If you want to try STEM activities for toddlers and preschoolers, start with easy, fun things! These fizzing rainbows fit the bill perfectly and are so easy!
My kids love STEM activities. Most of what we do is geared toward my fifth grader, but Bo, in preschool, also loves science and STEM activities. I made these toddler STEM challenge cards as a way to have plenty of toddler-friendly STEM ideas on hand at all times. We tried the first one of our STEM activities for toddlers today by making fizzing rainbows!
WHY DO STEM ACTIVITIES FOR TODDLERS?
Toddlers can barely walk, so why should they be doing toddler STEM activities? A STEM activity (with elements of science, technology, engineering, and math) isn’t just about academic learning. When toddlers and preschoolers complete STEM activities, they are learning about how the world works. In fact, if you let a toddler or preschooler explore something on their own, you’ll find they use many of the basics of STEM thinking, which includes:
- Creating a Theory
- Recording Data
Toddlers and preschoolers naturally go through this discovery and learning phase. With STEM activities for toddlers, the exploration and discovery is all open-ended, giving them the chance to see how things work together without the confines of strict academic learning. This helps the children develop their creativity and sense of wonder, opening their minds to the excitement and joy of learning. In fact, the toddler and preschool age group is one of my favorites to do STEM activities with!
Learn how to complete the fizzing rainbows science experiment below!
STEM Activities for Toddlers: Colorful Fizzing Rainbows
Bo loves rainbows and she loves hands-on activities. I made my toddler STEM challenge cards with her in mind (even though she’s a bit beyond the toddler stage). The first card we pulled out said, “make a baking soda and vinegar reaction.” Bo has seen lots of those before, so I thought I’d make it a bit more fun by making a fizzing rainbow!
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What you’ll need for the fizzing rainbow:
- Toddler STEM challenge cards
- Baking soda
- 1/4 cup measuring cup
- Pipettes (we LOVE these and use them all the time!)
- Food coloring (we used red, green, blue, and purple)
Before getting started, you’ll need to set up a bit.
First, place a layer of baking soda about 1/4 of an inch thick on your plate. Make a rainbow with your food coloring by placing dots of color in a rainbow pattern.
Pour 1/4 of a cup of vinegar into the measuring cup.
Give your toddler a pipette, the plate, and the vinegar.
Show your toddler how to pick up the vinegar and squeeze it onto the food coloring. A rainbow will form and start to fizz.
Repeat the experiment until all the vinegar is used.
Bo really loved seeing the colors of the rainbow come to life and mix as she did this experiment.