You can start developing a love of science in your children very early on with some simple and fun science experiments they can do.
Don’t worry about if they really understand what is exactly going on. They absorb the information little by little and some day will get it. Some of these science experiments have a much greater explanation that I will give you, but I am telling you how to explain it to your child. This is science at home, not school. They should be having fun with you and learning a little bit about cause and effect.
Every day they learn that their choices have a cause and effect result, now you can apply that same cause and effect relationship to objects they can manipulate. Just have fun with your preschooler and enjoy science. Even if you didn’t enjoy science when you were a kid, you just might now.
Fun Science Experiments for Preschool Kids
Yellow and Blue Make Green
Sure, you can mix paint or just mix the colored water together to teach your child that yellow and blue make green, but this little experiment takes it one step further.
To set it up, have glasses side by side. Fill them all with water and put yellow food coloring in one glass and blue in the other, leaving the center glass with only water. Then roll up 2 pieces of paper towel length-wise and have each end going from one color to the center water glass. It does require patience for this experiment because it take 24 hours for the color to transfer to the center glass, but you could try adding even more food coloring to see if they would make a difference. It might even be fun to have the experiment set up twice side by side and have one set of glasses with more food coloring and one with less and see if you notice the color sooner.
What to tell you child is happening: Paper towels have capillaries (little tubes) that the water travels through and then the color goes in to the clear glass of water in the center and when the yellow and blue mix they turn green.
Cold Pop Challenge
This one is fun and quick, but is more complicated to understand on a greater level, but I am going to give you a simple explanation to give your child. You could use a juice box or something else, we just used a can of pop because my son wanted to make a cold pop for his dad and impress him with his science talents.
Just take a bowl full of ice and sprinkle about 1/2-1 T of table salt on top. Fill with water and stir and then add a room temperature can of pop. Within a few minutes you will have a nice old can of pop. If you want to take this experiment a step further, have another can of room temperature pop sitting out so they can feel the difference and also put a can in the refrigerator then remove the can from the fridge at the same time as the one one in the salted ice water and have them compare how the outside of the cans feel.
What to tell your child is happening: By adding salt to the ice water, you are changing the temperature. Keep it that simple, but if you want to better explanation for yourself, read this explanation.
This experiment takes the simple baking soda and vinegar experiment just a step further. I could be fun to do that experiment first and then do another one where you add dish washing liquid to it.
You can read all about (plus see a video) of when my kids and I made a Volcano Eruption and learn a little more.
What to tell your child is happening: When you mix baking soda and vinegar you are making a chemical reaction that creates gas. When you add dish soap to the solution, the gas mix with the soap and cause them to bubble up which makes the eruption look even bigger.
Now if you child loved the Yellow and Blue Makes Green Challenge and the Bubbly Explosion experiment, they are going to love this one too as it combines a little bit of each of them.
Coat the bottom of a glass baking dish with baking soda, then fill at least 3 glasses with some vinegar with food coloring. Use the primary colors of yellow, blue and red. But if your son is like mine he will ask if he can use the green too since that is the 4th color in the food coloring box, even though he already understands that mixing yellow and blue together make green.
We used little medicine droppers that we saved (they make an excellent addition to their science lab kits. I tell you all about how we collected household items to make a science lab kit for my kids in Simple Science Fun for Kids. And be sure to watch for Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics which sometimes offer free Science Lab kits to kids.
What to tell your child is happening: When you mix baking soda and vinegar you are making a chemical reaction that creates gas and causes the bubbling. When you mix colors together then make new colors. Encourage them to add more color on top of their new colors so they can see what happens when they do that.
Looking for more ideas? Find six more experiments for kids in my post Simple Science Fun with Kids.