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Science projects/early learning for toddlers?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Allison Allison 6 years, 1 month ago.

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    My toddler loves building things, seeing cause and effect, nature…all things science. Like many toddlers, he’s verrrrrry curious! I’m always trying to think of new learning projects we can do together. It seems advanced to do anything too "science-y" with a toddler, but does anyone have experience with some fun age-appropriate projects we could do?

    Profile photo of Allison

    This is a great resource for science activities:

    My daughter, 2.5 year olds, LOVED building this specific activity of building a snowman:

    The best part is, we emailed it to my mother, and my daughter was very excited to ask her if she got the ‘snowball man’ we mailed to her.  It will be a great correlation to building a real snowman during what I’m sure will be a snowy winter in the Boston area!


    I am a retired scientist and I spent a year at a Bright Horizons site doing science with two, three and four year olds.   My most successful experiment was with a series circuit.   All you need is a battery, bell wire, a switch and a flashlight bulb and bulb socket.  All these are available in a hardware store.  The circuit shows fundamental science and is good for hours of sun.

    I will be happy to answer any questions about setting up a circuit.


    My son really enjoys long-term "experiments" that he can check in on every day. For example, planting seeds in a recycled container and watching it sprout and grow. We have also left items out (bread, cheese, etc) to see the "yucky" things that grow on them (for a few days until it gets a bit nasty). Basically anything that involves more observation than anything can be educational and easy for young ones.


    I agree with all the ideas the other folks had.   My mother was a former chemist and I remember her instilling in me a curiousity about things and she’d connect ideas and objects to science in a way that made sense to me even at a young age. So for instance, when we accidentally spilt some milk, she say "oh look, that is gravity working. If we didn’t have gravity, the milk would float up in the air."   Try some of the science ideas on the Bright Horizons web site that the other parent posted.  I’ve used those too.  It is a lot of fun to see how our children get excited about learning.  Have fun with it.


    Caty Trio

    As afraser217 mentioned, the Bright Horizons Growing Scientists site is a good place to get information about this! In particular, here is a great page where you can find experiments to do at home with your child:


    Growing Scientists at Home


    Sink and float projects are always my favorite. I have done these projects in my classroom with my twos class and my threes class, as well as at home with my 3yo and 1.5 yo. Kids love throwing things in water! And the different reactions (sink/float, things that plunge to the bottom, those that bounce back up, things that float but after a while take on water and sink, etc) are absolutely fascinating for kids. Use a tall clear container and throw in any objects you choose. You can repeat the project at differnt times of the year with differnt seasonal objects. Here is a link to a photo journey of a autumn sink /float project I did with my daughter and son. We used leaves, acorns, pebbles, sticks, etc. to link the project to our study of the season and the changes happening outside.

    Hope that’s helpful!


    Science can be a lot of fun with young kids. I teach pre-k and we do many science experiments. For a toddler, I think some fun science projects can include exploring how balls bounce and roll on different surfaces and inclines, watching plants grow over time in a clear container so you can see the roots, providing different ingredients to mix to explore, and exploring inside old appliances or dissecting pumpkins and other produce. I also agree on the BH Growing Scientist page.

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