Science Activities for Toddlers


Toddlers are naturally curious about the world around them. Use this to your advantage by engaging them with science activities. Presenting information with age-appropriate terms and corresponding activities can prepare young children for more advanced scientific knowledge. Although toddlers won't understand complex subjects such as photosynthesis, they can easily grasp that "plants need light to grow." Use a variety of methods to introduce eager toddlers to an interesting world of scientific discovery.

Container Gardening

  • Give toddlers a chance to develop their "green thumbs" with gardening activities. Explain that seeds grow into plants if given soil, water, light and proper care. Choose large seeds that grow easily and can withstand container gardening. Suitable options include lima beans, strawberries and wild flower mixes. Germinate your selection prior to planting so that your toddler can see the "fruits" of his or her labor faster. Gather a planter, watering can and potting soil for the "planting ceremony." Help your toddler insert and cover the seeds with an adequate amount of soil. Assist in watering the seedling and choosing a sunny location for its final resting spot. Watch with your toddler as the small seed grows into a healthy plant. Transferring the plant to a larger container or an outdoor garden when it outgrows its initial pot can serve as a reward for your new "green-thumbed" toddler.

Exploring Nature

  • Take toddlers on fun nature walks to observe plants and animals in their natural surroundings. Embark on ventures during each season for exposure to a variety of environmental changes. A simple walk to the mailbox or from the car can be an opportunity to impart scientific knowledge. For example, pointing out how some leaves change colors during autumn can spark curiosity in toddlers. Travel to a variety of locations such as ponds, beaches and the countryside. Treat toddlers with periodic visits to zoos, public gardens and farms. Ask toddlers to recall the animals and vegetation they saw while on their special trips.

Watching Science Programming

  • Expose toddlers to a variety of scientific concepts viewed from the comfort of your home. Kid-friendly shows such as "Bindi the Jungle Girl," "Go, Diego, Go" and "Sid the Science Kid" present scientific concepts in age-appropriate terms. Documentaries such as "March of the Penguins" and "Disney Nature Earth" also make suitable options for curious thinkers. Challenge toddlers to recall the lessons learned during each viewing session.


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