Young children have a natural curiosity and desire to explore. Science experiments are a great way to help them learn about the world while having fun. These five science experiments are fun and safe for young children, and can be done at home or in the classroom.
Items needed: sponges, a bowl of water, construction paper (or any type of paper available).
Put the paper on a table and give children a sponge. Explore how the paper and the sponge feel when dry. Next let children dip the sponge in water and squeeze the water onto the paper. They will enjoy playing with the wet sponge and paper as it absorbs the water. Discuss how the Sponge is like a rain cloud and the paper is like the ground when it rains.
Items needed: 1 cup of water, 1 ½ – 2 cups cornstarch, a bowl to mix it in, a large spoon to mix with, a tray or pan.
Oobleck is a fun sensory experience. When poured into a shallow dish it feels solid to the touch. When scooped up with your hands it drips through the fingers and feels like a liquid. Have children help you make oobleck and then let them play and explore. Discuss how the oobleck feels, smells, looks.
Items needed: dry dirt, water, open container.
Children love playing outside in the mud. When you cannot go outside you can bring mud inside. Give children dry dirt or potting soil in an open container and some water. Talk to them and ask questions as they feel the dry dirt and play with it. Next give them a small cup of water to pour into the dirt and mix around. Explain that this is how to make mud and allow for time to play and explore.
Items needed: large chunk of ice (freezing water in a small plastic cup works great), an open container, warm water.
This experiment is super easy and fun. Give children a container with a large piece of ice (avoid small pieces that can be a choking hazard) and a cup of warm water. Guide them as they touch and explore the ice. Allow them to pour the warm water over the ice and watch as it shrinks. Explain that the ice is melting and turns to water as it warms.
In the Sky and in the Grass
Items needed: Blue and green paper taped or glued together, print outs (or cut outs from old magazines or catalogs) of things you find in the sky and in the grass, tape.
This activity can be done on the floor, table, or hung on a wall. Tape 1 large piece of blue paper and green paper together so it looks like the sky and grass. Cut out or print images of objects, animals, and insects you would find in the sky and the grass. Put tape on the back of each cut out and ask children whether the object belongs in the sky or grass and allow them to paste the cut out on either the blue or green paper.