At My Place, we make STEAM programs a key part of our education for preschool, pre-K, and beyond. Teaching a child about science topics at a young age can help your child build problem-solving skills, develop their own opinion, and build a lifelong interest in the subject.
You can help your preschooler learn more about the world around them and basic science concepts with these four easy experiments you can do together.
1) Water Displacement Experiment
This STEAM water displacement experiment can help your preschooler learn about buoyancy, volume, and mass.
Fill a transparent jar or large bowl with a medium amount of water, and gather several small objects such as coins, toy cars, and stones. Mark the level of the water on the container, and help your child add objects.
As the water level rises, you can ask questions together. Are the stones heavier than the toy cars? How many of each object does it take to make the water overflow? Does the size of the item make the water level rise faster? Allow your child to develop their own opinion, and find out what happens.
2) Turning Grapes into Raisins Experiment
Seeing how one a grape transforms into a raisin can be exciting for your preschooler. Allow for approximately three days of sunny weather for this experiment.
Start with clean, fresh grapes that are free from external moisture – ask your preschooler to help you choose. Cover the tray with a kitchen towel to keep the grapes undisturbed, and leave them outdoors in the sun for two to three days. You can bring the tray indoors if the weather overnight isn’t dry. Check the raisins and discard any that may have rotted.
Some questions you and your child can ask include: How are the grapes changing? Are the raisins getting smaller and lighter? How do the raisins feel different from the grapes? This experiment can help child develop problem-solving skills, and understand evaporation caused by the heat from the sun.
3) Catching Bugs with Fruit Experiment
You and your preschooler can work together to understand how insects live and behave with this simple STEAM project. If your child feels squeamish about bugs, invite them to observe from a distance.
You can ask questions about the sorts of insects you might see, and why they seem to enjoy the fruit. Your preschooler will begin to develop their own opinion, and think more about other creatures and how they behave.
4) Homemade Lava Lamp Experiment
With vegetable oil, food coloring, Alka Seltzer tablets, and water, you and your child can have fun creating a homemade lava lamp. This is a fun science experiment for preschool and pre-K children alike. While you are creating your lava lamp and observing its behavior, you and your child can speculate about what’s happening, and help your child develop their own opinion.
These four STEAM activities for preschoolers and pre-K children can help them build critical skills for twenty-first century life and education, while building their self-esteem and problem-solving skills.