I recently discovered two fantastic science experiment books for children 3-5 years. I hadn't seen science experiment books for preschoolers before. I was so surprised. The experiments are easy to follow, some of the experiments are familiar and some are new. We've also had a lot of success with the experiments so I really wanted to share.
Our most used science experiment book for 3-5 years is Big Chemistry Experiments for Little Kids, we've done almost all of the experiments. I also really like Big Engineering Experiments for Little Kids in the same series. The books are super easy to read and follow, they both have the same layout including:
- Messy Meter - so you know at the start how messy they might be.
- Experiment time - most experiments are 10-3o minutes long.
- Ingredients list - all common household items, or items found at the supermarket or pharmacy.
- Be Curious section- a section that gives us some questions to ask about each experiment.
- How it Works section - a useful section which in plain language explains the science before the experiment, how it works.
I love that these experiments use practical life skills and fine motor skills like pouring, using a pipette and they encourage children to ask questions and make close observations. Do you want to see some experiments we've tried recently?
Remember these experiments are super simple, they are all for children 3-5 years. Let's take a closer look.
Colour Flowers. This wasn't in either book but I just love doing it. I've tried this with celery before but have found white Chrysanthemums work best.
The child pours water into the vases/jars. Adds food colouring.
Then add the white Chrysanthemums.
I knew it would work fastest with freshly cut flowers, so I trimmed all of the stems before giving them to the child.
Within ten minutes we could see blue tinges in the petals of the flowers in the blue jar. Within half an hour we could clearly see colours in all of the flower petals. Within three hours our flowers looked like this! 🌈🌸.
Golden Treasure Bubbles. This experiment is from the Big Chemistry Experiments for Little Kids.
The child pours water into a jar and then adds some food colouring. Use orange or yellow to make 'Golden' bubbles.
The child then pours in some vegetable oil. We put the lid on and shake it.
Rain Cloud in a Cup. This experiment is from Big Chemistry Experiments for Little Kids. I've seen this experiment online before but this is the first time we've done it. It reminds me that you can find many experiments online, but I love having books that I can quickly reference and easily follow.
The child pours water into a cup (or jar). We put some shaving foam on top of the water.
The child then adds blue food colouring mixed with water on top of the foam to create rain. This looks awesome! 🌧
Fizzy Seashells. This experiment is from the Big Chemistry Experiments for Little Kids.
We place one shell in each bowl. We fill one bowl with vinegar (use under supervision only) and we fill the other bowl with water.
Then we observe. The shell in the vinegar starts to fizz and the shell in the water stays the same.
This is an important experiment to teach environmentalism and why we need to keep our waterways and oceans clean. After 10 minutes or so our shell in vinegar moved around a little and half of it started floating.
The next day only half the shell was left.
Make it Melt. This experiment is from Big Engineering Experiments for Little Kids.
We place two ice cubes in a bowl or on a plate. We sprinkle salt over one ice cube.
Then observe. Which one melts faster? I love this as there were obvious differences in the ice and rate of melting, the difference might not come through in this photo but it's enough for a three-year-old to notice. Again, this teaches children to observe closely.
Invisible Ink. The experiment is from Big Chemistry Experiments for Little Kids.
We mix Baking Soda and water to make a paste. The child paints the paper with the paste/liquid. Then we allow the picture to dry.
Once it has dried you use a pipette to put the grape juice over the picture to reveal the invisible ink. This experiment didn't work perfectly for us as the others experiments had but it was still fun and we'd love to try it again.
If you are looking for science experiments for older children (primary+) you might enjoy reading Our Top 5 Science Experiment Books for Children.
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