STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is a hot topic right now. As technology continues to advance, these subjects will continue to be important in school and beyond.
But you don’t have to wait until elementary school to begin STEM activities for kids.
Even toddlers can get in on the action with these simple STEM activities for toddlers.
At the toddler level, STEM projects for toddlers are all about exploring the world around the kids and learning the basics of math, spatial awareness, cause and effect, the scientific method, and how to have fun with learning!
Toddlers can use the skills learned during STEM activities and science experiments all throughout their school years, which will give them a big advantage over non-STEM-educated peers.
Why Do STEM Activities with Toddlers?
STEM projects for toddlers help children explore a variety of thinking skills that boost both their creativity, logic, spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills.
Toddlers who engage these systems, versus toddlers who largely learn from screens and immobile activities have a huge advantage once they reach school-age.
Today’s kids get less interaction with the world and their environment than kids in decades past, much to the detriment of their development.
A toddler STEM activity is simply a structured, yet open, activity for children to explore their natural curiosity while developing essential mental and physical skills that are essential to growth and learning.
What Does STEM for Toddlers Involve?
A toddler STEM activity looks nothing like an elementary school STEM activity, but the principles remain the same.
Toddler STEM activities work by applying STEM thinking to everyday toddler activities.
A typical toddler STEM project might include elements of science, technology, engineering, and math in the following ways:
Science: Exploring cause and effect. Manipulating and combining objects to see what happens. Exploring textures, tastes, and smells.
Technology: Using basic tools like magnifying glasses, large screws, and glue to create something new.
Engineering: Exploring how objects work together and identifying the best material for a task (for example, finding out that blocks are better for stacking than stuffed animals).
Math: Counting, weighing, and measuring objects. Exploring basic properties of physics, motion, and gravity.
Get the Toddler STEM Challenge Cards!
Use these toddler STEM challenge cards to take your toddler and preschool STEM activities to the next level!
24 Simple Toddler STEM Activities
Use these STEM projects for toddlers to spark ideas for your own toddler STEM activities! There is almost no end to the STEM learning you can do with little ones.
Adapt any of these activities to the skill level of your toddler.
Some toddlers will be ready for the more advanced activities in this list, while other toddlers are best suited to the simplest toddler STEM projects.
When you’re just starting out, try the simplest challenges and gradually increase in difficulty when your toddler is ready for more challenging STEM projects and activities.
Science Activities for Toddlers
Toddlers will have fun with these toddler-friendly science experiments.
Learn about chemical reactions when you make Fizzing Rainbows.
Explore surface tension with the Magic Milk Rainbow Science experiment.
Learn about sink vs float when you make your own Density Jar!
Learn about the life cycle of plants in the Seed Sprouting STEM Activity.
Technology Activities for Toddlers
Even toddlers can begin to explore technology!
Learn about how colors mix and make new colors with the Color Mixing Flower activity.
Find secret hidden messages in this secret message activity!
Make a flower discovery tray and learn about the parts of a flower!
Engineering for Toddlers
Toddlers will love these basic building and engineering activites! It’s never to early to start learning about building and design.
Make a Walking Rainbow and learn about surface tension and color mixing.
Find out what makes pennies turn green with this Turning Pennies Green activity!
Build your own Rainbow Necklace!
STEM Math Activities for Toddlers
These math activities are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Use these cookie counting mats to learn about numbers!
Make counting fun with these fun counting bear challenge cards!
Count zoo animals with these fun zoo clip cards!