STEM Activities For Kindergarten – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated: April 27, 2021

Kindergartners are very curious, and if you have a child that age, you must hear several questions a day about how things work and why they are the way they are. 

It’s important to appreciate and encourage this curiosity and creativity so they can grow up to understand the world and even get academic success later on.

And for this purpose, introducing STEM education this early might be the best way to go. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

Teaching kids these skills will give them a great critical thinking foundation and help them get a headstart on their future learning.

We have the complete guide for some of the best STEM activities you can do with your children or students and if you want to learn more about them, keep on reading!

Photo credit: playdoughtoplato.com

Great STEM Activities for Kindergarten

Getting your kids involved in activities and hands-on projects are the best way to introduce STEM education at an early age. It’s a fun and creative learning experience they will look forward to. Here’s a list of some great STEM activities your child will enjoy and learn a lot from:

Science | Observation | Creativity

1. Capillary Action Experiment Using Flowers 

This experiment is colorful, a lot of fun to do, and allows children to learn about the scientific phenomenon of capillary action.

To perform this experiment, you will need some mason jars, water, flowers (preferably carnations), and liquid food coloring. You can use whatever color you like; however, vibrant and colorful ones just seem more pleasing.

First off, fill the mason jars with six ounces of water and put the food coloring in each jar. Now, don’t be shy to put in enough food coloring because if you don’t put in a good amount, you may not be able to notice the results. 

Then, take your flowers, cut the stem at an angle, and place them in the jars. These need to be placed someplace sunny, and in about three days, you will notice distinct colors starting to appear on the flowers.

The flowers change colors because they absorb the water by capillary action, much like they do when placed in soil. 

You can learn more about this experiment and other awesome STEM activities by checking out SteamSational.com

Science | Observation | Creativity

2. Color Explosions in a Jar

If you have a child who likes color and fireworks, this might be an excellent project to work on with him/her.

It is incredibly simple, and most of what you need for this would already be present at your house, which makes it convenient. To work on this project, you only need a jar, oil, water, and some food coloring. 

Now, first, fill 3/4th of your glass with warm water, and in a separate bowl, mix three to four spoons of oils and mix it with drops of different colors of food coloring. Then, go ahead and pour the oil mixture into the jar of water.

At this point, you will notice that the food coloring will sink from the oil into the water, expand, and start mixing in with the different colors. This will appear like tiny explosions or fireworks in the jar and is quite pretty to look at.

The reason why this happens is the difference in density of the two liquids. Oil is denser than water, and it floats on the top, whereas the food coloring isn’t soluble in oil. The droplets sink in the water and start dissolving. 

If you have any confusion regarding this activity or simply want to check out some more incredible experiments, visit icanteachmychild.com.

Science | Observation | Creativity

3. Coffee Filter Chromatography 

Chromatography has several types and is a widely used technique in labs. Some might feel it’s too advanced; however, if done the right way, it might grab the kid’s attention and teach them a thing or two.

It is essentially a separation technique that allows the observer to see the different pigments present in a mixture. 

For this experiment, you will need a marker, coffee filters, food coloring, small glasses, and water. Most of this is pretty much present in your house.

First, using the marker, draw a circle around the center of the coffee filter. Then, make it into a cone by folding it in half and then folding it in half again.

Add some food coloring to a shallow glass of water and place the filter cone in the water. Make sure you don’t get the marker ring wet. You will notice the colors flow up the paper in a beautiful manner.

This can be a great opportunity to teach children about molecules and how chromatography is useful in the lab.

If you want to learn more about this experiment and some other pretty exciting ones, check out MommyPoppins.com.

Science | Observation | Play

4. Learning About Magnetism While Fishing

All kids seem to be fascinated by magnets and love playing with them. Magnets can be used to introduce children to science and be a great starting point to later introduce them to compasses, geology, and several other uses of magnets.

In this experiment, your children will learn the difference between magnetic and nonmagnetic materials, all while fishing at home!

For this experiment, you need an assortment of iron objects (nuts, paper clips, etc.), some nonmagnetic objects (rubber bands, buttons, etc.), and a bin with a little bit of water, which will only serve as a sensory element.

To make the fishing stick, you will simply need to tie a magnet using a string to a pencil. 

After you’ve set up the experiment comes the fun part! Let the children fish using the stick and collect the objects in a pile. Then, explain that the leftover objects in the pile are the nonmagnetic ones.

You can read more about this experiment and others by visiting Busytoddler.com.

Science | Observation | Curiosity

5. Learning About Effervescence 

This is one of the coolest and most engaging experiments you can perform with a kid. Through this experiment, they can be introduced to the interesting phenomenon of effervescence, and most of what’s used in it is already available in most homes.

For this experiment, you need clear carbonated soda, one tablespoon salt, a spoon, a small jar, and food coloring. Fill the small jar about halfway with carbonated soda.
Then, go ahead and add the food coloring of your choice to it and stir. Finally, add salt to this and observe what happens next. 

You will notice bubbles starting to form and coming to the surface, which is super cool to witness. This happens due to the salt pushing the carbon dioxide to the surface. 

To learn about this experiment in more detail, check out AMothershipDown.com.

Science | Creativity | Analysis

6. Learn About the Deep Blue Ocean

You can enjoy doing a crafty project with your kids and teach them all about the different layers of the ocean.

It can be made even more interesting by talking about how far the light travels in water, what animals live in each layer, etc.

You will need five small containers, food coloring (blue, green, and red), water, ocean animal figures, paper, and a marker to make this project. 

Write down the name of each ocean layer and label each jar with it. If you are using animal figures, then place them in the jar before adding the water.

Make sure to search which creature lives in which part of the ocean layer. Fill each container with water and add food coloring. For six ounces of water, add:

Sunlight Zone: Touch a toothpick with the blue food coloring and dip it in the container.

Twilight Zone: one drop of blue food coloring

Midnight Zone: two drops of blue food coloring

Abyss: four drops of blue food coloring

Trenches: five drops of blue, two drops of green, and one drop of red food coloring

You can learn about this experiment and find plenty of other interesting ones by visiting Kcedventures.com.  

Science | Creativity | Safety

7. Icy Lanterns

This activity is perfect for the winters when it’s cold and chilly out.

Building ice lanterns can be a great engineering challenge for kids as they decide the base of their project and how it will go about.

It truly is very fun and gives a beautiful outcome. 

For this experiment, you will need a battery-operated candle, large and small plastic cups, decorative pieces like pom poms, beads, pipe cleaners, tinsel, etc., food coloring, and a freezer. 

Firstly, take the pipe cleaners and twist them so much so that they can spiral along with the large cup and act as a balancing medium for your decorative items. Then, carefully balance the beads and other things on them. 

Next, slide the small cup inside the larger cup and secure it with tape.
Finally, add water between the cups such that it only goes in the large cup.

Add a few drops of preferred food coloring. Put this in the freezer for five hours or until completely frozen. 

Want to learn more about this experiment? Check out SteamPoweredFamily.com.

Creativity | Science | Play

8. Jelly Bean Buildings 

Building jelly bean structures can be a great way for young children to express their creativity.

This is a great indoor experiment that requires few materials yet can be very fun to do.
Your child can go on to build several buildings, structures, and use their creativity to the fullest, and learn a thing or two about balancing and weight distribution.

For this experiment, you will only need toothpicks and jellybeans. Let them take the lead and showcase their creativity.

When it seems like they need guidance, you can show them how the beans can be arranged into blocks and stacked over one another for several levels.

You can also set challenges to create a structure with a given number of jelly beans to make it interesting and see what they come up with. It’s a simplistic math/science project, yet it can be highly engaging and fun.  

You can find more on this experiment and some other interesting ones at Thestemlaboratory.com.

Ten frames can be of great aid in providing a strong number sense to children and easily demonstrate numbers less than or equals to ten.

If you have a little one who’s working on a ten frame, they will enjoy a penguin-themed one a lot.

There are several penguin-themed ten frame printable worksheets available online. 
For this activity, you need some penguin erasers, penguin ten frame worksheets, and a dry erase marker or crayon if you choose to laminate them.

Print as many as you like and write a number on them. Then, instruct the children to use the erasers and count up to the number.

This will aid in bridging the gap between theoretical counting and physical counting. You can also teach them simple subtraction and addition using the same method. 

For free printables and to learn more about this activity, check out Thestemlaboratory.com.

Science | Curiosity | Creativity

10. Send Secret Messages Using Cranberry Juice

This is perhaps one of the coolest experiments the kids can perform using regular things around the house.

Have the kids write secret messages to each other and decode them using cranberry juice.

It seems magical yet is pure science. You will need a small pot, cranberry juice, water, cranberry sauce, paintbrushes, baking soda, and white paper for this experiment. 

First, mix the cranberry sauce and juice in the pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat while stirring in between. Then, to make the invisible ink, mix 1/3rd cup of hot water and four tbsp of baking soda.

Using the baking soda mixture and a paintbrush, write a message on paper and dry it.
After letting the cranberry juice cool down, dip a paintbrush in cranberry juice and paint over the dried messages to reveal the secret picture. 

Cranberry juice is acidic, whereas the baking soda mixture is basic. Even though the baking soda mixture dried clear when it interacted with the acidic mixture, a color change from red to blue was observed, and the secret message was revealed. 

You can learn more about this experiment and some other exciting ones as well at LittleBinsForLittleHands.com

What Supplies Are Needed for These Activities?

The supplies you will need for each activity will depend upon the activity, and not all activities can be performed using the same stuff.

It’s helpful to look into what you need and prepare beforehand, and don’t be discouraged if you find that some activities require too many things that you cannot find.

There are several STEM activities you can perform with things you already have at home. Let’s take a look at some supplies you will need if you plan on performing STEM activities:

Markers

This is certainly a staple, and most of you will already have markers at your place. Markers are mostly required to mark and label things and are essential for nearly all STEM activities. 

Photo Credit: ArtLTDMag.com

Mason Jars

Our list has some activities you can perform with mason jars, and there are many more out there that require one, too. They can be easily handled by children and are usually present at home. 

Paper and Glue

Different activities require different types of paper. Where some may require regular paper sheets for labeling or drawing, others may require cardboard paper, colored papers, etc.

Glue is another essential for several projects and activities. 

Food Coloring

Food coloring is a big part of several science-related STEM activities and projects. It is safe to use for children, easily available, and a commonly-used material. 

Conclusion

STEM education is all the talk right now and for the right reasons, too. STEM integrates interdisciplinary learning and enables you to innovatively deal with a young mind’s innate curiosity and creativity. 

Parents and teachers are always on the lookout for good STEM activities, which is why we made a list of some of the best.

This article provides you a complete guide to STEM activities focused on kindergarteners. Hopefully, you got all the information you came here looking for.

People Also Ask

STEM education is all the buzz now, and parents and teachers have a lot of questions when it comes to it. We took your most frequently asked questions and answered them, so any doubt or misconception you have is cleared. 

What is STEM? What Does STEM Stand For?

STEM is an acronym that stands for the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

The idea behind STEM education is to have a curriculum that educates young minds in these four fields.

However, instead of teaching them as individual subjects, it focuses on an interdisciplinary approach that creates a cohesive learning model to prepare for the upcoming world.  

Why is STEM Important?

STEM education encourages curiosity and creates critical thinkers. Plus, it actively plays a huge role in increasing science literacy in the country to pave the way for a generation of pioneers and innovators.

In the future, more and more jobs will require an understanding of STEM, which is why it is important to incorporate it into curriculums. 

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