Animals, Concepts, Math, Spring, STEM

Bug Graphing

Bug Graphing STEM activity for preschoolers

Add some STEM fun into your preschooler’s learning with this bug graphing activity!

Bug Graphing Activity:

Start by printing this free template. The bug graphing template includes the di, colored tiles, and graphing chart. I used regular printer paper; however, if you use cardstock, then your dice will be much sturdier.

Begin by cutting out the dice. Gently fold the gray tabs inward. Then begin to fold your squares into a cube shape. Add some glue to the tabs and glue them onto the underside of the squares as you form your cube. The very last tab is hard to glue and might require tape. Once your cube is formed, set it aside to dry.

Cut out all of the colored tiles. You will have 4 of each color–red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Each color corresponds with one of the bugs. My printer’s ink turned out to be darker than how it looked on my screen, so the blue and purple on the bugs were a little hard to distinguish. Here’s the color scheme: ladybug=red, butterfly=orange, bee=yellow, grasshopper=green, dragonfly=blue, and ant=purple.

Now it is time to begin bug graphing. Ask you child to gently roll the di. What color bug is on top? Is it a yellow bee? Take a tile of the same color and set it on the graph above the corresponding-colored bug. Keep rolling the dice and setting tiles in the correct columns until you reach the top of the column. Since you are not gluing the colored tiles to the chart, you can use this activity over and over again. The grasshopper was the first to reach the top for us. Which bug made it to the top of your graph first?

Why STEM?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. It is important to introduce these concepts to preschoolers in a fun way so that as they get older, they are excited about STEM subjects. What are preschoolers learning in this activity? Preschoolers are learning their colors (science)! They have to identify the color on the di, find the same color on the chart, and then correctly add the same color tile to the graph. Preschoolers are learning how to graph, an important math concept! Add some extra math into this activity by counting how many of each color tile is on your graph and how many tiles your have altogether. Preschoolers are also learning about engineering as they help build the di!

More STEM Activities

If your child enjoyed this graphing activity, I made a free blank di template so you can customize it with your own pictures. You can add computer images, stickers, or draw whatever you want on the dice and graph for your child to practice more graphing skills.

Check out my STEM activities: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/stem/

Bug Stuff!

My son is really interested in bugs and I’m sure a lot of your kids are too! We have made some great bug crafts together and enjoy playing with these bug finger puppets. The finger puppets look pretty life like and allow us to exam bugs without having to hold real ones! You can your own set through the Amazon Affiliate link posted above. I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program to help cover the costs of my site. If you buy a product through one my links, then I may get a small percentage of the sale at no additional costs to you.

STEM

Paper Plate Shape Weaving Activity

Paper Plate Shape Weaving Activity

This paper plate shape weaving activity is great for preschooler’s fine motor skills and shape recognition. Kids get to paint and wrap yarn! As they wrap the yarn, talk about how many sides the shape has and how many points it has. Ask you child what their favorite shape is!

Supplies needed:

  • paper plate
  • watercolor paints
  • paint brush
  • cup of water
  • scissors
  • yarn
  • tape

How To:

Pick a shape you would like to make. There are so many possibilities — square, triangle, heart, circle, a star, and more! My son made a star as part of our Learning Letter S Week.

Start by drawing a shape in the center of the plate and cutting it out.

Kids can paint the plate with a variety of watercolors; be creative! My preschooler loved using paints and had a lot of fun with this activity. Let your plate dry before wrapping it with yarn.

Pick out yarn or string to wrap around your plate. I had some of this rose colored yarn left over from a crochet project, so we used it for this craft. I suggest cutting a 36-inch piece of yarn. You can always cut off any excess yarn when your child is done weaving.

Tape one end of the yarn to the back of the plate and then let your child start wrapping. When you are finished wrapping yarn, cut the yarn (if you have extra) and tape the end to the back of the plate.

You can repeat this paper plate shape weaving activity with other shapes and make a whole bunch. Be sure to make your favorite shape!

Looking for more shape ideas?

-Make shapes out of plastic cups and craft sticks: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/2021/07/27/lets-make-shapes/

-Basic Shapes Penguin Craft: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/2022/01/17/basic-shapes-penguin-craft/

-Worksheet — Matching Shapes: draw a line connecting all of the matching shapes.

-Worksheet — Shape Shadow Matching: draw a line from the shape to its matching shadow.

books, STEM

Robot Books

Robot Books for preschoolers
Robot Books

My son is really interested in robots and we have been searching our library for robot books. We found some awesome ones and some that really didn’t keep my son’s interest. We’ve rounded up the best ones (in our opinions) to share with you!

9 Great Robot Books

Spacebot

1. Spacebot by Mike Twohy—

My son LOVES this book! He actually clapped after I read it to him! A mysterious UFO lands in Dog’s backyard. A robot space dog appears and Dog is excited to someone who looks like a dog. However, it is the household appliances that the visitor is here for, and they come to life and start to fly around! When play time is over, the appliances return home. Poor Dog feels left out of the fun! Robot space dog gives Dog a special nose and now it is Dog’s turn for adventure! This poetic, rhyming book is absolutely amazing. The story and the pictures will capture your child’s imagination.

Doug Unplugs on the Farm

2. Doug Unplugs on the Farm by Dan Yaccarino—

Doug and his robot family are traveling through the countryside to visit Doug’s grandbots. The family plugs into the car to receive knowledge about farms. Doug gets lots of interesting farm facts. However, when the car gets stuck and Doug gets to explore an actual farm he finds that hands-on experiences are way cool! Doug combines his new knowledge with the farm facts that he learned to help free the family car.

3. Go, Otto, Go by David Milgrim—

The adventures of Otto the robot are sure to delight the preschool crowd. Otto is a space robot visiting Earth. Otto misses his family so he builds a robot to take him. Read this funny story to find out if he make the spaceship fly. Otto has several more books, each one sparsely worded with humorous pictures!

Robots, Robots Everywhere!

4. Robots, Robots Everywhere by Sue Fliess—

In this awesomely illustrated story, we learn how robots are such a huge part of our lives! Robots are in our house, in factories, in the ocean, and even in space — robots are everywhere! Preschoolers will enjoy the rhyming text and might even start thinking of places where they’ve seen robots too.

Pete the Cat: Robo-Pete

5. Pete the Cat: Robo-Pete by James Dean —

This book combines preschoolers’ love of Pete the Cat with their love of robots for a story they are sure to enjoy! When Pete’s friends do not want to play the same things he does, Pete builds a robot to play with him. The fun doesn’t last long when Robo-Pete gets out of control! Pete learns that you can’t replace good friends. So even if his friends don’t always want to play the same thing, playing with good friends is fun anyway.

Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot

6. Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara—

Loosely based on The Three Little Pigs story, this book is a giggle-inducing space and robot adventure. The little aliens set out to build themselves homes, only to have the big, bad robot knock down the first two homes. Will the aliens be safe in a house made of bricks with solar panels and a telescope? Great tool for learning about the planets and interstellar travel! This book is little on the long side and may not be ideal for wiggly kiddos; parents can skip parts to make it shorter if needed.

Love, Z

7. Love, Z by Jessie Sima–

A young robot discovers a message in a bottle that is signed “Love, Beatrice.” The robot asks the older robots what love is. “Does not compute” they reply as they read the young robot its favorite bedtime story, tuck it in, turn on a nightlight, and give a goodnight kiss. The young robot sets on an adventure to find Beatrice and learn the meaning of love. Along its travels it finds other animals and people who try their best to explain what love means to them, but none of these explanations compute. Finally, the robot meets Beatrice. Beatrice says that love makes her feel safe and cozy and cared for. The young robot realizes that he knows that feeling! Now he has a name for it — love.

Red Rover; Curiosity on Mars

8. Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars by Richard Ho—

This is a non-fiction story about the Curiosity Rover on Mars. It is written in story format with lots of facts sprinkled in at an easy to understand level. We discovered this book when my son was 4-years old and he fell in love with this book! It has 2 of his favorite things: space and robots! Originally we checked it out from our library, but we ended up buying this one. The pictures are fantastic and my son learned so much about Mars and the Rovers! This lead us to explore Nasa Kids Club, which has tons of kid-friendly space information, games, STEM activities, and things to make at home.

Boy Plus Bot

9. Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman —

You are going to love this sweet story about a boy and robot. After the two meet and spend a day playing, Bot powers down. The boy thinks Bot is sick and tries all of the usual home remedies to help his friend feel better. Unfortunately nothing works. The boy eventually falls asleep next to Bot. When Bot powers back on, it thinks the boy is sick! Bot tries all of the usual robot remedies, but none of them help the boy. The wakes up and both are well and ready to resume playing!

robot picture

Check your library for these and other robot books. To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program. If you buy a book through one of my links, then I get a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support! Happy Reading:)

Take a look at this cute little Robot rhyme:

STEM

Edible Cereal Rainbow Activity

Edible cereal rainbow activity

Make a rainbow out of Froot Loops for an edible cereal rainbow activity! With marshmallow clouds, who could resist this yummy activity. My coworker made one and showed it me and I had to try it with my son! We enjoyed making this together and redid our rainbow several times trying different color patterns. In addition to being fun and yummy, there are several educational applications to this activity– work on fine motor skills, color recognition, rainbow order or make up your own patterns!

Supplies Needed:

  • Froot Loops
  • 2 large marshmallows
  • 1 pipe cleaner (we used white)
  • scissors

How To:

First, cut your pipe cleaner in half. We used a white pipe cleaner. Pick whichever color you like, but keep in mind that you will see the pipe cleaner in-between the cereal pieces.

Then stick one end of the pipe cleaner into a marshmallow. Now it’s Froot Loops time! We dumped some Froot Loops onto a paper plate for my son to use for this activity. He did a fantastic job getting his rainbow colors in the correct order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Carefully string each cereal piece down the pipe cleaner.

Leave a little bit of the pipe cleaner empty at the end so that you can stick into the second marshmallow. Carefully bend your pipe cleaner into a rainbow shape. Now your Froot Loops rainbow should stand freely on top of the marshmallows.

My son and I each made an edible cereal rainbow activity and I love how they turned out. We enjoyed munching on the Froot Loops and the marshmallows as we went along too! If you enjoyed this activity, check out our Froot Loops Tower and have more yummy fun.

books, Concepts, STEM

Colors Books

Colors Books
Colors Books for Preschoolers

One of the first things parents usually teach their preschoolers are colors. Colors are all around us and so pretty too! Here are 15 preschooler approved colors books to read with your little one. These are not only great stories, but also a fun way to work on color identification!

Colors Books

What Makes a Rainbow

1. What Makes a Rainbow by Betty Ann Schwartz

This is such a cool book — not only does it devote a page to each color, it has a matching color ribbon that stretches across each page. As you turn the page, you accumulate more colored ribbons until you end up with a rainbow! It is truly amazing to see the rainbow at the end of the book. I read this one everyone year to my library preschool storytime group, so I knew my son would love it too. I ended up buying this book because it a great story, fantastic color teaching tool, and the ribbon rainbow is an awesome concept.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. —

This book is a preschool classic for good reasons— it is a lot of fun to read and Eric Carle’s illustrations are great! Learn colors with brown bear as it spies many beautifully colored animals. It’s fun to guess what animal corresponds to the color the bear sees.

Planting a Rainbow

3. Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert —

We love Lois Ehlert’s books! They always have great pictures. In this book and child helps mom plant a flower garden in a rainbow of colors. The book shows a great step-by-step guide to the planting process for children. Once the flowers bloom, each color is highlighted in its own spread and the names of the flowers are given.

A Color of His Own

4. A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni–

A chameleon is sad that he doesn’t have a color of his own. The thing about chameleons is that they change to the color of what ever they touch. So if they are on a green leaf, they turn green and if they are in a yellow flower, they turn yellow. as the chameleon walks along and the seasons change, so does the chameleon. It is feeling very sad about it’s color changing until it meets another chameleon. The new friend promises that they will stick together and even though they will still change colors, at least they will look the same.

Red is a Dragon

5. Red is a Dragon: a book of colors by Roseanne Thong–

This book helps reinforce color recognition by talking about one color per spread. Told in simple, rhyming text, this is a story about a girl who spots the colors of the rainbow everywhere around her. She goes in rainbow color order, pointing out food, clothing, animals, flowers, toys, clouds, and household items. A glossary at the end of the book explains some of the things that preschoolers might not be familiar with to help further discussion with your kiddo. We had to look up one of the fruits that I didn’t know, so I was learning new stuff too!

Baby Bear Sees Blue

6. Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff—

Wow. The illustrations are beautiful in this book about a baby and mommy bear. Baby bear wakes in the spring to a beautiful world filled with bright colors. Each spread focuses on a different color as the bear makes its way out of the cave and explores the forest. A rain storm causes the bears to go back to their cave, but when they look out after the storm has passed they see a rainbow!

I Love My White Shoes

7. I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin —

This is the first Pete the Cat book in the series. It is a sing-song, rhyming, cute story about a cool cat who steps in lots of stuff as he is walking down the road. He steps in blueberries, strawberries, mud, and finally a bucket of water. Kids will love singing along with Pete about how much he loves his shoes no matter what color or how wet they are!

Mouse Paint

8. Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh–

Three white mice find three jars of paint. One jar is red, one is yellow, and one is blue. The jars are perfect size for the mice to squeeze into and get covered in paint. Paint splashed out of the jars. When the mice step into the paint puddles, the paint changes colors. This book is a great introduction to mixing colors.

Bear Sees Colors

9. Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson —

This is one of my favorite colors books! It does a great job of showing the colors in an easy to recognize way and features one of my favorite storybook characters, Bear. Bear and friends explore the beauty of the forest around them, noting a new color on each spread. This book showcases the beauty of the natural world while teaching color recognition. Take a color walk of your own after reading this and see what colors you have outside!

Dog's Colorful Day

10. Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd —

In this fun book, Dog, a white dog with one black spot, goes about its day, getting lots of colored spots on its coat. Not only does the reader get to work on color recognition, but also counting as more and more spots appear on Dog! Emma Dodd’s illustrations are cheerful and appealing. Preschoolers will enjoy Dog’s colorful day!

The Day the Crayons Quit

11. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt–

A boy named Duncan opens his crayon box one day to find a note from his crayons saying they quit. Each crayon has a complaint–blue has to color too much sky and water, Pink feels neglected, orange and yellow are fighting over which one is the true color of the sun, gray gets tired from coloring the largest animals, and black wants to do more than outline! You and your kiddo will giggle your way through this book 🙂 After listening the the crayons’ complaints, Duncan uses his imagination to draw a fantastic picture that makes everyone happy!

I Love Colors!

12. I Love Colors! by Hans Wilhelm —

This story is short, but great. It teaches about mixing the primary colors to make new colors! The cute white dog, named Noodles, in this story uses its tail as a paintbrush. A big mess ensues and soon Noodles is covered in paint and looks like a rainbow. Preschoolers will be just as delighted as Noodle is to discover that we can mix colors and will want to try and mix colors too!

Mix it Up

13. Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet–

Wow, this is a super fun and interactive book! The reader is asked to touch the colors and help mix them up on the page by shaking and titling the book. A fantastic way to learn about how to turn the 3 primary colors into new colors, as well how to make colors lighter and darker by mixing in black and white paint.

Little Blue and Little Yellow

14. Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni —

This a great friendship story for preschoolers, and a fun way to learn about colors as well. Friends, Little Blue and Little Yellow, hugged each other so much that they turned green. Their families didn’t recognize them! The 2 friends began to cry. One cried blue tears and the other cried yellow tears until they were back to their original colors. The families hugged Little Blue and Little Yellow until everyone turned green!

Little Owl's Colors

15. Little Owl’s Colors by Divya Srinivasan —

We love Little Owl stories! The stories are always cute and the we really like the bright, bold pictures. In this book, Little Owl explores the world around it, find all sorts of beautiful colors. Each color is just the right hue to be easily identified. The colors are given several examples. At the end of the story is a beautiful rainbow and Little Owl asks what colors you can name.

paint pallet

We hope you enjoy these colors books as much as we do! Please check your library for these and other great books. I’ve included links to purchase these titles on Amazon. To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program. If you buy a book through one of my links, then I get a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support! Happy Reading 🙂

STEM

Froot Loops Tower

Froot Loops Tower STEM activity

Incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) into your preschooler’s learning activities with this fun (and yummy) Froot Loops tower! My son really enjoyed this activity, so much so, that we’ve done it a few times. Not only is this fun to do, but it is great for for kids’ fine motor skill development too! While you are your child are making this tower, take the opportunity to talk about colors and making patterns with the Froot Loops. Patterns and sequencing are important math components for preschoolers to learn. By making Froot Loop Towers, they can experiment with patterns by putting the cereal on the spaghetti noodle in different sequences.

Supplies Needed:

  • Froot Loops cereal
  • spaghetti noodle
  • Play-Doh

How To:

Froot Loops Tower

Start by making a mound out of your Play-Doh to use as the tower’s base. Then stick the spaghetti noodle into the mound. Make sure that you smush the Play-Doh around the noodle so that they noodle stands up straight.

It’s Froot Loops time! We dumped some Froot Loops onto a paper plate for my son to use for this project. He decided to make a rainbow tower. He did a fantastic job getting his rainbow colors in the correct order! Pick colors and a pattern you like. Now that you have a pattern in mind, take your Froot Loops can carefully drop each piece down the noodle, building a tower as you stack cereal pieces.

This looks like an easy activity, but little kids are still working on their fine motor skills, so getting the Froot Loops onto the noodle and building the tower is really work for them. And then add in making patterns, and they are really working hard. Fortunately they are having fun creating their tower and munching on the cereal as they go along!

For more ideas check out my STEM page: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/stem/

STEM

Gummy Bear STEM Experiment

Let’s find out if gummy bear candy grows larger in water with this fun (and yummy) gummy bear experiment. In this experiment, we will see if gummy bears grow in plain water, or in salt water, or not at all. What do you think will happen?

Gummy Bear Experiment
Gummy Bear Experiment

Supplies Needed:

gummy bear STEM experiment supplies
supplies
  • gummy bear candies
  • 2 glasses
  • water
  • table salt
  • ruler (optional)
  • pencil/pen
  • piece of paper

How To:

Pick 2 different colored gummy bears for this experiment. We picked 1 green one and 1 red gummy bear.

stir the salt

Fill both glasses with enough water to completely cover the gummy bears (and leave some room to grow). We added 3/4 Cup water to each glass. In one of the glasses, add one tablespoon of salt. Stir the salt so that it mixes with the water. Leave the water in the other glass plain.

Drop one gummy bear into each glass. Write down which color gummy bear is the salt water and which color gummy bear is in the plain water.

Ask your child what they think will happen to the gummy bears. Will one or both of them grow? My son guessed that the salt would make the red gummy bear shrink and that the green gummy bear would grow in the plain water.

Wait about 4 hours before taking your gummy bears out of the water. BE CAREFUL when removing them as they can easily fall apart. I fished them out with the tablespoon and carefully wiggled them off the spoon onto the table so that we could measure them.

gummy bear experiment results
Experiment results

DO NOT EAT THE GUMMY BEARS FROM THE EXPERIMENT!

RESULTS: One of our gummy bears was larger than the other! Drumroll please. . . the green gummy grew a lot in the plain water and the red gummy bear grew a little bit larger in the salt water. We placed fresh gummy bears from the bag next to the experiment ones for a comparison. OPTIONAL — To introduce rulers and measuring to my son, we did hold up the ruler next to the gummy bears from the bag and the ones from the experiment for him to see the difference in measurements.

More STEM Activities:

Incorporate more STEM activities into your little one’s learning with more fun activities. Check out my STEM Page for more ideas and experiments to try together: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/stem/

STEM

Unicorn Graphing STEM Activity

This unicorn graphing STEM activity is so much fun that your kiddo won’t even realize that it is math! We call it our unicorn game 🙂 My son and I take turn rolling the dice and placing our color tiles on the graph. We like to guess what color is going to reach the top first before we start each round.

unicorn graphing STEM activity
unicorn graphing

How To:

First print this free template. The unicorn graphing template includes the dice, colored tiles, and graphing chart. I used regular printer paper; however, if you use cardstock, then your dice will be much sturdier.

Begin by cutting out the dice. Gently fold the gray tabs inward. Then begin to fold your squares into a cube shape. Add some glue to the tabs and glue them onto the underside of the squares as you form your cube. The very last tab is hard to glue and might require tape. Once your cube is formed, set it aside to dry.

Cut out all of the colored tiles. You will have 4 of each color–red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.

Now it is time to begin unicorn graphing. Ask you child to gently roll the dice. What color unicorn is on top? Take a tile of the same color and set it on the graph above the corresponding unicorn. Keep rolling the dice and setting tiles in the correct columns until you reach the top of the column. Since you are not gluing the colored tiles to the chart, you can use this activity over and over again 🙂

Why STEM?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. It is important to introduce these concepts to preschoolers in a fun way so that as they get older, they are excited about STEM subjects. What are preschoolers learning in this activity? Preschoolers are learning their colors (science)! They have to identify the color on the dice, find the same color on the chart, and then correctly add the same color tile to the graph. Preschoolers are learning how to graph, an important math concept! Add some extra math into this activity by counting how many of each color tile is on your graph and how many tiles your have altogether. Preschoolers are also learning about engineering as they help build the dice!

More STEM Activities

If your child enjoyed this graphing activity, I made a free blank dice and graph template so you can customize it with your own pictures. You can add computer images, stickers, or draw whatever you want on the dice and graph for your child to practice more graphing skills.

Check out my STEM activities: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/stem/

STEM

Boat Float STEM Activity

boat float STEM activity

We tried this boat float STEM activity from Good Housekeeping Amazing Science Free STEAM Experiment Sampler (free e-book on Amazon). This sampler book has 7 awesome things to make with your kiddo. It is recommended for ages 8-12, but with some modifications, my son is able to do some of their STEM ideas. In this activity your child gets to see if objects sink or float by themselves, and if the ones that sank can float on the boat.

Supplies Needed:

  • aluminum foil
  • sink with water
  • various objects to test if they sink or float

How To:

For this activity you will make a boat out of aluminum foil. I tore off a piece about 8 inches long. I folded all 4 sides inward about 1/2-1 inch until they were flat. Then I folded them over again, but this time I left the sides standing up. I tried to fold one end of the foil loosely into a boat shape, but it just looks like a triangle. I think leaving it as a square is fine. (The book has picture instructions.)

objects to test if they sink or float

We grabbed some objects to test if they sink or float by themselves. My son picked a small plastic piece (that might be a Lego); a plastic Olaf figure; and a rubber duck. I helped by suggesting a metal snowman charm and some coins. He happily grabbed his piggy bank to see if the coins would float.

Sink or Float?

Fill your sink up halfway with water. Go object-by-object, and ask your child if you think it will sink of float. Test each object. We found that the small plastic piece, Olaf, and the rubber duck all floated on their own so they did not need a boat. However, the snowman charm and the coins sank.

foil boat full of coins

My son placed his foil boat in the sink and he put the metal snowman charm on the boat. It didn’t sink! Then he put pennies on the boat, and the boat floated. He dumped a lot of his coins into the boat to see if it would still float. He was surprised that the boat full of coins stayed afloat!

This boat float STEM activity (with our modifications) was a success! I will definitely be referring to this book as my son ages for more STEM ideas. Please check out my STEM page to see other science, technology, engineering, and math activities that my son and I have done together.

STEM

Leakproof Bag Science Experiment

leakproof bag science experiment
Leakproof Bag Science Experiment

This leakproof bag science experiment is fun and easy to do with your kiddo. My son saw this and was describing it to me, so I Googled and found a how-to from the Indianapolis Public Library. We tried the experiment and we were so excited that it really worked! Wow, we couldn’t believe that we could actually poke pencils through the bag without the water coming out! We were so impressed!

Supplies Needed:

  • Ziploc bag (we used gallon sized)
  • sharp pencils
  • food coloring (optional)
  • large bowl (optional)

How To:

We filled our bag halfway full with water and a added a drop of blue food coloring to dye the water. While this is totally optional, it did make the project more colorful and more fun for my blue-obsessed kiddo.

Leakproof Bag Experiment

Next, we moved our project to the table and I held up the bag over a bowl (I was worried there would be a leak). I’m glad I had a bowl, because during the experiment, our bag did begin to leak (more on this later). While I held the bag, my son shoved a sharpened pencil through one side of the bag, through the water, and out the other side. Wow, it didn’t leak! We were all really impressed. My kiddo continued to stick in the pencils until he ran out of pencils.

TIP— when sticking in the pencils, try to keep the pencils far apart from each other. My son stuck one pencil right next to another pencil and that did make a small hole. Water started slowly leaking from the hole in the bag. Good thing we had bowl underneath.

The pink and black pencils were too close together and they make a small leak in the bag

The small hole my son accidentally made lead to a learning experience — the Ziplock bag clings to the pencil, forming a seal that keeps the water locking. However, when two pencils touch, the bag isn’t able to make a seal in between the pencils so we got a leak.

After you have stuck all of your pencils through the bag, hold your bag over the sink and slowly remove the pencils. Water will come out of the holes. We dried our pencils with a paper towel. They were totally fine and ready to color with the next day.

So why doesn’t it leak? Our friends at the Indianapolis Public Library say plastics are bendy and stretchy because of their flexible molecule chains, so when you stick your pencil through the plastic bag, the plastic makes a seal around the pencil.

Check out more preschool STEM ideas: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/stem/