Science fair ideas that meet kindergarten learning outcomes, use everyday items, and encourage kids to investigate, observe and ask questions are great. Science fair projects give students opportunities to measure, test, problem solve, learn new vocabulary and/or make and classify collections.
They provide opportunities for children to record their observations and the information they’ve learned from their experiences, to think about the layout of their presentation and to practise sounding out words, printing and drawing diagrams.
1. Friction Study
This kindergarten science fair idea was a favorite in my classroom.
They enjoyed testing the different blocks and then changing the slope of the ramp and testing the blocks again.
- 5 or 6 identical wooden blocks
- a piece of firm non-corrugated cardboard (mat board) for a ramp
- 5 or six squares of materials the same size as the block (silky fabric, firm plastic, sandpaper, cardboard)
- Duplo type blocks for ramp.
- Tape the materials on the bottom of each block (See image above).
- Rub wax on one block and polish it.
- Leave one block with nothing on it.
- Gather about 10 Duplo blocks to make a good slant for the ramp.
- Test each block by placing it at the top of the ramp and observing how fast or slow it slides down the ramp.
- Challenge the children to think about why some blocks slide faster or slower.
- Help child record his/her ideas.
2. Plant Experiment
This kindergarten science fair idea requires extra time to grow a few fast growing plants.
- 5 or 6 quick growing plants in individual pots (radishes, beans), Vaseline, sand
- When the plants are about 3 inches high:
- Put one plant in a cupboard with no light
- Transplant one plant into sand rather than soil
- Don’t water one plant
- Put Vaseline under the leaves of one plant
- Leave one plant alone – place in the light and water it
2. Observe the growth of each plant
3. Measure the plant growth with Unifix blocks®
4. Record each plant’s growth
5. Talk about why some plants grew taller and some didn’t.
6. Help child record his/her ideas.
3. Dog Study
This kindergarten science fair idea is a fun experiment, but I don’t guarantee the results!
- a few simple sound makers (a bell, a triangle, a harmonica)
- dog snacks
- Make the bell sound and then give the dog a snack.
- Do 2 or 3 times everyday for a week. Hopefully, the pet will relate the noise to the food.
- Make the noise in a different room and see if the dog comes for a snack.
- After a week, try a different sound.
- See if the dog comes for a snack.
- Try a few other sounds.
- Try the original sound again and observe what happens.
- Record what happened with the different sounds and the bell sound.
- Talk about what happened
- Help child record his/her ideas.
4. Air Study
This science fair idea requires supervision and that the child learns safety precautions with fans.
The children in my classroom enjoyed experimenting not only with the classroom fan, but also with the air coming through the floor vents.
- a household fan
- bits of feathers, fabric, various weights of paper
- a row of Unifix cubes™ in front of the fan for measuring
1. Hold an item in front of the fan and let it go.
2. Observe how far it goes.
3. Count the blocks to record how far it floated.
4. Talk about what happened and why some items floated farther.
5. Help child record his/her ideas.
5. Mold Growth
Safety precaution – Don’t open the bags, as mold spores will come out, just throw them in the garbage.
- a piece of white bread
- a piece of whole wheat bread
- 2 heavy duty clear freezer bags
- packing tape
1. Put a piece of white bread and a piece of 100% whole wheat bread in two separate large heavy-duty freezer bags.
2. Seal the top of the bags with clear packing tape so the children do not open them.
3. Let the bags sit for a week or longer.
4. Observe the bags daily and record changes to the inside of the bag and the bread.
5. Talk about what happened in each bag.
6. If different phenomena occurred in each bag, ask why.
7. Help child record his/her ideas.
6. Bug Study
- a shoe box
- a piece of cereal box
- some grass, moss, sticks
- a few bugs
- Cut a cardboard divider to fit in the middle of the shoe box. Put a hole in the bottom of the divider. Place grass, sticks, etc and bugs in the box in both sides.
- Keep one side moist by sprinkling little bits of water on it and keep one side dry.
- After a day or two observe what side the bugs prefer.
- Discuss why the insects preferred the moist side (hopefully they did!) and record the child’s ideas.
- Let the bugs go!
For any science fair idea that includes living things, follow these guidelines…
When teaching science, include teaching children how to respect and treat living creatures when studying them. Tapping on bug bottles, shaking the container, leaving living things in the hot sun should all be discouraged.
Teach the “Four Ls”
Look at them, learn about them, let them go (after an hour or two), then leave them alone.
7. Bird feeder Studies
- bird feeders
- different foods and seeds
1. Put different seeds and food in various bird feeders or areas of the backyard (where cats can’t reach) and record which food is in each feeder
2. Observe and record which birds come to each feeder
3. Talk about which bird came to which feeder and why.
4. Help kids to record their observations.
8. Nest Study
This is a great kindergarten science fair idea if you have found an old bird’s nest.
1. Have the child photograph the nest first if a camera is available.
2. Let the child examine the nest with a magnifying glass and use tweezers to pick the nest apart and sort it into piles. Read kindergarten sorting tips
3. Record what man made and natural materials the bird used.
4. Talk about why the birds chose the materials they did.
5. Help child to record his/her ideas and observations.