Science activities for preschoolers are a wonderful way to sustain the curiosity and eagerness of your little learners. Preschool science experiments help introduce children to scientific exploration while fostering a sense of creativity and laying a solid foundation for lifelong concepts and skills.
Summer is the perfect time to implement science experiments into your creative curriculum for preschool. Full of science activities for preschoolers, The Preschool Scientist is the perfect resource to help keep your students busy learning this summer.
Here are some fun science activities that will help your preschoolers keep cool while they learn!
The children have probably been introduced to water freezing and forming ice. This activity is a simple review of the process, but this time the children should focus on the change taking place. The water changes into ice because of the cold temperature. When the temperature warms up, the ice can change back to water. A little glitter provides evidence of the change.
Science Process Skill:
- Focused observing
- 2-3 cups of water
- Food coloring
- Glitter or sequins
- Ice cube trays
- Potted plants
What to Do
- Talk with the children about what they know about ice. Encourage them to share things they know in addition to their classroom experiences. Perhaps someone knows about icicles. Someone else might ice skate. Another child might talk about snow cones.
- Fill a pitcher with water. Have the children feel the water and talk about its temperature. Tell the children that you are gong to use the water to make ice. Talk about what you need to do to make ice. Most children at this age will know you can put water in the freezer to make ice.
- Tell the children that you are going to do something special with this ice so that when it melts, it will be easy to find where the ice once was. Set out several ice-cube trays. Provide some food coloring, glitter, and sequins and invite the children to put these materials into the water they put in the trays.
- Place the trays in the freezer and show them to the children. Say, “Tomorrow we will look at this trays to see if the ice is ready.” Let the children observe the freezer to see how cold it is.
- The next day, remove the trays from the freezer and show them to the children. Encourage the children to talk about how the water looks now. Point out that the water changed because it was very cold in the freezer. Ask the children how the water is different from the water they touched yesterday.
- Tell the children they are going to let the ice change back into water. “We are going to find lots of places to watch it happen. When the ice cubes disappear, the glitter, sequins, and some remaining water will tell us where the ice cubes used to be.”
- With the children, walk around both inside and outside and find places to put the ice so it can melt. Remind the children that ice turns into water, so they need to find places where the ice can melt without hurting anything. Suggest putting one cube in a cup where everyone can see it, and putting others in potted plants around the room. Another possibility is to put one on the counter by the sink and another in an empty paint cup. Go outside and find more places to put the ice. Ask, “Could one go at the end of the bench? How about in a few spots on the sidewalk?”
- Ask the children to observe the ice periodically. The glitter or colored water will mark the spots where the ice changed back to water.
Theme Connections: Seasons/Weather
Take Sparkle Ice outside in both the summer and winter and let the children see how different kinds of weather affect the ice.
Many of the children have had colored lips from eating frozen ice treats. They will quickly recognize how ice can be used as a watercolor tool. It is also interesting to observe how the colors change as the paper dries.
Science Process Skills:
- Focused observing
- See (observe)
- Food Coloring
- Ice-cube trays
- Mittens, gloves, or washcloths to use to hold the ice (optional)
- Sponges or towels (for cleanup)
- White construction paper or other absorbent paper
What to Do
- Pop the ice cubes out onto a tray or large cake pan. Say to the children, “Let’s pretend that instead of ice cubes, these are frozen crayons. What do you think will happen if we draw with them? What do you think our fingers will feel like? I wonder what kind of marks they will make.”
- Give each child two or three colored ice cubes. Let the children enjoy sliding the cubes around on the paper. Encourage the children to talk about what they see. Talk about how the hard ice is melting into water. Wonder aloud what is making that happen: “Is the water the same color as the ice cube? Do you notice the new colors that are appearing?” Consider giving the children paper towels or old mittens to use to hold the ice cubes if their fingers get too cold.
- Talk with the children about how the ice eels and how it changes the way the paper feels. After the cubes melt or the children’s hands get too cold, set the papers aside to dry.
- Talk with the children about how much they think their papers will change as they dry. Ask, “What do you think will happen to the colors?”
- When the papers are dry, talk with the children about what they see.
Theme Connection: Seasons
Incorporate this activity into a theme on the Seasons. In winter, snow and ice are common. In summer, ice helps us cool down.