10+ Easy STEM Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are popular subjects among parents and educators. It is essential to expose children to STEM learning at any age. At the preschool level, children are naturally curious about the world around them. This makes it the perfect time to introduce them to STEM activities. In this article, STEM Sports® has compiled a list of engaging, educational STEM activities for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Cloud in a Jar

Cloud in a Jar introduces children to the weather system and allows them to use hands-on learning to deepen their understanding. Using hairspray, students will create water vapor in their jar that mimics the environment around them. This is meant to mimic the liquid condensation in clouds when it is humid or it is about to rain.  

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Icy Ocean Sensory STEM Activity

Sensory activities are great for preschool learners. When children are able to connect a concept to a sensory experience, they have increased retention and comprehension of the curriculum. The icy ocean sensory bin is easy to create and can be used to facilitate a variety of ocean-themed STEM lessons. Using different instructions and worksheets, children can continue to improve their STEM literacy and find a passion for marine life.   

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Coke and Mentos Chemical Reaction Experiment

The Coke and Mentos experiment is one of the most common and well-known science activities for kids. This classic STEM experiment teaches children about chemical reactions in an easy-to-implement and time efficient lesson. Using only four (4) materials, children will combine their materials to see what happens when Mentos are added to carbonated soda.


Note for parents and educators: This lesson can be sticky and messy. One way to avoid this is to lay down tarps beforehand and conduct this experiment outdoors. 

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DIY Rock Candy

Using a small list of simple kitchen materials, children interact with hands-on science learning during the DIY Rock Candy experiment. This lesson introduces children to the crystallization process and gives them a tasty dessert at the end!

Note for parents and educators: To extend this lesson, have students create rock candy with brown sugar and a sugar substitute, too. Ask them which sugar was most effective in creating the rock candy and which one tastes the best!

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Lava Lamp Science Experiment

Children will love their introduction to STEM learning while creating their own lava lamp. When creating their unique lava lamp, children will learn about density and the different forms of matter. This educational experience helps preschool children improve their STEM literacy skills while exercising creativity/imagination.

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Fizzing Rainbows Experiment for Toddlers

The Fizzing Rainbow experiment is the perfect introductory lesson for preschoolers. The lesson is simple and easy to follow, which makes it great for toddler-aged children who are new to STEM learning. The lesson uses food coloring, baking powder, and vinegar to create a chemical reaction. This fizzing rainbow will ignite children’s senses and get them thinking about the world around them. 

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Invisible Ink Science Experiment

The Invisible Ink experiment is easy to implement and uses a small list of common household items. Children can send secret messages, practice writing their names, or draw a picture using lemon juice or milk. 

Once ready, parents will heat the paper over the stove. As the paper heats up, the liquid will oxidize – revealing the secret note/picture! 

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Butter Slime

Regardless of age, children love slime! Butter Slime is easy to make at home and does not require any clay. During the creation process, children will learn about chemical reactions and/or how different materials interact with each other. Once the slime is done and children are playing with their slime, ask them if it is a liquid or a solid. This is a trick question! Slime is a Non-Newtonian fluid that acts as both a liquid and a solid. 

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Moon Science for Preschoolers

The Moon Science lesson introduces children to the moon phases in a hands-on way. Using Oreos or other sandwich cookies, children will create their own diagram of the moon phases. In order to create their waxing and waning moons, children will have to nibble on their cookies to create the right shapes. This interactive, edible activity is the perfect STEM lesson for toddler children who are curious about the moon, stars, or the sky. 

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Garden Theme STEM Activity for Preschool and Pre-K

The Garden Theme STEM Activity includes various lessons that focus on science, technology, engineering, art, math, reading, writing, and motor skills. This STEAM lesson includes worksheets to help children improve their handwriting while improving their STEM literacy. This can be implemented at home or in a classroom environment.  

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Why it Matters - Getting Toddlers and Preschoolers Involved in STEM

Getting children involved in STEM early has many proven benefits to their retention, comprehension, and overall feelings about the subjects. When teaching STEM to toddlers and preschoolers, it is important to make sure the lessons are easy to understand and not overwhelming. During these formative years, it is less essential to teach children key concepts and more important to touch on their natural curiosities. Children want to understand the world around them and STEM activities are the perfect way to answer these questions and create new questions! 

STEM with STEM Sports®

Are you interested in learning more about STEM education and why it is important? Read STEM Curriculum for Kindergarten, STEM Curriculum for Elementary Schools, and Tips for Teaching STEM to K-2 Students.  

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