Preschool students + science experiments = ???

Women with blonde hair and purple dress, sitting in chair saying,

Guess what, preschool teachers?

IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!

Lionel Richie leaning into screen saying,

That's right! Science experiments with curious preschoolers can be educational, engaging, and fun!

Preschool Experiments Don't Have to be Rocket Science!

Tips for working experiments into your preschool classroom every day:

Flaticon Icon Question — Elicit and value questions and discussions.

Flaticon Icon Explore — Give plenty of time and space for exploration.

Flaticon Icon Record — Encourage children to record findings (thumbs up/down, smiling/frowning faces, stamps)

Flaticon Icon Read — Fill classroom shelves with STEM books for kids and use simple scientific vocabulary in conversations. .

Flaticon Icon Using materials like water tables are great ways to encourage children to explore science concepts.

Here are some ways to support a deeper understanding of science using the water table example from the video above:

Flaticon Icon Make a variety of fiction and non-fiction books about water available for children to read and use those books during read-aloud time.

Flaticon Icon Provide ways for children to record what they see and do.

  • Circle the pictures of objects that float in water, draw an X on those that don't.

  • Fill in the square with the color that is made when red and yellow food coloring are added to a cup of water.

Flaticon Icon Encourage children to talk about science by asking questions that help make connections.

  • Why do you think this container fills faster than this one?

  • What do you think will happen if we pour more water into this cup?

Quiz

Josiah and Lucy are playing in the sand and water table at preschool when they tell their teacher that water runs through the funnel faster than the sand. Which of the responses from the teacher would encourage science topic comprehension?

Everyday Preschool Science

The best part about science experiments for preschoolers is that children this age are natural explorers and discoverers!

The simplest concepts are new and exciting for little ones and can be part of your everyday routine.

Make materials and tools freely available and encourage ways to record data (checkmarks, smiling/frowning faces, stamps).

Flaticon Icon Magnets Students can walk around the room, testing whether objects are magnetic or not.

Flaticon Icon Balances — Have a variety of objects out for children to experiment with.

Flaticon Icon Water & Sand Table — Use senses to discover what happens with different additions: water, sand, water beads, dried beans, rice, shaving cream, and soil.

Flaticon Icon Colors — Mix paints, markers, or oil pastels and see what new colors are made.

Flaticon Icon Blocks — Learn about ramps, gravity, tunnels, and balance while creating cool structures.

Flaticon Icon Weather — Take a look outside the classroom window. Draw pictures of what you see, dress up a stuffed animal for the weather, compare and contrast yesterday's temperature with today's...

Quiz

Which of the following elements would support a unit on weather in a preschool classroom?

Fun Experiments to Keep Your "Ion"

So many experiments, so little time! Here are a few to get you started:

Lemon Volcanoes

A colorful, erupting lemon?? What else could a preschooler want?

With a few ingredients (lemons, food coloring, dish soap, baking soda), you and your students can erupt into hands-on learning fun about chemical reactions and color mixing.

Melting Ice — How to Make Ice Sculptures

A totally cool way for kids to learn about freezing point depression and erosion.

You'll need: ice blocks, spray bottles, warm water, colored salt, food coloring, saltshakers, and a large tub (a sensory table works great!)

Childrens' hands inside a large tub filled with colored ice blocks and a variety of tools: cups, small buckets, and shakers.

Sunscreen Painting

Shed some light on ultraviolet waves and chemical bonds with this experiment.

Collect black construction paper, sunscreen, and a paintbrush and you're ready to go!

Arctic Animals

This cool experiment helps curious preschoolers learn about climate, animal adaptations, animal species, and geography.

What you'll need: a spoon, shortening, plastic bags, ice water or ice cubes.

Take Action

Are you ready to start adding more experiments to your preschool class?

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Get the ball rolling with these tips:

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This Byte has been authored by

RG

Rebecca Gryga

Instructional Designer, Curriculum Developer