The thought of “doing science” can be intimidating. After all, most of us probably didn’t like science class when we were in school (personally, I despised my science classes and struggled with many of them), so why do science now?
Benefits of science activities for toddlers and preschoolers:
It’s high interest (they’re already exploring the world around them. Why not capitalize on that?)
It’s easy to add in language building activities like discussions, conversations, and new words. This helps your little one with reading and writing later on, but in the short term, it helps our toddlers and preschoolers with their conversation skills, learning and using new words, and understand the world around them.
It allows kids a creative outlet to explore new ideas.
It’s open-ended, which means there’s a lot you can do with it. Why not try the same activity a week later and see what your child does this time? How will he/she expand on what was learned last time?
Problem-solving is built right in.
You can easily add in sensory play and math too!
Provides an opportunity for toddlers and preschoolers to test out their ideas, make connections, expand on what they already know, and more!
Helps set them up for success in school by building foundational skills and knowledge
Get started right NOW with these simple, but fun science-based activities
Go on a nature walk. Talk about what you hear, smell, and see.
Go to the park. Look around for signs of animals. Don’t forget to examine the plants at the park!
Test out velocity (speed) by rolling different toy vehicles or balls down slides at the park.
Drop balls off the play structure at the park. Count how many bounces you get out of each ball. Bonus: make predictions (guesses) BEFORE dropping the balls!
Gather up water suitable toys. Test which ones sink and which ones float. Bonus: wash the toys. They’re wet anyway, so why not?
Baking soda + vinegar = lots of fun! Remember the old volcano experiment from science class? Do it with your toddler. Experiment with different amounts of vinegar and baking soda or add food coloring. More here.
I'm the mom of two little ones (3yo and 1.5yo), and 3 dogs. I'm a former classroom teacher turned SAHM, so I spend my day "doing activities" and science 'speriments in between mediating sibling squabbles and working during nap time. I'm powered by caffeine (not coffee!), and I love helping others, especially fellow mom and their toddlers. Together, we can achieve great things AND prepare your toddler for kindergarten!