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50 Science Fun Ideas for Toddler & Preschooler

Simple science ideas for use with
preschool children or toddlers.

1. Make bubbles: Mix one gallon of water with one cup liquid detergent & 50 drops of glycerine.

2. Jet balloons. Fill a balloon with air & let it go. What makes the balloon go?

3. Nature Walk: Take a plastic bag with you on your next nature walk. Encourage your child to collect leaves & small sticks & put them in bag. Ask your child about each item he choose to put in the bag.

4. Evaporation : Set out three cups, half filled with water. Add food colouring to the water. Have your child use an eye dropped to drop the colored water onto a piece of paper towel. Notice how the water evaporates, leaving the colour behind.

5. Play with magnets. Supply your children with magnets & various items. Have your child guess which things will stick to the magnet.

6. When it is raining, watch the rain. Talk about the sounds that you hear during a rain storm. What are the signs that a storm is coming. Talk about storm safety.

7. Painting with water:You just need a paint brush, water in a bucket & a nice warm day. Let your child ‘paint’ with water & watch how the water evaporates in the warm sun. Paint rocks, trees, the sidewalk, anything!

8. Will it dissolve? Fill five clear jars with water. Take 5 different substances like sugar, cereal, salt, paper, things that will dissolve & some that won’t. Ask your child which will dissolve & which will not. Test each item in the water.

9. Plant a seed. Watch it grow.

10. Balance play. Part of science is weighing items. Provide your child with a scale or balance for them to experiment with, & plenty of various items. This can usually be tied in with your theme. For example, if Hari Raya is the theme, let them weigh ketupat vs lemang.

11. Measure it. Another part of science is measuring. Provide your child with plenty of opportunities to measure things. Provide measuring cups in your sand & water table, & containers of various sizes.

12. Rubber band music. Place a rubber band on your index finger & thumb & pluck it to make a twang sound. Supply your child with rubber bands so he can try it. Can the sound change? How can you change it? How does it change?

13. What scent is this? Gather 4 or different scents. Blindfold the child, then place the object close the child’s nose & ask the child to smell it & try to identify what it is.

14. Paint on wet paper. Explain diffusion, spreading the paint on the paper, through the water.

15. Salt Art: Saturate hot water with salt. Let the water cool & have the child use the salt water to paint on black paper. Then after it dries, have the child look at the crystals of salt on the paper.

16. Sensory fun:Supply your child with many different items to feel, smell & touch. Like tree branches, leaves, dirt, rice, you can find many items for any theme.

17. Play with kaliedoscope.

18. Cut an apple in half & watch it rust.

19. Watch a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. Provide loads of pictures either from books, videos or even exhibition.

20. Compare animal parts with human parts of the body in example paws with hands & feet, arms to feet.

21. Chick Sequence Cards: Make simple sequence cards for your child. Draw the different stages of a chick hatching from an egg. Draw an egg in its’ nest, an egg cracking, a chick partly out of the egg & chick that is completely hatched. Do the same for tadpole.

22. Float or sink? Have several different items on a tray & a dish pan of water. Ask your child if he think an item that will sink or float. Try it!

23. Leg count: Show pictures of crab, octopus, starfish & frog. How many legs do each of the animals have?

24. Watching fish: Go to an aquarium, point out the parts of a fish, (body, fins, eyes, gills, tail etc…) Ask your child which is the biggest, smallest? How do the fish swim?

25. Make a telephone. Poke a hole in the bottom of 2 styrofoam cups. Place a piece of string in the bottom of one cup & tie a knot at the end of the string to prevent the string from coming completely out of the bottom of the cup & tie another knot. The } is a cup on it’s side & the represents the string. It should look like this: }—{ Have one child talk in one cup while another listens with the other cup. How long can the string be before the phone won’t work?

26. Sun Prints: Spully the child with a dark piece of paper. In the morning, on a very sunny day, with little or no wind, have your child find items to place on his paper. Have your child arrange sticks, grass, leaves & such on the paper. At the end of the day, see how the sun made a picture of them.

27. Build with dry sand, then build with wet sand.

28. Use magnifying glass. Have fun peering on so many things with it!

29. Measuring rainfall: On a rainy day, set out a container to measure the rainfall. Measure how much rain fell that day. Continue to measure the rain each day & record for a few weeks. Ask your child to predict how much water will be collected. Ask at the beginning of the day & ask when it is raining. Did his answer change?

30. Will it absorb water? Supply your chld with pieces of material to test pieces like cotton, plastic, wool, tin foil, etc. Supply your child with eye droppers & a cup of water. Which materials absorb water & which do not?

31. Condensation: Obtain 2 jars & their lids. Fill one jar with ice cold water & the other with room temperature water. Observe the results. Condensation occurs when the vapors in the air become cool enough to condense & form water droplets.

32. Evaporation:Obtain 2 clear plastic glasses of the same size. Measure one cup of water & place in each cup. Mark the water level of each cup with a permanent marker. Place one in a sunny window & the other somewhere else in the room. Observe the glasses of water over the next couple of days. Ask your child where the water is going. Which is evaporating more quickly? Evaporation occurs when the particles of water become warm enough that they run into vapors & leave the cup & escape into the air. Why did the water in the sun evaporate faster?

33. Glass & water music: Fill a couple of identical glass cups, at least 4, with varying amounts of water. Tap the side of each glass with a metal spoon. Which is the highest sound & the lowest? How could we change the sound?

34. Predict the weather. Have your child go outside in the morning, ask them what they think the weather will be like? Will it rain, snow, be sunny? What will the temperature be like? Record your child answer & compare them to the weather.

35. Make a tape of sounds around your surrounding…water dripping, the door opening, the phone ringing, lawn mower & so on.Play the tape back & see if your child can guess what the sounds are.

36. Visit a Nature Center or Zoo.

37. Make your own musical instruments, clap your hands, tap your belly! Use a can for a drum. Make maracas with 2 plates & beans.

38. Cause & effect. Try different cause & effect experiments…light switch, if you jump up, the earth pulls you down etc.

39. Play with dominoes.

40. Discuss the parts of a flower.

41. Use a thermometer to read the temperature.

42. What does a plant need to grow? You can ask your child, do a few experiemnts to see what plant needs to grow…sunlight, water, air…

43. Talk about what we eat. What do bears eat? What do lions eat?

44. RECYCLE

45. Texture: Supply your child with different textured items to feel. Is the item rough, smooth, bumpy?

46. Flexibility: Supply your child with different items that range in flexibility. Rubber band, pencil, string, a stick. Which is the most flexible? the least?

47. Play with a flashlight in the dark.

48. Play with shadows, make shadow animals.

49. Collect & sort rocks.

50. Really any cooking is science! So try your favourite recipe. 😛

Hanz’s Note : Science is about living things & things living. It surrounds you. There is no need for you to spend your money buying cool gadget to teach science to your child. What is important is your objective when doing the science project, how you implement it and make it interesting as possible. Basic understanding about nature & how things work is a great start to nurture the love of science for young children.

Hope my list as above could provide parent(s) out there some ideas…if you have anymore ideas & have done any in this list, please share with me. I will share it with you from time to time as it is ongoing basis for my HS.

Have fun exploring science with your kiddo! 😀

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July 21, 2009 - Posted by | Early Childhood Education, Hanz's Notes, Homeschooling, Just Preschooler, Just Toddler, Parenting in General

11 Comments »

  1. ohhh.. I like the list.. give me an idea what to do for next week activities..can I copy and paste ..?I have done no 5,10,22,24,25,36,48…may be u can include the making of Volcanoes.. using soda bicarbonat and vinegar to make the bubbles and red to add the colour…Uwais is so in love with science activity.. he always ask me lots of question…especially when we watch Animal Planet, Science Discovery or Big Machine at Astro..He also loves to know about hurricane or tornadoes.. Maknya pun bukan tahu sangat.. 🙂

    Comment by nadnye | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. By all means Nadnye, be my guest..sharing is caring.. :P. Glad u like it!I did few too cuma post x up2, harus gigih buat more entry on this…Ada tokoh Uwais jadi scientist ni..baguslah..dorong dia lagi..ingat nak buat volcano sendiri tapi kalau malas beli jer..he,he..

    Comment by Hanz | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. gud job & info hanz. interesting! nadye, so sweetlah dgr citer uwais.

    Comment by nelcyndana | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  4. hehetried some with Danial and it was funhe actually wants to do this kind of things everday !!! (but poor mummy has to go to work…)will give most of it a try someday:D

    Comment by danial | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  5. Hanz, tq for sharing dear, i nak copy erk yang ..nak simpan so nanti leh wat kat Q .. ada separuh dah wat ..ada yg lum sesuai lagik.. ehhehethaks again hanz..appreciate it ..

    Comment by Watie Aziz | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  6. alhamdulillah.. 🙂 actually at pusat sains negara kami conduct lab activities for school children and also preschool (4-6 years old).. so kalau malas buat sendiri, hantar je ke pusat sains negara! hihi.. 🙂 we'll do it for you…

    Comment by Zuhaini | July 21, 2009 | Reply

  7. i suke entry ni. will keep for the future. tak saba nak buat sensme ngan airyll..hmm

    Comment by azzamoro | July 22, 2009 | Reply

  8. Nelcy, Danial & Watie…U are most welcome!

    Comment by Hanz | July 22, 2009 | Reply

  9. Zu, thanks for your infos..I dah lama terfikir & plan nak enrol Hanafi aktiviti2 cam ni tapi yg private-lah..nanti I'll keep in touch with u.

    Comment by Hanz | July 22, 2009 | Reply

  10. Azza, boleh sangat tu..I pun nak start expose Hambali ni..diaorang pun beza 1month plus jer…kita buat sama2, ok gak ek?

    Comment by Hanz | July 22, 2009 | Reply

  11. i'll make sure akan flip balik tis entri when afif can play with all those stuff..sonoknyeee!

    Comment by Farah | July 22, 2009 | Reply


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