This preschool STEAM program was a huge hit! We had a blast and made a pretty big mess along the way, all in name of learning a little science!
I was impressed with how well this program went, despite having several messy activities. This is a great example of how prep work and instructions can make or break a program!
Station #1: Fizzy Ice Volcanoes
Playing with baking soda and vinegar!
- 3-5 boxes of baking soda
- Pie pans
- Items for playing: scoops, droppers, tablespoons, etc.
- Food coloring (optional)
Prior to the program (at least 24 hours), make baking soda “volcanoes” by mixing baking soda with just a little bit of water in pie pans and freezing them. Mix the baking soda with enough water to make a sludgy mud, not a soup.
I made 5 volcanoes and my program had approximately 25 children.
On the day of the program, I set up an ice volcano play station with cooking utensils, scoops, droppers, and food coloring. I set out two bowls of vinegar to make the fizz. I also put out lab goggles just for the cute factor. The children played with these volcanoes until they were nothing but water-vinegar-foodcoloring-bakingsoda mush. Another cool thing about them is that, because they are frozen, you can easily rinse them off between children and they will be like new!
Station #2: Pop Rock Balloons
Blowing up balloons with pop rocks and soda!
- Pop rocks
- Funnels (optional)
There wasn’t any prep work for this activity, other than making instructions for the parents (I’ve learned they appreciate this).
Download my instructional cards in PDF format here.
Just sit out all the supplies with instructions and let them go! I did pull up a cart for the families to put their used sodas on. In the future, I think I would try to use small soda bottles to be less wasteful.
- Put the Pop Rocks in the balloon.
- Stretch the balloon over the soda.
- Dump the Pop Rocks in and watch it expand!
Station #3: Alka Seltzer Experiments
Testing rate of reactions with fizzy Alka Seltzers! I found this experiment straight from Alka Seltzer’s website.
- Samll clear cups
- Pitcher of water
- Alka Seltzer (3 per child)
- Small plastic bags
Make instructional sheets / recording sheets. OR you can just use mine!
While not 100% necessary, I did prep the Alka Seltzers by making a bag for every child of everything they needed: a whole Alka Seltzer, a chopped Alka Seltzer, and a crushed Alka Seltzer. Depending on your crowd, this could just mean more work for you. My crowds can sometimes get large and parents often come with several children, so I try to help by prepping extra beforehand.
Set up the station and let them experiment! I provided a cart for used cups of fizzy water.