#### Activity Quick Finder:

Science experiments for preschool children are a fun way to do hands-on STEM activities. The Gryphon House classic "Bubbles, Rainbows & Worms"  by Sam Ed Brown offers easy science experiments for kids, some of which can be tweaked to become science activities for toddlers.

Below are two of our favorite activities - click to find more for yourself!

Making Lightning

Principles:

Electricity can be made, and static electricity can be seen.

Words to Discuss

• spark
• static electricity

Materials

• two balloons
• wool cloth
• dark room

Science Experience

1. Blow up the balloons. Rub a balloon briskly on their hair or a piece of wool. Push the balloon against the wall.
2. Explain to the children that static electricity created by rubbing the balloon on the wool causes the balloon to stick to the wall.
3. Tell the children that they can also see this static electricity. Ask if they have ever been shocked after walking on a carpet or putting on a sweater. Tell them they can see what this looks like when it is dark.
4. Darken the room and rub both balloons briskly on the wool. Hold the balloons, almost touching, so the children can observe a spark jump between them.
5. Encourage the children to explore the materials.

Explanation

Static electricity is created when certain objects rub together, like the balloon and the wool. A spark occurs when two objects that have static electricity in them come together.

Growing Crystals

Principles:

Crystals are formed when liquids turn into solids

Words to discuss

• crystal
• salt
• solution

Materials

• black construction paper
• scissors
• pie pan
• warm water
• Epsom salt
• plastic cup
• 1 cup sugar
• pan for heating water
• source of heat for water

Science experience

Create Epsom salt crystals:

1. Use an old pie pan; put black construction paper in the bottom.
2. Add one Tablespoon of Epsom salt to one-quarter cup of warm water. Stir until the salt is dissolved.
3. Pour the salty water onto the black paper in the pie pan.
4. Put the pie pan out in the sun. When the water evaporates, the children will see lots of crystal spikes on the black paper.

Create sugar crystals:

1. Put half a cup of tap water in the pan.
2. Heat water over a heat source. Bring to a boil. Pour the sugar into the water and stir. Keep adding more until it will no longer dissolve. Then add just a little more water and continue to heat and stir until all of the material disappears.
3. Turn off the burner and let the water cool to room temperature.
4. Pour the contents into the cup. Put the cup somewhere where it will not be disturbed until the liquid evaporates. This could take several weeks.

For more great activities, check out Bubbles, Rainbows & Worms: Experiments with the Environment.

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