Preschool at Home: Science for 2-5 Year Olds (and Up!)
Amazing, Fun Science To Wow the Little Ones!
One of the wonderful things I love about homeschooling is all the hands-on activities you can do with kids. In the preschool years, I scoured the Internet and various science experiment books to find things that would intrigue and excite the kids… and that they could have a hand in doing. Most of the things we did were done using household ingredients.
As you can see from the previous posts in this series, we did do some more traditional preschool activities like learning letter sounds and learning about numbers, but my main goal in the 2-4 year old age range was to keep the kids intrigued and engaged.
So how did I fit science in when I had a newborn, 2 and 4 year old? Well, I generally planned things out on a Sunday night. Mondays were usually our science experiment days. I usually covered over the tray so the kids couldn’t see what we’d be doing to add spice and excitement to the activity! These activities really only lasted 10-20 minutes (plus clean up), but seeing the kids so engaged made that extra effort worth it.
Here are a few examples some things we did when my kids were 2 and 4 years old…
One day we talked about liquids. We learned that some liquids are more dense (heavy) than others. We put oil and colored water into a bottle. Then we added honey and watched what happened.
If you’ve glanced through various Montessori blogs, you’ll see that pouring is wonderful skill to build dexterity, hand strength, fine motor skills… what better practice than to enjoy some science along with it!
Then we wanted to see what would happen when you add milk to oil and water. If you pour slowly and carefully, the milk will form droplets within the oil. You might pour the milk onto a spoon and gently let one drop go at a time or use an eyedropper to squeeze out a drop at a time. The kids loved the way that looked!
Exploding Volcano: Another very fun activity to do with kids is to make a volcano.
We made a paper mache volcano with a plastic soda bottle as the base.
- 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup water.
- Stir in 2 cups boiling water.
- Put newspaper strips in the mixture and glop it onto the plastic bottle. I think their projects were more charming being slopped on haphazardly! Once they were dry (it took several days in dry conditions), we painted ours brown.
Then comes the fun part!! Get your lava ready!
- 1/2 cup baking soda into the volcano.
- In a pitcher mix 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid, red food coloring.
- Pour the vinegar mixture into the can and watch the lava flow!
Make Your Own Fossils – The kids made their own fossils several times over the years. The picture below includes some are impressions from LD’s Thunderbird rockets which he was really into at the time (age 4 or so). DD made dinosaur tracks and impressions of a beetle, dragonfly and fly.
The recipe for making fossils is pretty easy:
- 2-3 Tablespoons used coffee grounds
- 2/3 cup salt (a little less)
- 2/3 cup flour
- enough cold coffee to make the mixture dough-like
- Make your impressions and then bake in a low heated oven for a while (an hour on one side, an hour on the other).
- Preschool at Home: Activities you can do with your 2-4 Year Olds, Fine Motor Skills
- Preschool at Home: Learning Letters
- Preschool at Home: A Few Math Ideas for the 2 1/2 to 3-Year-Old Crowd
- Preschool at Home: Handwriting
- Preschool at Home: Science for 2-4 Year Olds
- You might also be interested in the post: Homeschool Preschool Year in Review which was a recap of many of our preschool activities this past year.
If you found these helpful, I’d love to hear from you here or over at my Homeschool Den Facebook Page. I keep a running list of my posts over there, so it’s a quick and easy way to browse through old posts you may have missed.
Tags: easy science experiments for kids, free science experiment pack, free science experiments, science experiments for kindergarten, science for preschoolers, Science for tots | Categories: Homeschool Den, Must Read, Preschool (Age 4), Preschool and Toddler Activities, Preschool at Home, Preschool for ED - Fall 2011 (age 3 1/2), Science, Science Experiments