These colder months can get rough for a mom of a preschooler and a toddler. When we can’t just run outside or play at the park, we start to go a little stir crazy! We like to (NEED to) fill our days with fun activities and my favorites are the ones that keep the kids entertained while they’re learning. Again, I headed back to the Animal Jam Academy to get some great ideas! I partnered with them to bring you these totally cool science experiments for kids… perfect for the colder months!
Tip #1: have the supplies you need for all your experiements ready to go before you call the kids to the work station. I was apparently too excited and said, “who wants to do some experiments?!” which got the kids crazy excited (it’s one of their FAVORITE things to do!) and then I had to try to get them to wait patiently while I gathered everything……….. not the best idea, haha.
First up: the Mystery Colors Experiment
Follow the link to download and print the instructions! Great for my 5-year-old because he gets to learn about the mixing of colors (blue and red make purple!) and the properties of water. Great for my 2-(almost 3)-year-old because she gets to reinforce her knowledge of naming colors and… she gets to play in water 😉
Science Experiments for Kids
I gave each of them a strip of paper towel and a glass with about an inch of water in it. They each got to draw their own dot on their paper and put it in their cup (without getting the dot itself in the water, but just above it).
As you can see, my daughter decided to just put the entire strip into the cup—and that’s okay, too! Because she had fun AND we got to watch her water change color so I suppose she just created her own little experiment 😉
Have a little patience and you’ll see the water creep its way up the paper towel. As it goes, it separates the colors used in your marker—so if you had an orange dot, it’d separate into red and yellow.
Ryan thought it was “so cool” and we decided to set it aside and let it continue working while we started our next experiment. When we came back to this one later, the water had worked its way almost down the entire strip, stretching color out with it and that was “even cooler!”
Next up: the Magic Balloon Experiment
I knew this would be a big hit! Kids love balloons, right?! I gathered all the supplies and put them in easy pour cups so my kids could do all of the pouring and work themselves. A little bit of water, baking soda, and an acidic juice.
The instructions say lemon juice and a plastic bottle, but we used lime juice and a glass bottle (what we had on hand) and those worked fine.
First, pour in the ounce of water. Second, add a teaspoon of baking soda. Put the cover on the bottle and shake it all up. Now, the next steps of pouring in the lime juice and putting the balloon on top move quickly, so I missed photos. We did some teamwork to get it done!
The baking soda is a base so when you pour in the acidic lemon (or lime) juice, it creates a reaction, releasing gas to fill the balloon. You have to get that balloon over the top of your bottle quickly! I didn’t realize how quickly it would happen and we overflowed, but it still worked!
“That was TOTALLY COOL, mom! It was actually EPIC!” I don’t know where he got that word… epic… but I like it 😉 We made a mess, we learned about acids and bases, and we had FUN!
GREAT way to spend the day! You can find a lot more great ideas and experiments for kids from Animal Jam on their Pinterest page (these were both from the “science downloads” board) and at Animal Jam Academy. If you want to do these with your preschooler and have another sibling that’s a bit too young, find free coloring printables, mazes, and masks to download and print, too.
While you’re over at Animal Jam, check out their online playground, too. When we aren’t doing fun crafts and games together, Ryan loves his screen time and the interactive online game is filled with fun and learning. Click “play now” to create your animal and play for free or become a member for lots of perks at as little as $5.95/month.
~Written in partnership with Animal Jam. Any opinions are my own!