23 Kindergarten Science Activities to Try This Month

Let’s get messy!

20 Best Kindergarten Science Experiments

One of the ways we describe the study of science to small children is by saying we are “learning about the world and how it works.” But with a definition that broad, it can sometimes be overwhelming to think of ideas for kindergarten science activities. Especially when you need those activities to entertain and educate a class of excited five-year-olds.

Read on to see our collection of practical, hands-on activities that are fun, messy, and manage to teach essential scientific concepts all at the same time!

1. Materials All Around Us

IMAGE SOURCE: Simple Play Ideas

What you need

Scraps of different cloth, like velvet, wool, cotton, or leather; metal objects, wooden spoons/toys, pieces of aluminum foil, any school objects with an interesting feel; “feely bag”—a large bag that can be almost sealed with drawstring

What to do

Place a variety of objects into the feely bag and invite students to place their hands inside and feel and describe the different textures. Can they guess what is inside?

Scientific concept or lesson

Describing and grouping materials by texture and properties.

2. Rainbow Clouds

What you need

Clear containers; shaving cream; water; food coloring

What to do

Fill your glass container with water and top it with shaving cream. Ask students to drop the colored water onto the shaving cream clouds and observe as it falls through as rain.

Scientific concept or lesson

You can talk about color mixing, rain, and the water cycle and discuss students’ predictions for what would happen.

3. Sugary Water

What you need

A selection of jars filled with water; food coloring; sugar; spoons

What to do

Invite students to put different amounts of sugar into each jar, add a drop of food coloring, and observe what happens. Have them stir until all the sugar is dissolved, then, using the pipettes, have them drop one color solution into another. What happens?

Scientific concept or lesson

If students can be patient between adding their colors, they may be able to create layers. But even if they don’t, they will still be learning about solutions and mixtures. Adding sugar increases the density of the solution.

4. Painted Nature

Painted Nature - Kindergarten Science Activities

IMAGE SOURCE: Simple Fun for Kids

What you need

A variety of natural objects collected from the recess yard, such as leaves, small branches, twigs and sticks; paint

What to do

Have students search for natural objects in nature and bring them into the classroom to closely observe and paint. Discuss the natural colors and features of these objects.

Scientific concept or lesson

Closely observing natural phenomena, looking for signs of life and growth, using senses to experience natural materials.

5. Floating and Sinking

IMAGE SOURCE: Apples and ABCs

What you need

A variety of objects to test that can get wet—toys, utensils, tools; a water tray; a list of the items; and a check mark sheet.

What to do

Invite students to hypothesize which items they think will float and which will sink in the water. Complete the check mark sheet with their predictions. Then test each one, choosing students to volunteer to put the item gently in the water. Record the results.

Scientific concept or lesson

Learning about floating and sinking; that denser objects sink.

6. The Nose Knows

What you need

Small containers that seal tight; cotton balls and a variety of different scents, including perfume, cinnamon, vanilla, almond, ginger, curry, lemon, etc. (Double up so that every scent is in two canisters.)

What to do

Ask students to use their sense of smell to try and guess what is inside each container. See if they can match up their scent with the one in their partner’s canister.

Scientific concept or lesson

We use our sense of smell to tell us more about the world. Making observations and drawing conclusions.

7. Sensory Clouds

IMAGE SOURCE: Powerful Mothering

What you need

4 cups flour or baking soda; 1/2 cup vegetable oil; 1–2 drops of lavender essential oil; tempera paint powder or crushed chalk (optional, for color)

What to do

In the sensory bin, or just a big plastic container, mix all the ingredients together, grinding the chalk into a powder (if desired) and then invite students to come and explore the “clouds.”

Scientific concept or lesson

Discuss how students are using their senses to explore this material. Can they predict if it will hold its shape? Can it be squashed? Does it bounce back?

8. Handmade Paper

Handmade Paper - 20 Best Kindergarten Science Experiments

IMAGE SOURCE: Paper Slurry

What you need

Coarse toilet paper (the type you typically get in schools!); a water bottle; wax paper; kitchen strainer; sponges

What to do

Explain to the class that you are going to make your own paper. Instruct students to tear the toilet tissue and place it in the water bottle of water before replacing the lid and shaking it vigorously. Have them closely observe how the tissue turns to pulp. Strain it to remove excess water, lay it flat, cover in wax paper, and leave to dry. You may need to repeat the steps to remove all excess water. After it dries you will be able to use it as paper.

Scientific concept or lesson

Practical demonstration of solid to liquid states and how materials can be repurposed.

9. Magnet Cleanup

What you need

A selection of different metal objects and some aluminum items; various containers; strong magnets

What to do 

Dump out all the metal objects onto the tables and ask students to help you “clean up” by using the magnets to pick up different objects and sort them into containers.

Scientific concept or lesson

Students will learn which objects are attracted to a magnet and which are not. They will also practice skills of classifying and sorting.

10. Magnet Art

What you need

Two strong magnets; washers, nuts, bolts, and other metal objects; cotton thread; easel or cardboard box; liquid tempera paint in multiple colors; tape; paper

What to do

Allow students to experiment with magnets by completing the previous activity, then tell them they are going to create art with magnets. Create a raised-angle painting surface on an easel or a cardboard box. Have students dip metal objects, which have a string tied to them, into the paint. Tape the object on top of the paper on the easel and have students move the magnet around behind the easel to create artwork.

Scientific concept or lesson

Learning how magnets can be used to move objects.

11. Jack and the Beanstalk

What you need

Empty yogurt pots; bean sprout seeds; water; the story “Jack and the Beanstalk”

What to do

Read the story to the class and tell them you are going to grow your own bean plants . Show students how to plant the seeds in a moist paper towel in the yogurt pot. Discuss what might happen to the seeds. Observe over the next few days and weeks, remembering to water them a little.

Scientific concept or lesson

Students will consider what living things need to grow and will observe a bean seed begin to sprout.

12. Oil and Water Experiment

IMAGE SOURCE: Fun Learning for Kids

What you need 

Water; containers; food coloring; oil; droppers

What to do

Talk to students about the difference between oil and water and explain how they don’t mix. You can even show kids this experiment without the food coloring. Then after students see it once, have them try it themselves with the food coloring.

Scientific concept or lesson 

Talk about how molecules are different in oil and water. 

13. Does It Melt? 

What you need

Muffin tin and a range of materials to go inside 

What to do 

Talk to students about the sun and how temperatures can get high, especially on hot days. Ask students to hypothesize about what will and won’t melt and write down their ideas of what to try. Then put it to the test! 

Scientific concept or lesson 

Concepts like the sun, temperature, and melting 

14. Paper Clip Experiment

IMAGE SOURCE: All for the Boys

What you need

Small paper clips; a tray of water

What to do

Ask students to predict what will happen if you put paper clips into a tray of water. Drop a few in and show that they sink. Then ask students if there is any way you could get them to float. Try again but place the paper clip very carefully on the surface of the water and have students observe it floating and not breaking the surface. Challenge students to see how many paper clips they can get to float.

Scientific concept or lesson

The surface tension will allow the paper clips to sit on top of the water until the weight becomes too much for the water bear.

15. Traveling Rainbows

IMAGE SOURCE: Chasing Cheerios

What you need

Test tubes or cups; thin strips of kitchen paper towels; water; food coloring

What to do

Fill the test tubes or cups with different colored water and tell the class you are going to put two ends of the kitchen paper towels into each container of water, creating a chain. Ask the students to predict what might happen.

Scientific concept or lesson

Slowly the color is absorbed into the wet paper towel and travels up to meet with the next color. Students learn about absorbency and color mixing.

16. Monster Toothpaste

What you need

Empty soda bottle; containers; large tray to collect the mess; 2 tablespoons warm water; 1 teaspoon yeast; 1/2 cup 6% hydrogen peroxide; food coloring; dish soap

What to do

Mix the yeast and warm water in one container; in the pop bottle mix all the other ingredients. You only need a few drops of food coloring for good color. Pour the yeast mixture in and get ready for an eruption!

Scientific concept or lesson

Students will be able to witness a chemical reaction. See if students notice that the bottle feels warm—this is an exothermic reaction.

17. A Mini Tornado

What you need

A glass jar; water; dish soap; vinegar; blue food coloring

What to do

Fill the jars about 3/4 full with water and add in a few drops of blue food dye. Add a teaspoon of both dish soap and vinegar and then put the lid on. Show the students how to swirl the jar to create a tornado.

Scientific concept or lesson

Use this as a jumping off point to discuss different types of weather and destructive forces of nature.

18. Growing Bears

Growing Bears - 20 Best Kindergarten Science Activities

IMAGE SOURCE: Playdough to Plato

What you need

Two small bowls; water; salt; and gummy bears

What to do

Have the students observe and measure the gummy bears and then predict what will happen if you soak them in water. Dissolve salt in hot water. (Exercise caution with students and hot water.) You should have three experiments: one gummy bear in salt water solution, one in plain water, and one dry. Let the water cool down and add the gummy bears; you’ll need to leave them for several hours or overnight. Keep other gummy bears as the control group and explain the fundamentals of fair testing to the class.

Scientific concept or lesson

This experiment demonstrates osmosis—the movement of a solvent from one of lower concentration to higher concentration.

19. Soil Science

Soil Science - 20 Best Kindergarten Science Activities

IMAGE SOURCE: Go Science Kids

What you need

Soil; trays; magnifying glasses; tweezers

What to do

Take your class on a nature walk and dig up a patch of soil for students to examine back in the class. Try to get a good cross-section of dark soil, with insects, roots or worms in it. Back in the class, allow students time to carefully inspect the soil with their magnifying glasses. What can they find?

Scientific concept or lesson

Students will use their observation skills to search for interesting features of the soil, including the presence of insects and worms.

20. Bubble Trouble

Bubble Trouble - 20 Best Kindergarten Science Activities

IMAGE SOURCE: In Lieu of Preschool

What you need

Light corn syrup; water; dish soap; containers; spoon for mixing; straws

What to do

Mix all the ingredients together and encourage students to blow into the mixture to make bubbles. Challenge students to try to make the biggest and smallest bubbles, to be able to pick bubbles up, and to try to get small objects inside a bubble.

Scientific concept or lesson

You can discuss the air inside bubbles and how they fit together.

21. Mirror, Mirror

Mirror Mirror - 20 Best Kindergarten Science Activities

IMAGE SOURCE: The Imagination Tree

What you need

A collection of mirrors; a prism; and different small objects

What to do

Allow students to experiment and play with a collection of mirrors of different sizes and objects. Can students hide one half of their object and make it complete with the reflection? Can they make a rainbow of colors?

Scientific concept or lesson

You can begin to talk about light, reflections, and refraction and the way the human eye works.

22. LEGO Boats 

IMAGE SOURCE: Lemon Lime Adventures

What you need 

LEGO bricks; pennies; a tub of water

What to do 

Challenge students to build their own boat out of LEGO bricks. It’s a great way to get young kids thinking about engineering and design. For an added challenge, only give them a certain number of pieces. Once everyone has finished building, put the boats to the test in a tub of water. Add pennies a few at a time to see how many each boat can hold. 

Scientific concept or lesson

Talk to students about how weight and design matter. Reflect on good designs and help them understand why they worked well. 

23. Oobleck Fun

IMAGE SOURCE: ABCs of Literacy

What you need

A 2-pound box of cornstarch; 2 cups of water

What to do

Make the Oobleck by mixing the two ingredients together. You may need to add more water to get the perfect consistency, and you can also add food coloring if you want to make it look more interesting. Allow students to play with the mixture as an alternative to sand or Play-Doh.

Scientific concept or lesson

Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, and it seems to break the rules of the three states by having the qualities of a solid but being able to take the shape of a container it is poured into.

We’d love to hear—what are your favorite kindergarten science activities? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, tips, tricks, and ideas for teaching kindergarten.

23 Kindergarten Science Activities to Try This Month

Posted by Fiona Tapp

Fiona Tapp is a freelance writer after a 13-year career as a teacher and school administrator. Her work has been featured by The Washington Post, Parents, Today's Parent and many others. She is an expert in the field of Pedagogy and holds a Master’s degree in Education.

Leave a reply

Awesome BTS giveaways just for teachers!Enter now >>
+