STEM subjects have become more and more important in schools. Seriously, I feel like my older kids come home with reams and reams of STEM homework every day.
I don’t know where to begin with all that stuff, but I know it’s important to instill an enthusiasm for learning in my kids.
A love of learning begins quite young when kids begin to become curious about various things and want to learn more about the world. My kids are like it, and I’m sure yours are or will be, too!
So, to foster this love of learning, I do STEM activities with my preschool kids. They love them, I get to occupy them for a few hours, and we all learn a thing or two (yes, even me.)
So, here are 15 of the best STEM activities for your preschoolers to try today! (see also ‘15 Best Stem Math Activities to Try Today‘)
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STEM Activities For Preschoolers To Try
Here are some of the best stem activities for preschoolers to try!
1. Pipe Cleaner Magnets
Your preschooler is sure to be fascinated by magnets, even if they don’t quite understand what they do or how they work.
For this preschool-friendly science experiment, you need to find an empty plastic box or water bottle and buy some pipe cleaners from the arts and crafts section of the grocery store.
Place the pipe cleaners in the box. Secure the top of your box with tape and then take a hot glue gun to place a refrigerator magnet onto a tongue depressor, with the magnet side facing up.
The tongue depressor is now a magnetic wand and you can use it on the outside of the box to move the pipe cleaners around! Encourage your child to do this and they are sure to love it!
2. Oreo Moons
Teach your kids about the phases of the moon using Oreos! You can cut Oreos up into 8 different slices and shapes to teach your child about the phases of the moon.
Children, preschoolers especially, benefit from visual aids, so the Oreos will help them to learn what the different phases of the moon are. Plus, they get a delicious snack at the end of the activity!
3. Shaving Cream Clouds
This is a very fun science experiment that involves color mixing.
Find some small containers and fill them with water and then different food coloring to each one. Then, fill a jug with ⅔ of water and top it with shaving cream.
Now, drop the food coloring and water mix carefully onto the shaving cream jug and watch as this wonderful cloud changes color, coming down in different colors of rain!
It’s beautiful and your child is sure to love it – you can teach them about color theory, too, which is useful to learn going into kindergarten.
4. Flower Dissecting
Take some cards and write down the various parts of a flower on them, one for each card. Then, take your kids out for a fun nature walk and let them pick various flowers for the experiment.
Take the flowers home and take them apart with your child, encouraging them to place the parts on the right card.
Not only will this be fun and educational for your child but also a great way to get out into nature and breathe the fresh air.
5. The Float Or Sink Game
This is a really fun game you and your preschoolers can play for hours. Fill up a bucket with water and find various items of different sizes and weights.
Ask your kids if you think they will float or sink and encourage them to place the items in the bucket to see!
Record the results of the experiment and use it as an opportunity to teach your kids the science of buoyancy.
6. Insulating Materials
Teach your preschoolers all about the best materials for insulating. This experiment is all about trying to see which material will stop an ice cube from melting the best.
The materials we tested were cloth gloves, plastic, balloons, and paper. Place ice cubes in four different zip lock bags and then place the bags in four different mason jars.
Stuff the mason jars with the four different insulating materials and wait half hour to an hour.
After this time is up, you can see which material worked best, and teach your kids why! The anticipation will be exciting for you all and they’ll want to test other materials, too!
7. Lego Building
Did you know that Lego is actually a great STEM activity (see also ‘15 Best Lego Stem Activities to Try Today‘)? Chances are, your kid loves to play with Lego anyway (mine certainly do!)
So, you can sit with them and ask them to make some simple shapes using Lego! They may not even realize they’re learning because they’re having so much fun!
8. Musical Water
This is a fun way to teach your preschoolers all about sound!
First, you need to fill up the same-sized glasses with different volumes of water (you can use different food coloring again if you want to make this visually fun for your kids, too. My kids responded much better when I did this.)
Now, hit the glasses lightly with a wooden mallet, or ask your children to do it, and listen to the different sounds the glasses make. Your preschoolers will find it utterly mesmerizing!
9. Cheerio Number Tracing
All you need to do for this activity is to download this number tracing printable. Then, you need to get a box of cheerios and ask your child to place the cherries along the numbers to learn them.
After this, you can ask them to add the number of cheerios next to the corresponding number. It’s a fun math game you can play over and over!
10. Sorting Shapes
This is such a simple game you can play from the comfort of your own couch!
First, outline some shapes on paper, and then ask your children to find household items (safe items – such as toys!) that are the same shape.
Alternatively, you can gather household items and then place them in a pile. Ask your children to sort them into different shapes, and help them where necessary.
11. Growing Seeds
Ask your children to pick out three seeds that they like and then help them to lay them out.
While you are doing this, take the time to teach them about the different shapes, colors, and sizes of the seeds, and what you can do with the plant that will grow from the seeds that they picked.
Now you’ll need to set up the experiment. Fold a paper towel in half and place one glue dot for each seed on the towel.
Encourage your kid to glue the seeds onto the towel and then place them in the container.
Let your kids have fun misting the towel with water and then use cotton balls to keep them in place. Place a lid on the container.
After this, all you need to do is watch the seeds grow!
12. Dancing Worms
Take some gummy worms and cut them into quarters. Help your child measure 3 tablespoons of baking soda and place them in a glass of warm water. Stir. Then, let your child mix the worms into the water.
Wait 15 minutes before filling a second glass with vinegar. Then, fish out the worms and place them in the vinegar, watching them bubble and dance to the top of the glass!
13. Making A Toy Chute
Let your kids place their toys in a chute and watch their faces light up as the toys slide down!
This activity incorporates many different aspects of STEM.
You can teach your kids science by helping them assess which toys are fast at sliding and which are slow, and technology by seeing how fast they can fill a toy box using the toy chute.
Make the chute by taping a tube of wrapping paper to the wall!
14. Nuts And Bolts Sculptures
This is a very freeing activity because it allows your kids to make whatever sculptures and shapes they like with nuts and bolts.
It encourages their fine motor skills and independent thinking as they get ready for kindergarten, and all you need to do is supervise them as the nuts and bolts are very small.
It is also advisable you use the glue gun for them and follow their directions. Safety first!
15. Exploring Light Patterns
Cut a cardboard box so only the frame is left, and then tape tracing paper over one side of it.
Flip the box so the tracing paper is on the bottom, and then proceed to cut some mylar sheeting into strips that are the same height as the box. Fold these strips into a cylinder shape and tape them in place.
Then, place the cylinders inside the box and cover the top of it with plastic wrap.
Now, encourage your child to take the box to different light sources in your home and hold it with the tracing paper facing them.
The light will shine through and they will be able to see all of the cool patterns it makes! It’s so fun – especially when you try it on cartoons!
STEM is important to learn, and these experiments will teach various aspects of STEM to your children in fun ways!