Independence Day is a time for celebration—even for the youngest of children. The little ones in your care may not enjoy the loud boom of fireworks, but they can still celebrate the holiday in other fun ways. Get toddlers and preschoolers involved in 4th of July festivities with these STEM activities for toddlers and STEM lessons for preschoolers!

Pop and Fizzle Fireworks

Add some baking soda to a cup. Put in a couple drops of blue or red food coloring, and then slowly add in vinegar. The mixture should start to bubble or fizzle. Talk with the children about how nothing happens when everything is separate, but when everything is mixed up, it causes a reaction. Check out an alternative way to do this activity below!

Fireworks in the Sky

Get a piece of black construction paper out for each child. Paint children’s fingertips with red, white, and blue finger paint (or other colors if you wish), and then have them dab their fingertips on the black construction paper to make bursts of fireworks.

4th of July Color Hunt

Go for a walk around your school or center (inside or outside). Have one group of children look for red items, another group look for blue items, and another group look for white items. Try to collect some of the items children point out to bring back to the classroom and look at together.

Red and Blue Flowers

Make science for toddlers and preschoolers fun with this exciting activity. Take two clear plastic cups and fill them about halfway full with water. Add about 5–7 drops of red food coloring in one cup and 5–7 drops of blue food coloring in the other cup. Add at least one white carnation, daisy, or other white flower into each cup. Have children observe the flowers for several days to see the color grow up into the flowers, turning them into beautiful colors.

Bubble Fun

Blowing bubbles is such a simple thing that it often gets lost in the hunt for fun science activities, but it’s a great way to make science for toddlers relatable and fun. Blowing bubbles can also take the place of holding sparklers in celebration of the 4th of July. A bubble wand is much safer for a toddler and/or preschooler to hold. 

Want more activity ideas or tips for teaching STEM in the classroom? Check out the articles in the STEM category of our Insights and Inspirations section!