3 Easy No-Prep Preschool Science Experiments

This week has been a rough one. Three out of four in our family went down with a stomach bug, which meant we were all mostly camped out on the couch watching Disney +. (We did manage to fit in a Toy Story marathon in one day! High five!) But I'm not one for camping out on the couch, so needless to say I've been itching for something different to do with the kiddos. 

Armed with very little energy but the desire to actually interact with my kids, we came up with three low prep pre-school style science experiments. The kids absolutely adored them! 

So here they are! If you're in a low prep mood like me, you don't need much to pull these off and impress your 3-5 year old! 

Bonus! Click Here for a printable with step by step instructions and space to fill in the results of the experiments!

1) Experiment: Sink or Float

Ok, so maybe Blippi lent inspo to this easy peasy experiment, but it's a tried and true experiment that kids loved! My five year old and I took it an extra step used the scientific method to form our conclusion!

Question: Will this toy sink or float when submerged in water?

Materials: We chose 5 items to submerge (which undoubtedly ended up being far more). We then made observations on the items.
  • Oalf: Made of plastic and hollow
  • Car: Made of metal and solid
  • Thomas the Train: Made of metal and solid
  • Stamp: Made or porous wood and rubber
  • Cargo Train: Made of porous wood and metal wheels
Additional Materials: 
  • Large sink, bucket or tank
  • Water

  • Fill large bucket, tank or sink 3/4 full with water
  • Collect several toys to drop into water
  • Observe if item sinks or floats in water

Data Collected:

  • Oalf: Float
  • Car: Sink
  • Thomas the Train: Sink
  • Stamp: Float
  • Cargo Train: Float
Conclusion: Based on our data we collected, my 5 year old determined that plastic items float, wood items float and metal items sink. I explained that our sample size wasn't large enough to declare these results to be true, but by then the kids had begun throwing in more items!  We spent the better part of an hour throwing toys in the sink! ha!

Side note: Make sure the kids don't throw any battery operated toys in the water!

Bonus! My 3 year old enjoyed this activity so much, he ripped off his clothes just to see if they would sink or float. They float. 👍

2) Experiment: Colorful Flowers

This is a very low prep experiment but it does require patience, since the result are not instant! But the results are beautiful and super cool! Kids love the magic of the colorful petals!

Question: What happens when I soak white flowers in food coloring? Bonus question: Which color will work its magic first?

  • White or light colored freshly cut flowers
  • Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Glass cups or jars

  • Fill cups 1/3 full with water
  • Drop food coloring in separate cups (we had a yellow, blue and green cup)
  • Place freshly cut flowers into the color water cups
  • Observe any changes to the color of the flowers

Data Collected:
  • The yellow flower began to show signs of food coloring in less than an hour!
  • The blue flower began to show sign of food coloring after 5 hours!
  • The green flower was the last to show signs of food coloring after 12 hours! 😲
Conclusion: The lighter the color, the quicker the petals will change.

Bonus: Several days later and these flowers are still sitting on our counter top! Several times each day my 5 year old will observe the flowers and inform me of any updates! She really loved this experiment!

3) Experiment: Vinegar and Baking Soda Artwork 

Another low prep activity that my kids absolutely loved.... especially since the results were instant, exciting and quite pretty!

Question: What happens when vinegar is mixed with  baking soda? And are we able to make beautiful artwork with the result?

  • Food Coloring
  • White Vinegar
  • Cups
  • Baking Soda
  • Medicine Dropper
  • Pan (we used an 8 inch pie tin)


  • Fill cups about 1/4 full with vinegar
  • Drop food coloring into each cup (our colors were again green, blue and yellow)
  • Fill pan 1/4-1/2 inch full with baking soda
  • Use medicine dropper to drop different colors into the baking soda!

Data: The results of this experiment were instant and quite exciting! The kids loved watching the bubbly reaction of the vinegar and baking soda and the different colors made it so pretty to experience!

Bonus! We had some extra fun watching the different colors mix together during their reactions and declaring that yellow and blue do in fact, make green!

Bonus Bonus! Probably the best part of the experiment was when we decided to ditch the medicine dropper and dump the remaining vinegar in the pie tin... boy did it fizz! (Think of that old erupting volcano experiment here.)

My Final Thoughts: The kids enjoyed these activities so much, we've decided to make science experiments a part of our weekly routine... so I'll definitely have to be a bit more prepared next time with some more complex and exciting experiments!

Remember to download the printable Here. The printable provides step by step instructions and space to fill in the results of the experiments!

Until next time!


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