45 Simple and Fun Science Activities for Preschoolers

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS


Every day is a new opportunity for toddlers to ask “Why?” over and over. Tap into that curiosity with these fun and engaging science activities for preschoolers. These simple experiments incorporate many preschool favorites like playing with bubbles or water, making arts and crafts, and, of course, making a mess!

To make things even easier, we’ve rated every one of these preschool science activities for preschoolers based on difficulty and materials.

Difficulty:

  • Easy: These are low- or no-prep experiments you can do pretty much any time.
  • Medium: These take a little more setup or a longer time to complete.
  • Advanced: Experiments like these take a fairly big commitment of time or effort.

Materials:

  • Basic: Simple items you probably already have around the house.
  • Medium: Items that are easy to get your hands on, but you might not already have.
  • Advanced: These require specialized or more expensive supplies to complete.

Jump to:

Water Preschool Science Experiments

These water activities for preschoolers help teach little learners a variety of science concepts. (These can get a little messy, so you might want to try them outside.) Find even more water science activities here.

Make music with xylophone bottles

A series of bottles filled with different levels of different colored liquids to form a rainbow
Mama Papa Bubba

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

The classic experiment using varying levels of water in glasses or bottles is even more fun when you add some food coloring. Experiment with different water depths and mallet styles to make all kinds of beautiful music!

Learn more: Xylophone Bottle at Mama Papa Bubba

Surround kids with an oversized bubble

A little girl is standing in a kiddie pool. A hula hoop surrounds her and a giant bubble. (preschool science)
Make and Takes

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Kids (and let’s face it, adults too) will definitely get a kick out of this fun science experiment. While you’ll only need a kiddie pool, some dish soap, and a Hula-Hoop to make this a reality, the payoff will be big.

Learn more: Giant Bubbles at Make and Takes

Watch rice dance in water

Glass of blue liquid with rice floating and moving in it
Green Kid Crafts

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

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

Learn more: Dancing Rice at Green Kid Crafts

Reveal colors with chemical reactions

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

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Preschool science experiments often include a combination of baking soda and vinegar like this one. Fill muffin tins with a drop of food coloring, then top it with baking soda. Finally, let kids squirt in vinegar to reveal fabulous foamy hues! (Be sure to wear eye protection for this one.)

Learn more: Fizzy Fun at Busy Toddler

See what sinks and what floats

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

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

This preschool science activity helps kids learn to construct a hypothesis, conduct a simple experiment, and then sort their findings by property.

Learn more: Sink or Float at Fun With Mama

Learn what dissolves in water

Preschool science student mixing various solids into glasses of water
Hands On as We Grow

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Engage in more water play by having kids predict which items will dissolve in water and which ones won’t. Have kids keep track of the results so they can see if they have anything in common.

Learn more: What Dissolves in Water? at Hands On as We Grow

Watch hot water rise and cold water sink

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

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

This early exploration into the concept of density is always impressive to see in action. Have kids discover how hot water rises and cold water sinks. Explain that the same applies to air, and see if kids can think of a way to observe that in action too.

Learn more: Water Density Experiment at Mombrite

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
Mombrite

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

“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: Capillary Action Experiment at Mombrite

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.
One Little Project

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

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: Shaving Cream Rain Clouds at One Little Project

Blow bubble towers

Preschool science student blowing a tower of soap bubbles
Happy Hooligans

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

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: Bubble Towers at Happy Hooligans

STEM Challenges for Preschoolers

STEM challenges give students a chance to try solving problems on their own. Give them some basic supplies and instructions, then let them experiment until they find a solution to the challenge.

Rescue toys from hot lava

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

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

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

Learn more: Floor Is Lava at Forward With Fun

Build a catapult

popsicle sticks and elastics are stacked to create a catapult. A plastic spoon makes for the actual catapult piece (preschool science)
Education.com

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Challenge students to build a catapult using just three items: Popsicle sticks, elastics, and a plastic spoon. You’ll definitely want to have an extra set of adult hands available as this can prove challenging for pre-K kids. Finally, bring plenty of marshmallows or pom-poms to launch.

Learn more: Make a Catapult at Education.com

Discover strength in shapes

Three pieces of paper folded into columns as circle, square, and triangle
All for the Boys

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Learn shapes while also practicing some basic 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: Strength in Shapes at All for the Boys

Build an aluminum foil boat

A tin foil boat holds a bunch of pennies and is seen floating in green water.
Little Bins for Little Hands

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Teach kids about buoyancy and physics while having fun in the process. First, give your students some tinfoil and challenge them to build a sturdy boat. Then, challenge them to fill the boat with as many pennies as they can without it sinking.

Learn more: Foil Boat Challenge at Little Bins for Little Hands

Waterproof a boot

Drawing of a boot with several types of waterproofing material taped on top (Winter Science)
Science Sparks

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Ask kids to select various materials and tape them over the free boot printable found at the link. Then, test their hypotheses to see which ones work best.

Learn more: Waterproof a Book at Science Sparks

Reach for the sky

Children building a tower to the ceiling using building blocks
Mama Smiles

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Round up all your building blocks and try this whole-class project. What will students need to do to be able to construct a tower that reaches all the way to the ceiling?

Learn more: Tower Engineering Challenge at Mama Smiles

Link up the longest paper chain

Two students measuring paper chains (STEM Activities)
Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

This incredibly easy preschool STEM activity really gets kids thinking. The challenge? Create the longest possible paper chain using a single piece of paper. So simple and so effective.

Learn more: Paper Chain Challenge at Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

Build an apple toothpick tower

Child using toothpicks and pieces of apple to build a tower on a paper plate
N. Family Club

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Put a healthy spin on a classic STEM challenge by substituting apple pieces for marshmallows. Kids will have a tasty snack when they’re done!

Learn more: Apple Toothpick Tower at N. Family Club

Stack up plastic cups

Preschooler making a stack of red plastic cups and index cards
The Salty Mamas

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Kids absolutely love stacking cups! Turn the play into a STEM challenge by adding index cards into the mix. Kids can experiment to see if they can build taller towers with or without the cards.

Learn more: Solo Cup Engineering Challenge at The Salty Mamas

Craft a nest

Bird nest built from twigs, leaves, and other materials
Pink Stripey Socks

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Take a nature walk and pick up items like sticks, leaves, and more. Then, build your own bird nests to protect little eggs and hatchlings.

Learn more: Build a Nest at Pink Stripey Socks

Seasonal Science Activities and Experiments for Preschoolers

Whether you’re looking for Halloween science activities, winter science experiments, or Easter egg activities, find them all and more here!

Make pretend snow

A hand is shown holding fake snow from a pile.
Elf on the Shelf

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

No snow where you live? Make some yourself! Find easy recipes for “snow” using baking soda, shaving cream, cornstarch, and other household items. Experiment to find the one that works best.

Learn more: Make Pretend Snow at Elf on the Shelf

Explore how mittens keep you warm

Thermometer and pair of white mittens, with a child's hand inside one mitten along with a thermometer
Classroom Magic

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Ask little ones if mittens are warm, and they’ll likely answer yes. But when they measure the temperature inside an empty mitten, they’ll be surprised by what they find. Learn about body heat and insulation with this easy experiment.

Learn more: Mitten Body Heat Experiment at Classroom Magic

Measure the water content of snow

Glass jar of snow, measured with a ruler, next to a glass jar of melted snow water marked with measurements
KC Edventures With Kids

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Two inches of snow is not the same as two inches of rain. This easy winter science experiment measures the amount of water actually found in an inch of snow.

Learn more: How Much Water Is in Snow? at KC Edventures With Kids

Create salt crystal hearts

Red construction paper heart covered in salt crystals from a science experiment
Red Ted Art

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Make these pretty red crystalized hearts as Valentine’s Day decorations, or anytime you want to show someone some love!

Learn more: Salt Crystal Hearts at Red Ted Art

Grow grass in an eggshell

A brown eggshell with the top broken off, with grass growing out of its top and a face drawn on it. Scissors are lying nearby with grass clippings.
Mother Natured

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

What’s more fun than a preschool science experiment that doubles as a craft? You’ll need eggs, soil, grass seeds, water, and a permanent marker to bring this project to life. Kids will especially love personalizing their eggshell.

Learn more: Egg Grass Heads at Mother Natured

Decompose a jack-o’-lantern

A decomposing jack-o-lantern pumpkin
Gift of Curiosity

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

When Halloween is over, plop your jack-o’-lantern pumpkin in the garden and observe it each day. Kids learn how organic matter breaks down over time.

Learn more: Pumpkin Decomposition at Gift of Curiosity

Send a ghost flying with magnets

Child using a magnet to make a tissue paper
STEAM Powered Family

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Medium

Use magnets along with a few other supplies to make a tissue ghost seem to float in midair! It’s the perfect spooky Halloween science activity for preschoolers.

Learn more: Flying Ghosts at STEAM Powered Family

Conduct experiments on marshmallow Peeps

Bunny-shaped marshmallow candy Peeps with sails made from toothpicks and construction paper
Lemon Lime Adventures

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Pick up a package of marshmallow Peeps (they’re available during many seasons of the year now), and try turning them into little boats. Experiment with different sail sizes and types, and figure out how to make the candy boats go faster.

Learn more: Marshmallow Peep Boat Challenge at Lemon Lime Adventures

Launch plastic egg rockets

Yellow plastic egg that looks like a chicken, turned into a toy rocket with Alka-Seltzer tablets
The STEM Laboratory

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Put on some safety goggles and get ready for lift-off! This simple experiment uses Alka-Seltzer tablets to turn eggs into rockets.

Learn more: Easter Egg Rockets at The STEM Laboratory

Dissolve colorful turkey “feathers”

Construction paper turkey with feathers made of baking soda, foaming after vinegar has been added
123 Homeschool 4 Me

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Baking soda and vinegar experiments are always popular, and this one is so cute for the Thanksgiving season. Build your own little turkey with baking soda feathers, then watch them foam up and dissolve when you add some vinegar.

Learn more: Turkey Feather Science at 123 Homeschool 4 Me

More Science Activities for Preschoolers

These science activities and experiments give preschoolers a chance to explore all sorts of science concepts, from plants and animals to germs and gravity and beyond.

Slice apples to learn about oxidation

Several apple slices are shown on a clear plate. There are cards that label what they have been immersed in (including salt water, sugar water, etc.) (easy science experiments)
Teaching With Jennifer Findley

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Here’s another classic preschool science activity: using apple slices to learn about oxidation (and how to prevent it). When you’re done, you’ve got a tasty snack to eat too.

Learn more: Apple Oxidation at Teaching With Jennifer Findley

Show why sunscreen is important

Four construction paper people are shown. One is wearing a hat, one is wrapped in plastic wrap, one is plain, and one is wearing sunglasses.
123 Homeschool 4 Me

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

First, have your students make four construction-paper people, each with varying conditions. Wrap one in plastic wrap, cover another in sunscreen, put a hat on one and a set of sunglasses on another. Ask kids to hypothesize what will happen when they’re left out in the sun, then see if they’re right!

Learn more: Sunscreen Experiment at 123 Homeschool 4 Me

Engage in some shadow science

A jar contains straws with black silhouettes of animals attached to them (preschool science)
Little Bins for Little Hands

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Learn about animals and shadow science with these adorable and easy puppets. Use them to act out some scenarios involving these creatures in their natural habitats.

Learn more: Shadow Science at Little Bins for Little Hands

Mix up some “magic” milk

Preschool science student mixing a bowl of colorful milk swirls
Laughing Kids Learn

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

A drop or two of dish soap will make food coloring dance and swirl across the surface of a shallow bowl of milk. Preschool science experiments often seem like magic, but this one is all about surface tension and chemical reactions.

Learn more: Magic Milk at Laughing Kids Learn

See how easily germs spread

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

We love a preschool science experiment that reminds little ones of the importance of good handwashing. Help them see why it’s so important with this simple experiment that uses glitter to stand in for germs.

Experiment with wax paper

Child spraying colored water onto wax paper
Housing a Forest

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

This wax paper experiment is interesting from both a science and art perspective. Ask kids to think about why wax paper behaves differently than other paper they use for art projects.

Learn more: Wax Paper Resist at Housing a Forest

Predict and observe what will melt in the sun

Muffin tin with different objects in each well (Preschool Science)
Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

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: Melting Science at Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

Drop balls to introduce gravity

Toddler holding a blue rubber ball
Inspiration Laboratories

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

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

Learn more: Gravity Experiment at Inspiration Laboratories

Head to the playground to explore gravity and friction

Preschool science student sending a rock down a playground slide
Buggy and Buddy

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

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: Playground Science at Buggy and Buddy

Test objects with magnets

Preschool science student using a bar magnet to test other objects
PreKinders

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

Magnets are undeniably a 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. Sort the items into categories, then see if the items have anything in common.

Learn more: Magnets at PreKinders

See sound waves in action

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

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Medium

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: Sound Experiment at Hands On Teaching Ideas

Make an orange volcano

An orange is shown in a bowl with a pitcher of red liquid pouring into the cut off top of it.
The Art Kit Blog

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Making erupting volcanoes is a staple of any childhood! We love this easy volcano experiment using an orange, baking soda, and vinegar.

Learn more: Orange Volcano at The Art Kit Blog

Grow delicious rock candy crystals

Rainbow colored jars with rock candy sticks in each
Growing a Jeweled Rose

Difficulty: Medium / Materials: Basic

Preschoolers love science activities that involve food. While crystal experiments are a hit with kids of any age, this one is perfect for the young crowd. It requires a little patience, but kids get to eat the yummy results!

Learn more: Kool-Aid Rock Candy at Growing a Jeweled Rose

Move pom-poms with air pressure

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

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

Understanding the idea that air can have enough force to move objects can be a little challenging, but this simple experiment brings that concept to life. We love that this experiment is affordable since most people (especially teachers) already have these materials on hand.

Learn more: Air Pressure Experiment at Kids Activities Blog

Make a balance scale

A little girl filling a cup in a homemade scale.
Go Science Kids

Difficulty: Easy / Materials: Basic

This simple balance scale is so easy to make yet provides endless opportunities for weighing all kinds of objects. Have kids assemble a scale from a plastic hanger, a few paper cups, and some string, then let them hypothesize which items will be heavier and which will be lighter.

Learn more: DIY Balance Scales at Go Science Kids

Like these science activities for preschoolers? Don’t miss the 30 Best Educational Toys and Games for Preschool.

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