Bring excitement to your play with these fun preschool STEM activities. Sure to have your have your little one saying, “WOW!” about learning. Read on to find our 20 (!) favorite experiments and preschool projects!
I feel so lucky that my oldest is very science-minded. When he was little we did allllll the preschool STEM activities. As he got older, he loved showing his little brother and sister all kinds of amazing science “tricks.”
Now I have three kids who love science and STEM! Whoop!
Why are STEM activities important for Preschoolers?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Using STEM activities is a great hook to get young kids interested in these subjects early on. Preschool STEM projects, especially, have a WOW factor built right in.
The STEM activities you’ll find around the internet and below, are largely process-based. That means kids can dig into an experiment or play with a project without having to worry about the end result being perfect.
Preschool STEM activities encourage learning through play, experimenting, trying something new, and trying again.
And, with the focus on the process, your tiny people will learn to be more willing to fail – and then to persevere. Tenacity is an important skill at any age and especially important for preschoolers who are acquiring all new knowledge about the world!
Top 20 Preschool STEM Activities
Our favorite STEM activities are low-prep and hands-on. You won’t be setting up for hours or gathering all kinds of wacky materials. Most of these projects can be done with materials you probably already have in your home.
1. Self Inflating Balloon
I’m sure you’ve seen tons of baking soda + vinegar experiments out there, but Teach Beside Me’s amazing self inflating balloon experiment goes beyond making bubbles.
2. Balloon Rockets
Sci Show Kids (our most favorite science channel!) will show your kids the science behind Balloon Rockets and get them interested in making their own!
3. Salt Dough Dinosaur Bones
This is such a fun activity from start to finish. 65 Million Years Ago’s Salt Dough Dinosaur Bones project starts with an easy dough recipe and ends with a dinosaur dig! Great hands-on ideas and sensory exploration!
The dinosaur phase lasted a long time in our house. How about yours? Find more fun dinosaur activities and ideas here.
4. Bouncing Egg Experiment
No preschooler should miss this one! Check out Parenting Chaos’ directions for the Bouncy Egg Experiment. This preschool STEM activity teaches observational skills and patience. Yesssss.
Oh and if you’re feeling brave, poke it with a toothpick at the end to see if it’s jelly all the way through! A big WOW payoff at the end!
5. Walking on Eggs
If you loved bouncing an egg, try walking on them! Nat Geo Kids shares a fun video about the science behind this amazing trick.
6. Cleaning Pennies with Ketchup
If your kids are like mine, they are obsessed with learning about money! That’s probably why they absolutely LOVED Team Cartwright’s STEM activity, Cleaning Pennies with Ketchup!
7. Math & Money Games with Shopkins!
If you’ve got a kid obsessed with these weird little toys, you’re not alone. Put them to good use with Sustain My Craft Habit’s fun money and math games.
If you don’t have a zillion of these little guys around the house, be glad! You can do these fun shopping games without any Shopkins at all!
8. Dissect a Flower
We had so much fun learning about plants, but the best activity we did was dissecting a flower. STEM on stems, if you will. Check out our process over on The Learning Hypothesis’ post, How to Dissect a Flower and Create Powerful Observations.
9. Color Changing Flowers
Another flower experiment! This one will encourage your children to make observations over time. Easy directions for Color Changing Flowers from Fun Learning for Kids.
10. Coding with Legos
So, I didn’t used to get what this whole coding this was about, but my oldest got really into coding and is now making his own levels on some weird game with a jumping bunny. Okay, so maybe I still don’t totally get it.
On the preschool level, though, learning about coding is all about learning to copy, grow, and build your own patterns. Check out the Simple and Fun Lego Coding Activities from Team Cartwright.
11. Rainbow in a Jar
Learn about layering and liquid density by creating a rainbow in a jar. Find simple instructions for the fun Rainbow in a Jar Experiment on Playdough to Plato.
12. Make it Move!
Steam Powered Family’s Make it Move challenge will keep your kids busy long after they’ve set it up! This preschool STEM activity is great for to play with siblings, cousins, and friends!
13. Shaving Cream Clouds
A fun experiment with weather and color mixing. Check out directions for this simple preschool STEM activity, Shaving Cream Rain Clouds by One Little Project.
14. Levitating Magnets
This activity brings together two things kids love: Dr. Seuss and magnets! Read the book then create this super amazing Levitating Magnet Stack by Teach Beside Me.
15. Float or Sink?
A great preschool STEM activity that is best done with a big bucket of water on a hot day! Not warm where you live? This is also a good one for bath time. Check out these easy directions for a Float or Sink Experiment from Hands On as We Grow.
16. Rising Water Experiment
Steam Powered Family’s Why Does Water Rise experiment has a real WOW factor for kids and will intrigue both your preschoolers and older kids.
17. Giant Homemade Bubbles
Take your bubbles to the next level with this Giant Homemade Bubble recipe from Happy Hooligans. First, measure ingredients and see how they combine in the kitchen. Then take it outside and experiment with the wind and making shapes!
18. Phases of the Moon
It’s so exciting when they start noticing the moon! Build on those important first observations with Team Cartwright’s Phases of the Moon Activity. (It’s also delicious.)
19. Galaxy Jar
If you’re little one is noticing the moon, he’s probably curious about the stars, too! Create a fun and crafty Galaxy Jar from The Inspiration Edit.
20. Edible Play Dirt
Part of digging into these STEM activities is learning to follow step-by-step directions. This was a tough one for my little guy. What helped? Bringing fun math activities into the kitchen with simple recipes like Sister What’s Chocolate Dirt (which we used in a dinosaur world, of course).