue gun to make it extra toddler-proof.
Learn more about this activity at thestayathomeeducator.com
Growing Gummy Bears Experiment
- Gummy bears
- 3 Cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of Salt
- 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
- 3 Cups/containers
- Add 1 cup of water to each of the cups.
- Mix 2T of salt into the first cup.
- Mix 2T of sugar into the second cup.
- The third cup will just have water.
- Place one gummy bear in each cup.
- Wait between 12-72 hours.
- Check the results!
- The longer you wait, the more dramatic the changes.
- Take before and after pictures to help visualize the change.
Learn more about this activity at kiwico.com
Butter In A Jar
- Separation: fat and buttermilk
- Life skills
- Process of making butter
- 1 c Heavy Cream
- Mason Jar with Lid
- ½ tsp. Salt (optional)
- Marbles to help the shaking process (optional)
- Pour the cream into the jar.
- (Optional) Add the salt and marbles.
- Shake, shake, shake!
- After about 10 minutes of shaking, the butterfat will separate from the buttermilk.
- Spread the butter on warm bread and share with a friend.
- Take turns shaking with other people to prevent yourself from getting tired.
- Place a marble in the jar to speed up the shaking process.
- Shake while having a dance party with music or play pass the potato!
Learn more about this activity at steamsational.com
- Plant species
- Innovative ways to use nature
- Color science (mixing colors)
- Rubber band, string, or twist ties
- Containers/paper plate
- Natural materials
- Small sticks
- Pine needles/cones
- Gather natural materials to use as a paintbrush. (ideas above)
- Pour the paint into containers.
- Bundle the natural material into clusters using a rubber band or string.
- Dip the end of the natural “paintbrush” into the paint.
- Begin creating!
- Use rocks and flowers to “stamp” a pattern on the paper.
- Learn about the natural materials the children find and use to paint with.
Learn more about this activity at crystalbridges.org
Edible Marshmallow Slime
- Chemical reactions with heat
- 2 tablespoons coconut (or cooking oil of choice)
- 3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch/ powdered sugar + more for kneading
- 4 Drops of food coloring (optional)
- Microwavable bowl
- Microwave 3 ½ cups of marshmallows with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for 20 seconds.
- Stir then continue to microwave the marshmallows in 10-second intervals until melted.
- Mix in ¼ cup of powdered sugar and 4 drops of food coloring.
- Set aside as the mixture cools and firms for 10 minutes.
- Knead the mixture using powdered sugar or cornstarch to prevent sticking.
- Once the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands, it’s time to play (and taste) your slime!
- This recipe is VERY sticky. When kneading, we used a lot of extra powdered sugar to help prevent the slime from sticking so much.
- Although this is edible, the large amount of sugar in this recipe is not healthy. This recipe is meant to be tasted and not eaten in full.
- Try creating fun, themed slime: Unicorn, gummy bear, or monster
Learn more about this activity at messylittlemonster.com
- Sun energy
- Black construction paper
- Small flat items
- Craft supplies
- Household items
- Arrange small flat items on the black construction paper in a sunny location.
- Wait for 4+ hours of sunlight time.
- Remove the items to reveal the sun prints.
- The flatter the objects, the more contrast your sun prints will be.
- Try leaving the items on the paper for as long as possible for better results.
- Turn this activity into an art project.
- Use this activity to also teach about patterns.
Learn more about this activity at theresjustonemommycom
- Draw pea-to-quarter-sized images on the plate with dry erase markers.
- Slowly pour water onto the plate.
- Wait a few seconds and watch the drawings start to peel off the plate!
- If the drawing isn’t lifting, try tilting the plate to encourage the water to get under the marker.
- Drawings that are small and connected will be less likely to break.
- New markers work best for this activity.
- How it works: the dry erase markers contain an oily silicone polymer which prevents it sticking to the plate. This makes the dry it easy for the water to lift the drawings off the plate.
Learn more about this activity at littlebinsforlittlehands.com
Make Music With Water
- Sound – pitch
- Glass cups/containers
- Food coloring (optional)
- Metal spoon or pencil
- Set tall glass cups in a row.
- Fill the cups with various amounts of water.
- Tap the metal spoon on the glasses to hear the different sounds it makes.
- Create a song with your new instrument!
- Also try the Water Whistle Experiment.
Learn more about this activity at prekinders.com
Flour Sensory Play
- Observation & exploration
- 5 Senses
- Measurement & weight
- Fine motor skills
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Other kitchen utensils: whisk, spatula, ice cream scoop
- Tablecloth (optional)
- Lay out a tablecloth or set up your station in a location you don’t mind cleaning up a mess!
- Place a bucket in the middle and it fill with flour about ¼ of the way full.
- Set out various scooping and mixing tools.
- Play, dig, explore, and make a mess!
- We also like to do this activity with rice!
Learn more about this activity at mommyandme.ae
Leaf Rub Coloring
- Identify plant species
- Leaf anatomy
- Collect leaves and place them under the paper.
- With a crayon, press down hard on the paper as you color back and forth.
- As you color, you will start to see the print of the leaves appear on the paper.
- For a more clear leaf print, turn the crayon on its side when coloring.
- Use detailed leaves for fancier leaf prints.
Learn more about this activity at firstpalette.com
- Force in motion
- Prop up your board or slide on something elevated such as a chair.
- Set paper on top. Large paper or scratch paper taped together.
- Squeeze a few dots of paint at the beginning of the slide on the paper.
- Push toy cars through the paint and down the slide to create a masterpiece!
- We didn’t have large paper so we just taped scratch paper together. It worked just as fine!
- Race two cars down the slide.
- Have the slide point into the grass or other area that will catch the painted cars to prevent more mess.
Learn more about this activity at icanteachmychild.com
Bonus! Regrow Kitchen Scraps
- Plant life
- Life skills
- Toothpicks (optional)
- Kitchen scraps that will grow (see list below)
- Cut your food item of choice.
- Place it in water.
- Wait about 7-14 days and you’ll begin to see roots.
- Replant to grow long term.
- Change the water every day to prevent mold from growing on your plants.
- You can do this experiment with a number of kitchen veggies.
- Potatoes/sweet potatoes
- Onions/green onions
- Avocado pit
- Herbs: cilantro, basil, mint
- Roots: Carrots, beets, ginger, garlic
Learn more about this activity at ruralsprout.com
I hope you enjoyed these activities as much as my preschooler and I did. Save these 21 preschool science activities for later and download your free eBook with a super secret 7-Day Challenge inside!
Want more fun easy science activities? Check out this post with 157+ easy STEM activities!
Here’s The Activities We Covered:
Hi, I’m Tori! I’m the founder of homeschoolnewbie.com. I’m a former elementary school teacher turned homeschool mama who has a passion for home education! I have 10+ years of experience working with children in all kinds of educational settings. As a new homeschooling parent, my mission is to navigate the world of homeschooling and share with you the best home education practices. If you want to learn more about me, check out my about page. See you there!