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Science "lessons" and experiments for a two year old?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My husband wanted to do some science-y type things with our two year old - experiments and lessons and things that would generally show her that science is fun and interesting. Any ideas for things that a two year old would grasp?
post #2 of 17
http://science.preschoolrock.com/

there are probably some things a 2 year old would enjoy
post #3 of 17
I recently got my kids a marble run. I mostly set it up for them, they get to drop the marbles in and watch what happens. Physics in action!

I recommend the plastic kind for young kids; I got mine from Discount School Supply. Although the wooden ones are lovely, the blocks slide out of position very easily, which my kids find frustrating. The wooden ones are nice when the kids are old enough to build it themselves.

This is also a great age to be doing a lot of nature observation, growing plants, examining insects, talking about life cycles, etc.

-Sonja
post #4 of 17
I think it's adorable that her dad wants to do science experiments with her, but it occurs to me that a lot of what she's doing right now is science-y. If he takes her to the playground, she's learning about physics with everything she plays on - the swings, ladders, bars, carousel, everything - even though it doesn't have a "lesson" feel to it for him, it's certainly experimental and new and educational to her. When she's playing in the bathtub or wading pool, same thing - she's seeing how water works when she plays with water toys. I loved the site Elizawill linked to - it's just real everyday stuff, but real everyday stuff is brand new to a two year old! Lillian
post #5 of 17
Playing in corn starch:

http://www.kidzone.ws/science/cornstarch.htm


Working with different strength magnifying glasses.

Magnet building sets (with VERY close supervision, at least until she's older). We have some that aren't super strong like the ones that kill kids when they eat them.

Another magnet activity: "Place small metal objects like screws,nuts, paper clips,metal chips, and small non-metal objects like plastic toys and chalk in a baking pan. Pour cornmeal over the objects to cover them. Move a magnet slowly over the surface until one object moves. Have the children find the other metal objects that are attracted to the magnet. Discuss a magnet and why things are attracted to it. Place different items under the cornmeal and have the children guess whether the objects will move or not. Variations: oatmeal, rice, or barley could also be used to cover the objects."

Soak seeds and "dissect" them so you can see where the plant grows from.

Static electricity with a balloon.

Make rain: "Boil some water in a pot until steam forms above it. Then fill a pie pan with ice cubes and hold it above the pot in the steam "cloud." Have the children observe that when the steam comes in contact with the cool air from the pie pan, drops of water form and fall back into the pot like rain."

Growing plants from seeds, especially things you can eat! Green beans are pretty easy to grow. You can also grow alfalfa sprouts on paper towels.

Tornado tube:

http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000093


Make playdough.

Discover all 5 senses.

Catch bugs and watch them for a day. Let her feed them and give them grass to climb on.

Solid, liquid, and gas. Show her how you put water in the freezer to make it a solid, let it melt to run it back into liquid, and heat it on the stove to turn it into gas. Put the lid over the pot to catch the steam and show her it turns back into a liquid.

Color mixing. Here's a cute idea: "This is a terrific visual experience of color changes. Make red, yellow and blue ice cubes using food coloring and water. Place one red and one yellow ice cube in a ziplock baggie, one red and one blue ice cube in a ziplock baggie, and one yellow and one blue ice cube in a ziplock baggie. Place them in the science area. As the colored ice cubes melt they create new colors."

Make a birdfeeder and a birdbath.

Spray a hose with your back to the sun to make a rainbow.

I've done a bunch of these with my 4 year old and I don't know how much a 2 year old will grasp, but it is still fun and educational. Even if she doesn't FULLY grasp these things, she'll still learn from them.
post #6 of 17
Cornstarch & water, baking soda & vinegar - just simple combining two substances to see a reaction of some type. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on experiments at that age - I'm sure you could find lots of stuff around the house that would qualify as a science experiment.
post #7 of 17
Mentos in a diet Coke

We're big fans of nature walks. Pointing out animals and different trees and flowers and bugs. If she likes to glue things you can do a flower diagram...
post #8 of 17
Second the baking soda and vinegar. For extra "cool" points, put food coloring in the vinegar. Then you get rainbow volcanos...which are pretty darn cool.
post #9 of 17
The book Mudpies to Magnets has gentle science experiments for the very young. I highly suggest it for fun ideas.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
The book Mudpies to Magnets has gentle science experiments for the very young. I highly suggest it for fun ideas.
yep. A good place to start.
post #11 of 17

try using baking soda, vinegar in a empty soda bottle to blow up a balloon.

post #12 of 17

yeah, second the idea that pretty much everything she is doing right now is science. What's science? Testing hypotheses. What do 2 year olds do? Try things out. Again and again ;-).

 

All that said, there are some really cool experiments on here! Enjoy!

post #13 of 17

CAREFUL about marbles and other small objects that can get into little mouths and throats! The marble runs will usually come with a notice that they're not suitable for little ones - they should only be around older children.

 

- Lillian

post #14 of 17

Haven't read the responses.

 

We do mixing colors like different colored water and pouring them into one another. BS and vinegar to make "explosions". Goop with cornstarch and water. Lots of bug identification and learning. Talking about weather...
 

post #15 of 17

You can never get enough of Dancing Raisins.   You mix water, some vinegar and some baking soda in a glass, then add a small handful of raisins.  Hours (sometimes) of fun!  Be ready to do this one over and over and over.  

 

In fact, if you find a cool "experiment" be prepared to do it over and over and over.  Dancing raisins can easily be assembled by a 2yo if all the necessities are handy.  Because you know that he's going to ask right you to do it right at the last 10 minutes of trying to pull dinner together!

 

Nat'l Geo. Little Kids always has a fun experiment inside its pages every month.

post #16 of 17

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

CAREFUL about marbles and other small objects that can get into little mouths and throats! The marble runs will usually come with a notice that they're not suitable for little ones - they should only be around older children.

 

- Lillian

 

You can use split tubes from tp and paper towels and a ping pong ball instead, if you are concerned about choking.  

We love pvc pipes here for building large stages, forts, etc.  

post #17 of 17

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

CAREFUL about marbles and other small objects that can get into little mouths and throats! The marble runs will usually come with a notice that they're not suitable for little ones - they should only be around older children.

 

- Lillian

 

You can use split tubes from tp and paper towels and a ping pong ball instead, if you are concerned about choking.  

We love pvc pipes here for building large stages, forts, etc.  

 

 

That sounds like FUN!  smile.gif

 

 -  Lillian

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