10 Science experiment ideas for toddlers

Science experiments encourage to think critically and use problem solving skills. It develops language, boosts creativity and enhances imagination. It teaches them to make predictions, test it out and then wait for the outcome. Introducing children to science experiments at a young age supports brain development. 

Even toddlers can do science experiments like the ones mentioned below

In Image: Sensory Table from Curious Cub

1. Ice play

Add cubes of ice in a large bowl and place it on a tray with a small bowl of salt, warm water and some droppers. Invite your child to add the salt and the warm water to the ice to see what happens. You can also add animal figurines to the ice tray before freezing for a variation in the activity.                                                           

In Image: Sensory Table from Curious Cub

2. Fizzy play

Create an even layer of baking soda on a tray and add drops of food color. In a small bowl pour some vinegar. Invite your child to use a dropper or a spoon to add vinegar onto the drops of color to create a fizz! Please supervise your child closely during this experiment, especially if they are still in the mouthing phase.                               

In Image: Sensory Table from Curious Cub

3. Magic milk

Take a flat tray and fill it with milk. Add a few drops of food coloring (do not mix). Dip a q-tip in liquid dish soap and as you lightly touch it to the surface of the milk, watch the magic happen. While your toddler might violently swirl it all around, we must focus on the process and not the product. 

4. Wave bottle

Fill the bottle with 3/4th part water and a drop of food coloring. Then top it off with vegetable oil. As you shake the bottle, your toddler will enjoy the effect of the liquids mixing and then place it down for them to observe the liquids separate. 


6. Makes your own bubbles

  • Take a plastic bottle and cut the bottom of it at a 3/4th distance from the top. Put an old sock on the bottom. In a shallow dish add some water and a few drops of dish washing liquid to make a solution. Mix well.
  • Gently dip the sock covered bottle in the liquid and blow through the top to make bubbles. 
  • Please supervise to ensure your child is blowing the bubbles and not sucking it in!

7. Paper cup tower

This is a fun game to play with your toddler. Try building a paper cup tower together. Include other family members as well. Your child will develop social skills as they work together as a team using their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

8. Rubber band guitar

Cut out a hole in an old shoe box or cardboard carton. Stretch rubber bands of different widths along the shoe box. Invite your toddler to pull the strings and explore the different sounds each of them make. 

9. Jal Tarang

 Fill glasses with varying amounts of water and arrange them from most to least full. Use a metal spoon to gently brush through the sides of the glasses. You might also try different parts of the glass to play around with the sounds. You can even add different food coloring in each glass. You can make music while your child listens to the difference in pitch initially, and then invite your child to try it out..

10. Lava lamp

Fill up the bottle with water and add glitter and sequins. Shake the bottle vigorously and place it in front of your toddler to watch the glitter and sequins slowly fall to the bottom.

Here are some conversation starters 

Before the experiment

1 Look at all these materials. Do you know what they are? (Pick each item and name them)

2 There are so many colors. Can you point to your favorite? (If your child doesn’t do this, you can point to one and say, “This is my favorite, which is yours?”)

3 I wonder what will happen when … (and even if your child is not talking yet, this prompts them to think)

During the experiment

1 Watch me as I ….

2 Would you like to try?

3 What do you want to do first?

4 Did you see that?

5 Wow! How did that happen? 

After the experiment

1 I noticed that …

2 This happened because …

3 What did you like the most?

4 Shall we do this again tomorrow?

5 Remember when we did …. ?

6 Next time we can ….

7 You are a Scientist! 

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