2 Fun Preschool Science Experiments

Image via Mindi Stavish
Image via Mindi Stavish

With the long winter months ahead of us, it's time for me to start getting creative with the boys in order to keep all of us sane. I decided that the best way to stay on top of cabin fever is to keep a list of easy experiments and continue to add to my bag of tricks throughout the winter. Here are a few fun activities we did during the week of Christmas.

Experiment #1: Floating Jellyfish

I discovered this easy project at bhoomplay's blog, and I just knew the boys would love it. They are completely obsessed with ocean life and anything in a jar. This project just requires a bottle or jar with a lid, food coloring, a clear plastic bag, thread, and scissors.

{ MORE: Your Kids Will Never Be Bored Again With These Indoor Play Ideas }

Steps to making a jellyfish
Image via Mindi Stavish

Step 1: Cut a clear grocery produce bag into two parts and gather the closed end into a small circle to make the jellyfish head.

Step 2: Tie the head using thread, leaving a hole big enough to put water in.

Step 3: Cut small strips from the bottom up to the thread to make tentacles. I cut about 20 strips and then trimmed the excess bag off the jellyfish.

Step 4: Fill the head mostly full with water, but be sure to leave a small amount of air in the head so it will both float and sink. Tie the thread tightly.

Step 5: Fill your bottle with water and have your child put the food coloring into the bottle. Both my boys loved watching the food coloring disperse.

Looking at food coloring in bottle
Image via Mindi Stavish

Step 6: Put the jellyfish into the bottle, screw on the lid, and shake. Watch your child be amazed by the fact that they created a jellyfish!

Experiment #2: Float or Sink

As a Speech-Language Pathologist, I love teaching my children new vocabulary words. Hands-on learning is such a great way to teach new language and critical thinking skills.

Step 1: For this activity, I told my kids that we were going to go on a treasure hunt around the house to look for stuff that we could put into a bucket of water for our experiment. I also explained that it was our mission to see if the treasure would sink or float. I demonstrated the difference between sinking and floating in the kitchen sink.

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Image via Mindi Stavish
Image via Mindi Stavish

Step 2: We marched around the house chanting “float or sink, float or sink” as we collected about 20 different small objects. I guided them toward a wide variety of objects including a piece of paper, a baby's sock, a few different balls, a gift wrapping bow, and a piece of styrofoam.

Step 3: I drew a bowl of water with an object sinking on one piece of paper and a bowl with an object floating on another piece as a visual aid. We then went through each object, and the kids decided if the object would sink or float. During this part, I asked them if the object was light or heavy and other questions to get them thinking. They placed each object in the sink-or-float pile.

Image via Mindi Stavish
Image via Mindi Stavish

Step 4: Once all of the objects where divided up, they took turns placing an object into the water to determine if their hypothesis was correct.

Extension:  To work on counting skills, create a simple graph that shows how many objects floated and how many sunk.

{ MORE: The Gift of Boredom }

What fun science experiments have you done with your child?  

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What do you think?

2 Fun Preschool Science Experiments

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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3 comments

  1. Bethany says:

    These will be really fun do with my son while we are stuck inside on a rainy day!

  2. SARAI says:

    wow this is really cool… im gonna try it with my nephews and then when my baby is born i will try it with her

  3. gfeld says:

    both sound like fun things to do on my kids days off. looking forward to trying it with them.

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