Toddlers are naturally extremely curious, which makes it a breeze to incorporate science concepts into their daily activities. In fact, babies begin practicing scientific concepts from the moment they’re born. One of the main components of the scientific process is observation, which entails using all of the senses. Babies quickly learn to explore their new environment through sights, sounds, smells, touch, and taste. They’re determined to investigate every new object in order to learn what it does and how it feels.
Below we have compiled five activities that will help further develop your toddler’s brain, and get them interested in science and exploration. All of these Tots love experimenting and moms love raising educated children, so roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty!
#1-Cookie Cutter Bird Treats
Let your toddler assist you in mixing a few simple ingredients together and creating a bird feeder to hang outdoors. He will love watching the birds flock to the yard and eat his creation!
-¾ cup birdseed
-2 tbsp flour
-3 tbsp water
-Metal cookie cutter
-Straw (cut into three equal pieces)
-Pam cooking spray
a.) Preheat oven to 170 degrees F
b.) Combine water, flour, and birdseed in a large bowl. Mix well.
c.) Line a baking sheet with foil
d.) Spray inside of cookie cutter with Pam and place on foil covered tray
e.) Have toddler hold the cut straw in the cookie cutter an inch from the top while you scoop seed mixture around it.
f.) Firmly press seed mixture until it reaches all edges up the cookie cutter.
g.) Bake in oven for 1 hour.
h.) Cool Completely. Once cool, gentry press biscuit out of cutter. Remove straw.
i.) Tie ribbon through hole to create hanger.
j.) Hang outside!
#2-Grow Rock Candy
Your tot will love watching these colored crystals grow! After learning about solids and liquids, they can enjoy the tasty treats.
-1 cup water
-2 – 2 ½ cups sugar
-Clear jar or cup
-¼ inch dowel
- Clip wooden dowel with clothespin, and hang in clear jar so dowel is an inch from bottom without touching any sides.
- Boil water. (Adult)
- Add ¼ cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Continue adding sugar in increments until it will not dissolve anymore – about 2 ½ cups. (Adult)
- Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
- Pour liquid into clear measuring cup, then pour into prepared jar with dowel.
- If you plan on eating the candy, push a hole into a cupcake liner and slide down dowel to cover mixture completely.
- Crystals will begin growing in three days.
#3-Sink or Float
Let your toddler delight in dropping items into a jug of water to see if it sinks or floats. They will learn a couple of new words, and their minds will begin forming all sorts of connections.
-Large clear bowl filled with water
-10 small objects
-Piece of paper
a.) Line small objects up on dish towel next to clear bowl.
b.) Let toddler drop items in one by one to see if it sinks or floats in water.
c.) After each item have your toddler repeat it “sinks” or “floats.”
d.) When they have gotten the hang of it, ask them to answer.
#4- Plant a Garden
Nothing brings quite as much enjoyment to kids as digging in the dirt. They love to scoop it, drop it, rake it (and occasionally eat it). Despite their young age, even toddlers take satisfaction in planting something in the ground and watching it grow.
-Children’s gardening gloves
-Vegetable and/or flower soil
-Selection of plants
- With your toddler, visit the local nursery and select the plants you’d like to grow in your garden. Let them choose a couple of plants they are interested in.
- Demonstrate how to use the shovel, then let your toddler dig a hole for the plant.
- Help them place a plant down into the hole.
- Place a bucket of soil next to your child, so they can easily scoop the soil up and fill the hole.
- Place a name marker in front of each plant.
- Help your child water the plant daily or as recommended.
There’s something magical about watching colors swirl together. You toddler will love creating his own piece of art while learning what colors look like when mixed together.
- Pour a little milk into a shallow plate or bowl
- Drop different colors of food coloring in various areas of the milk
- Dip popsicle stick into dish soap, then stick the coated stick in the milk
- Let your toddler enjoy twirling up a rainbow masterpiece!
Free up a Saturday afternoon in the near future and introduce your toddler to the fun world of science and exploration with one of these science experiments. All of the experiments listed above are safe, easy to implement, and fun enough to keep your toddlers entertained for hours.
Elli is a writer for Your Local Security. She was born in Colorado and now resides in Salt Lake City where she spends her time enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.