7 Easy Science Experiments for Preschoolers

ALI Staff | Published  February 28, 2024

Welcome to a world where curiosity meets discovery, and little hands engage in the joy of learning through play.

Science, with its mysteries and marvels, is not just for school-aged students.

Even the youngest learners can embark on a journey of exploration, making sense of the world around them through simple yet profound experiments.

This blog offers educators and caregivers a collection of simple, engaging science experiments tailored for young learners.

Each activity is designed to spark curiosity, enhance developmental skills, and introduce basic scientific concepts in a fun, accessible manner.

From observing plant growth to understanding the principles of physics with ramps, these experiments are perfect for fostering a love of learning and exploration in preschoolers.


Preschooler Playing With Slime


Why Play-Based Science Activities Are Important for Preschoolers

Introducing preschoolers to science through play ignites early interest in the world and lays the groundwork for future learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) while supporting key developmental areas.


The Role of Play in Learning

Young students learn best through play, from understanding basic science concepts to enhancing problem-solving skills, fostering creativity, and building foundational literacy and numeracy skills.

This hands-on approach also nurtures their social and emotional development, teaching them the value of teamwork, empathy, and effective communication.

Incorporating play into science learning supports cognitive development and sparks creativity, making complex ideas more accessible and engaging for young learners.


Development of Key Skills

Science activities are instrumental in developing a wide range of skills in preschoolers. They not only lay the groundwork for scientific thinking but also enhance problem-solving abilities and fine motor skills.

Through hands-on experiments, learners discover cause and effect, learn to make predictions, and develop the dexterity needed to manipulate tools and materials.

Engaging in science activities also boost language development and literacy as children learn to describe their observations and experiments.


Fostering Confidence and Curiosity

Curiosity drives learning, and science experiments are a perfect channel for preschoolers to express and expand their curiosity.

As they ask questions, test out their ideas, and see the results of their actions, young learners build confidence in their ability to learn and understand new concepts.

This self-assuredness is crucial for their future educational journey.


Promoting Cooperative Learning

Science experiments teach preschoolers valuable lessons in teamwork and respect for others' ideas, crucial for their social and emotional development.

Preschoolers learn to share resources, listen to different viewpoints, and appreciate the value of working together towards a common goal.

These social skills are as important as academic ones for learning and development of young minds.


Promoting Communication

Effective communication is another significant benefit of play-based science activities.

As preschoolers describe their observations, articulate their hypotheses, and discuss their findings, they develop both their language skills and their ability to communicate complex ideas.

This not only aids in their academic growth but also in their social interactions.


Preparing for Success: Conducting Science Experiments with Preschoolers

Creating a positive and productive environment for science experiments will set the stage for meaningful learning experiences.

Here are some tips to ensure success.


Creating a Conducive Learning Environment

A well-prepared environment is key to engaging preschoolers in science activities. This means setting up a space that is safe, inviting, and equipped with the right materials.

Ensure that the area is free of hazards and that all materials are non-toxic and age-appropriate to foster a setting where learners feel free to explore.


Choosing the Right Experiments

Selecting experiments that are suited to the developmental stages of preschoolers is crucial. Look for activities that are simple enough to follow but also open-ended to encourage exploration and inquiry.

The goal is to spark interest and curiosity, not to overwhelm with concepts that are too complex.


Materials and Safety

Organize all materials in advance and ensure they are readily accessible to the children. Clear instructions and close supervision are essential to keep the activities safe and focused.

Always have a plan for clean-up and dealing with spills or accidents to maintain a safe learning environment.


Encouraging Participation and Engagement Through Differentiation

Every preschooler should feel included and capable of participating. Open-ended experiments and activities are particularly beneficial, offering flexibility that accommodates learners with diverse needs and learning styles. 

These adaptable approaches ensure that all students can engage at their level, promoting inclusivity and a sense of achievement.

Strategies such as small group work or pairing learners with different strengths further ensure active involvement.

Encourage questions and exploration, guiding learners gently back to the task if they become distracted, and fostering an environment where every child feels valued and supported in their curiosity.


Maximizing the Learning Experience

To deepen the impact of science experiments, consider these strategies for enhancing learning even further.


Ask Open-Ended Questions

Pose open-ended questions to stimulate thinking and discussion.

Questions such as "What do you think will happen if...?", "What did you see?" or "Why do you think that happened?" encourage learners to think critically about their observations and articulate their understanding of the experiment.


Help Students Document Their Observations

Encourage preschoolers to talk about what they see, hear, and feel during experiments.

This can be through drawing, using simple charts, or even taking photographs.

Documenting their observations helps solidify their learning and provides a reference point for further discussion and understanding.


Connect Science with Everyday Life

Relate the concepts learned in experiments to everyday life for the students.

This relevance helps preschoolers see the value and application of science in their daily lives, enhancing their engagement and retention of the concepts explored.

By incorporating these elements into your planning and execution of science experiments for preschoolers, you create a rich, engaging, and educational experience that not only teaches them about the world around them but also builds essential skills for future learning.


Our Favorite Easy-to-Implement Science Experiments for Preschoolers

Here's our selection of engaging experiments, each crafted to ignite curiosity and encourage exploration in young learners.

These hands-on activities are designed to make learning both fun and educational, seamlessly blending play with scientific discovery.

Let's explore these exciting experiments that promise to captivate and educate preschoolers.


1. Solubility Challenge

Kide Science - Solubility Challenge ExperimentWater Solubility 1

Dive into the "Mixing Magic" experiment, where preschoolers become scientists exploring the mix-and-match world of liquids.

This hands-on activity sheds light on the intriguing behaviors of different liquids when combined, offering a playful introduction to the concept of solubility.


Materials Needed:

  • Cups for various liquids
  • Teaspoons
  • Ice tray, lids, or small plates
  • A variety of liquids: skimmed milk, cola, water, orange juice, vinegar, lemon juice



  1. Arrange each liquid in separate cups for easy access.

  2. Encourage children to observe and describe the color and smell of each liquid, noting unique properties.

  3. Experiment by mixing liquids together, observing which combinations mix well.

  4. Facilitate a discussion on the children's observations, guiding them to understand the properties that influence liquid mixing.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Enhances sensory observation skills, focusing on visual and olfactory properties.

  • Introduces the scientific concept of solubility in an accessible manner.

  • Develops fine motor skills through careful measuring and pouring.

  • Promotes critical thinking and communication as children discuss their observations and conclusions.


2. Oil and Water: Do They Mix?

Oil and Water - Do They Mix?Kide Science - Oil and Water: Do They Mix?

This experiment reveals the fascinating separation between oil and water.

Through simple mixing and observation, preschoolers learn about density and the unique characteristic of immiscibility in a fun, visual way.


Materials Needed:

  • Small transparent jars with lids
  • Oil
  • Water at room temperature



  1. Half-fill each jar with room-temperature water.

  2. Add a splash of oil to each jar, then tightly secure the lids.

  3. Gently shake the jars and watch as the oil separates and floats above the water.

  4. Engage the children in a discussion about their observations, exploring the reasons behind the separation.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Introduces preschoolers to density in an understandable format.

  • Helps sharpen observation skills.

  • Enhances verbal skills as children articulate their observations and engage in group discussions.


3. Sink or Float Experiment

Kide Science - Sink Or Float ExperimentKide Science - Sink or Float Experiment

A classic experiment that captivates young minds, the Sink or Float activity is perfect for introducing preschoolers to concepts of buoyancy and density.

It's an interactive way to develop critical thinking as children predict and observe the behavior of various objects in water.


Materials Needed:

  • A clear container filled with water
  • A variety of objects of different weights and materials (e.g., plastic spoon, metal key, wooden block, rubber ball)



  1. Before starting, ask the children to predict whether each object will sink or float when placed in the water.

  2. Have them sort the objects into two groups based on their predictions.

  3. One by one, place the objects in the water and observe what happens.

  4. Ask students to sort the objects again based on their observations.

  5. Discuss the results. Were the predictions accurate? Why did some objects sink while others floated?


Learning Outcomes:

  • Children will learn about buoyancy and density

  • Preschoolers will enhance their observational and reasoning skills.

  • This experiment also encourages discussion about the properties of materials, fostering language development and scientific thinking.


4. Blubbery Invention: How Do Animals Stay Warm?

Kide Science - Blubber Invention ExperimentKide Science - Blubbery Invention Experiment


Discover how seals stay warm in icy waters with the "Blubber Experiment."

This activity demonstrates the insulating power of blubber, allowing children to feel firsthand how fat acts as a natural barrier against the cold.


Materials Needed:

  • Ice water in a large container
  • Two plastic bags (one should fit inside the other comfortably)
  • Margarine or shortening to act as blubber
  • Disposable gloves (optional)
  • Plates for observing margarine



  1. Begin by inviting the children to briefly place their hands in the ice water to experience the cold, mimicking the chilly environment seals thrive in. For younger children, describe the sensation vividly if they're hesitant to try.

  2. For children, especially those ages 3-4, who might be reluctant to directly touch the cold water or the margarine, suggest wearing a disposable glove first. This can make the experience more comfortable, ensuring everyone can participate.

  3. Show the children the "blubber glove" — one plastic bag filled with margarine, sealed, and then placed inside another bag. Let them explore its texture and guess what's inside. Use this moment to introduce the concept of blubber as an insulator.

  4. Encourage the children to dip their blubber-gloved hand into the ice water. Have them compare how the water feels through the glove versus the initial sensation with bare hands. Use storytelling to make this more engaging for younger children, perhaps by pretending their hand is a seal diving into the ocean.

  5. Place a small amount of margarine on plates for observation. Discuss its color and texture, and relate it to the substance inside the blubber glove. This visual and tactile comparison helps solidify the understanding of blubber's properties.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Children grasp the concept of insulation and how it helps marine animals, like seals, maintain warmth in cold waters.

  • The experiment fosters sensory exploration, enhancing observational skills through direct comparison of sensations.


5. Bees at Work

Kide Science - Busy Bee ExperimentKide Science - Busy Bee Experiment

This exciting experiment immerses preschoolers in the fascinating process of pollination.

By using pom-poms as bees, children simulate the vital role these insects play in transferring pollen between flowers.

This hands-on activity not only educates about the importance of bees in nature but also sharpens observational and interpretive skills through a fun and interactive approach.


Materials Needed:

  • Teaspoons
  • Cupcake liners
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Ready-cut flower pictures
  • A large pom-pom for each child (to represent the bee)
  • Plate



  1. Arrange the flower print-outs on a table, placing cupcake liners at the center of each to serve as the flowers' centers.

  2. Show the children the cocoa powder and cornstarch, encouraging them to explore these powders' look, smell, and feel.

  3. Discuss any prior experiences they might have had with similar substances.

  4. Fill some cupcake liners with two teaspoons of cornstarch and the rest with two teaspoons of cocoa powder, illustrating different types of pollen.

  5. Give each child a large pom-pom, explaining that it represents a bee going on a flower-visiting journey to collect pollen.

  6. Have the children decide which flower their bee will visit first based on the "pollen's" appeal.

  7. Assist the children as they dip their pom-pom bees into the "pollen," then move from one flower to another, noting how the powders adhere to the pom-pom.

  8. After the bees have visited several flowers, observe the mixed powders in the cupcake liners to see the effects of the bees' pollination work.

  9. Discuss the observed mixing process and examine the amount of "pollen" collected on each bee by gently shaking the pom-pom over a plate.

  10. Wrap up by discussing the critical role bees play in nature, highlighting how their pollination activities lead to the growth of new plants and seed production.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Children gain an introductory understanding of pollination and the indispensable role of bees in ecosystems.

  • Enhances observational skills as children see firsthand how "pollen" sticks to their bee and mixes in the flowers.

  • Promotes critical thinking and encourages children to interpret their observations, deepening their understanding of natural processes.


6. Exploring Surface Tension with Magic Milk

Kide Science - On The Pond ExperimentKide Science - On The Pond Experiment

Dive into the mesmerizing world of colorful moving ponds! This experiment combines the wonders of chemistry and art, allowing children to observe the interaction between oil, milk, and food coloring.

It's a fantastic way to explore solubility, surface tension, and create beautiful, dynamic art.


Materials Needed:

  • Soup plates
  • Pipettes
  • Teaspoons
  • Transparent jars
  • Toothpicks
  • Milk
  • Cooking oil
  • Food coloring (various colors)
  • Dishwashing liquid


  1. Fill a soup plate with milk to cover the bottom, setting the stage for your art canvas.

  2. Carefully add a teaspoonful of oil to the center of the milk, forming one large droplet, and observe the interaction. Discuss why the oil doesn't mix with the milk, introducing the concept of solubility.

  3. Next, add three large drops of food coloring to the milk's surface. Watch how the colors behave on the milk, sparking a conversation about water-soluble substances.

  4. Experiment with drawing on the milk's surface using the oil droplet and a colored droplet. Notice the differences in how they interact with the milk. Attempt to write the first letter of your name with the colored droplets, just like creating art on water.

  5. Add more food coloring until the milk's surface becomes vibrant. Explore what happens when you introduce a drop of colored water inside the oil droplet, observing how the color remains encapsulated.

  6. Use toothpicks to gently make shapes and patterns in the colored milk, observing the movement of oil and colors.

  7. For the grand finale, dip a toothpick into dishwashing liquid and then touch it to the milk's surface. Repeat in various places and watch as the colors move and ripple, creating a dynamic art show. Discuss the effect of dishwashing liquid on water's surface tension and how it causes the colors to spread and move.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Children will learn about the principles of solubility and surface tension, understanding why some substances mix while others don't.

  • The experiment encourages precise measuring and fine motor skills as children manipulate droplets of oil and food coloring.

  • Discussing the interactions between the liquids enhances critical thinking and communication skills as children articulate their observations and hypotheses.


7. Dissolving Mysteries: Where Did the Salt Go?

Kide Science - Salt Water MysteryKide Science - Salt Water Mystery

Dive into the "Salt Water Mystery" experiment, where young scientists explore the whether salt disappears in water.

This simple yet intriguing activity demonstrates solubility and challenges the notion of disappearance, proving that just because something becomes invisible doesn't mean it's gone.


Materials Needed:

  • Warm waterSalt
  • Spoon
  • Clear jar or cup
  • Tape or Poster putty



  1. Start by examining the salt and water separately, encouraging observations about their appearance, texture, and smell. Discuss and identify each substance.

  2. Fill the clear jar with warm water, measuring about three finger-widths high. Use tape or poster putty to mark the water level on the jar.

  3. Stir in one spoonful of salt, ensuring it's thoroughly mixed. Slowly count to ten together, observing any changes.

  4. Discuss observations: Did the water's appearance change after adding the salt? What happens when you mix the salt in water?

  5. Encourage guesses about where the salt went after it "disappeared."

  6. Add four more spoonfuls of salt, mixing thoroughly again. Spend more time observing the mixture this time to see the effects of adding more salt.

  7. Explain that the salt hasn't disappeared; it has dissolved, making it invisible to the eye. Check the water level against the initial mark to see if it has changed, indicating that the salt is still present.

  8. Discuss how students can check that the salt is still in the water by tasting it (although they will not do that at this time).

  9. Conclude by discussing the results of the experiment. Confirm there was no thief, just the salt dissolving in water, becoming part of the liquid.


Extension Tips:

  • Experiment with other soluble substances to see if they behave like salt.
  • Experiment with other substances that do not dissolve and discuss the differences.
  • Try the experiment with different water temperatures to observe how temperature affects solubility.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Children practice precise measuring and observation skills.

  • The experiment introduces the concept of solubility, showing that substances can dissolve in water without disappearing.

  • Encourages critical thinking and hypothesis testing as children ponder the mystery of the "disappearing" salt.


Encouraging Curiosity and Discovery

As we wrap up our exploration of play-based science activities for preschoolers, it's clear that the journey of discovery is as boundless as the curiosity of the young minds we aim to inspire.

These activities are not just lessons; they are invitations to engage with the world in a way that is meaningful, joyful, and deeply educational.

By integrating these simple experiments into the learning journey of preschoolers, we do more than teach them facts; we ignite a spark of wonder that has the potential to grow into a lifelong love for science.


Playful Inquiry Lesson Pack


Easy-to-implement, hands-on fun!



Which STEM subjects are of interest to you?

Ensuring your privacy is our priority. By submitting this form, you confirm that you are over the age of 18 and agree to abide by our terms and conditions and privacy notice, and consent to allow Accelerate Learning to store and process the submitted personal information. Accelerate Learning uses the information provided to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services and is committed to your privacy. You can opt-out at any time.