Children’s attention spans ages 3 to 5 years are still relatively short.
This list includes 12 of the most popular science sensory activities for preschoolers that are quick and EASY to do.
They will be learning, engaged, and smiling from ear to ear.
More importantly, you may even inspire that little scientist in them. 🙂
Also, be sure to stick around until the post to access a BONUS science sensory resource to use!
1. Flour Sensory Tray
Activity By: Hands On As We Grow
You most likely have these items at home! Simply pour flour onto a tray.
Let your little one explore the soft powdery texture with their fingers by drawing or making hand prints.
Kick up the fun by adding baking utensils or small toys (like cars, animals, or trains) for your child to get creative with.
Items Needed: Flour, Tray
Promotes: Tactile Sensory Stimulation and Creativity
2. Shaving Cream Rain Clouds
Activity By: One Little Project
The sky’s the limit with the color combos you want to create for your kiddos!
Most of these items you can get at the Dollar Store or you may already have at home.
Debbie Chapman, with One Little Project, likes to “use a rainbow assortment of colors to create something beautiful.”
- Pour water into a clear cup and top it off with shaving cream.
- In a few small one to two ounce containers add water.
- Then add different colors of food coloring into each small container (several droplets).
- Last, pour SMALL (super tiny) amounts of food coloring over the shaving cream using a syringe, eye dropper, or small measuring spoon.
By squeezing the small droplets over the shaving cream you won’t over saturate it or melt it too fast.
Watch in AWE as the gorgeous colors trickle through the shaving cream!
Items Needed: 1 can of shaving cream, Food coloring, Water, Clear glass, Small 1 to 2 ounce size containers, Eye dropper (you may also use a syringe or small measuring spoon)
Promotes: Visual and Tactile Stimulation, Fine Motor Skills
3. What Melts In The Sun?
Activity By: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls
Explore items that melt in the sun! This activity is super EASY to whip up on a hot sunny day.
Grab a muffin tin and fill it with different objects that may or may not melt.
Get your kiddo involved picking out what they want in the tin.
What does the experiment reveal? Did it melt or did it not?
That is the burning question. 🙂
Items Needed: Muffin tin, Objects of your choice (Examples like a coin, marble, chocolate, crayons, ice, cheese, soap, or butter)
Promotes: Tactile Sensory Stimulation, Taste, and Problem-Solving Skills
4. Otis and The Tornado Science Activity
Activity By: Stir The Wonder
For the weather fans, this is a combined booked inspired activity and science experiment in one!
Based upon the adorable kids book, Otis and The Tornado, you will make an actual TORNADO. 🙂
Take two empty bottles (like a plastic liter pop bottle) and add water to one bottle along with a splash of food coloring.
Then take hot glue to seal the empty bottle on top.
After it dries, duct tape both bottles together.
The glue PLUS tape ensures no leaks.
Shake away while you turn the bottle over and watch the water swirl through like a tornado!
For step-by-step instruction with images, visit Stir The Wonder.
Items Needed: 2 plastic liter bottles, Water, Food coloring, Hot glue, Duct tape
Promotes: Learning, Reading, Fine Motor Skills, Tactile and Visual Stimulation
5. Lemon Volcano
Activity By: Babble Dabble Do
This is a GREAT smelling science activity.
Combine the chemical reaction of baking soda and citric acid to make a lemon volcano.
You cut a lemon in half or core it.
Add the baking soda, food coloring, soap (which creates extra bubbles).
Take your stick to poke and combine the ingredients in the lemon.
Watch as it starts to ooze bubbly colors like a volcano!
For specific step-by-step instructions visit Babble Dabble Do.
Items Needed: 2 lemons, Baking soda, Food coloring, Craft stick, Dish soap, Tray, Cup
Promotes: Smell, Visual and Tactile Stimulation, Fine Motor Skills
6. Fluffy Slime
Activity By: Especially Education
The ULTIMATE tactile sensory activity.
Kids get a kick out of poking, pulling, twisting, and playing with the slime.
This easy-to-make slime recipe will have your kiddo playing in a jiff. 🙂
Get them involved in making it with you.
It is an excellent bonding activity that gives you one-on-one time.
For specific step-by-step instructions visit Especially Education.
Items Needed: (MIX these ingredients FIRST) … Shaving cream (3 cups), Glue (1/2 cup), Food coloring (five drops), Baking soda (1/2 teaspoon) THEN add Contact solution (1 tablespoon) … Stir and knead the slime with your hands … VOILA you made fluffy slime!
Promotes: Fine Motor Skills, Tactile Sensory Stimulation, Bonding experience
7. Two Color Oil and Water Discovery
Activity By: Play Trains!
What happens when you mix colored oil droplets and water together?
You create something mesmerizing!
You see beautiful pigments of oil droplets float on top of the water.
This is very SIMPLE to create.
Your kiddo will have a blast getting involved with this experiment too.
- Fill one plastic bottle halfway with water (add a couple drops of water based food coloring)
- Fill another plastic bottle almost full with cooking oil (take a long skewer stick to gather the oil based food coloring on it and then swirl it into the oil)
- Dump the oil into the water
Ta-Daaaaa, you see the colorful oil creation float on top of the water. 🙂
Items Needed: 2 plastic bottles, water-based food coloring, oil-based food coloring, long skewer stick (you can even add marbles or small objects to the water to intensify your visual experience).
Promotes: Visual stimulation, Fine Motor Skills, Hand-Eye Coordination
8. How Water Travels Through Leaves
Activity By: Buggy and Buddy
Explore how water moves through leaves.
This is a FUN experiment to create over a 3-day time period.
Find a leaf outside and slightly snip the end of the stem.
Put the stem into water with red food coloring.
Let it sit for three days.
The leaf will SLOWLY change its color!
Items Needed: Clear Cup, Water, Leaf, Red food color, Scissors, Magnifying glass (optional), Free observation sheet (optional)
Promotes: Imaginary exploration, Patience, Visual and Tactile Stimulation
9. Make Homemade Butter
Activity by: Mommy Poppins
I remember doing this activity when I was in 1st grade (probably because I’m a butter fanatic).
We all sat in a big circle and passed around a wooden jar that had heavy whipping cream in it.
Each of my classmates and teacher got a turn whipping the heavy whipping cream with the wooden jar stick.
By the end, we had butter! I was truly amazed.
This recipe is super quick and easy …
- One jar with a lid
- Pour heavy whipping cream into the jar
- SHAKE, shake, and shake until you have whipped butter!
The smaller the jar the faster it will take to make your butter.
For instance, a baby jar takes about 10 minutes to whip up.
For faster results or to support kids with upper extremity challenges, use a hand mixer for blending the heavy whipping cream in a bowl.
Items Needed: Jar with a lid, Heavy whipping cream OR bowl, hand mixer, heavy whipping cream
Promotes: Fine Motor Skills, Taste, Encourages focus
10. Exploding Milk
Activity By: Blooming Brilliant
This science experiment is EXPLODES of fun, literally!
The chemical reactions of baking soda and vinegar get the milk moving and grooving.
- Pour milk into a bowl
- Drop various hues of food coloring into the bowl
- Add a squeeze of liquid dish soap to the center of the bowl … do you see what happens?
- Sprinkle some baking soda on top
- Then add white vinegar … NOW what do you see what happens??
Items Needed: Clear bowl, Food coloring, Dish soap, Baking soda, White vinegar
Promotes: Color recognition, Fine Motor Skills, Visual Stimulation
11. Bubbly Lemonade
Activity By: Intensive Therapy for Kids
My son is lover of lemons, lemonade, and ANYTHING with a sour punch.
He was never one of those kiddos that made the “silly face” when trying a lemon for the first time.
For this easy experiment, watch your lemonade concoction bubble in ACTION.
- Cut two lemons in half
- Juice the lemons into a clear glass over a tray
- Add baking soda (1/4 teaspoon) … Does it start to bubble like crazy?
- Add water for a “visually stimulating effect” as it pours over the glass onto the tray
Items Needed: 2 lemons, Baking soda, Water, Clear glass, Tray
Promotes: Enhance Sense of Smell, Fine Motor Skills, Visual and Tactile Stimulation
12. Salt Painting
Activity By: A Dab of Glue Will Do
This simple art activity turns into a cool science experiment.
Draw a glue design on a piece of paper (like a letter or number) and pour salt over it.
After it dries, take a dropper (that has water color paint and water mixed in it) and pour it onto the salt.
Watch the beautiful colors absorb!
It transforms your glue drawing into a colorful piece of art. 🙂
Follow the specific step-by-step instructions at A Dab of Glue Will Do.
Items Needed: Paper, Pencil, Bottle of Glue, Salt, Water color paint, Dropper, Tray, Plastic cup
Promotes: Fine Motor Skills, Color recognition
I want to wrap up by extending my gratitude to thank you for stopping by today!
If you have more science sensory activities for preschoolers to recommend, questions, or anything to add that I did not cover in this post, please feel free to comment below.
If you found this information helpful, please click the sidebar link to share with someone else. 🙂
Affiliate Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support and engagement which keeps this website alive!