33+ Best Water STEM Activities for Kids


We love every type of STEM activity around our house. From creative science experiments to building challenges, my kids, and students, love these hands-on activities. I love all of the learning, creating and problem solving that happens. This collection of over 33 Best Water STEM Activities for Kids gives you lots of options for simple STEM activities that use water.

STEM activities mix Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math. They typically use simple materials, are low prep, are engaging and fun!

With the water STEM activities below, they all use water in some form. Some of the activities involve ice and others use several other materials as well as water.

Look through the water STEM activities for some ideas that you know your kids, or students will love. Keep STEM activities simple by using materials that you already have on hand.

Many of the activities on this list are inspired by summertime. Try the activities outside to cool off in the heat, while learning and playing as children complete the STEM activity.

Water STEM Activities Ice + Water

Freeze some water for this first set of water STEM activities. Explore how water melts and some of the properties of ice.

Learn about animals and adaptations as children put one hand in ice water and the other in a bag filled with material similar to the insulation on a polar bear. Which hand can you comfortably keep in the cold water?

Fill a bag with water and a bunch of materials, such as feathers, foam letters and pompoms. Children experiment with different water (warm, salt) to melt the block of frozen treasures. A free printable is available for children to search the ice for a certain number of each item.

Summer Water STEM

Take your water STEM activities outside with this summer science for kids. Grab a few ice cubes and set them in the heat of the sun on different materials. Does the material make any difference in how fast the ice cubes melt?

If you’ve got a few extra pool noodles this summer, or hanging around after summer, reuse them for this hands-on Pool Noodle STEM Challenge.

The purpose of this fun Ice Archeology experiment is to see what kinds of things preserve well in ice and what happens to them when they are defrosted.

Let’s play with ice marbles and find out what surface makes ice melt faster.

Learn more about how salt affects ice in this STEM activity that has practical applications for winter safety on roads and sidewalks.

In this fascinating plant science experiment, your kids will learn what happens when you put pine cones in water and why pine cones open and close their scales.

Children learn about how the temperature of the water plays a role in how fast ice melts. Kids will love this activity as they go fishing and explore the properties of warm or cold water.

Try a few simple science experiments in this collection as children explore what makes ice melt faster.

STEM Building Challenges

This type of STEM activity is my favorite. Explore and experiment with water as you challenge children to complete different STEM activities. Build, create and problem solve as you try out the following activities.

This one is always a favorite! STEM challenges are a great way to get kids thinking and creating as they use their engineering and design skills. Water is a valuable resource all over the world. Explore how to filter and get water clean.

Escape rooms are very popular right now. Try adding a STEM escape room challenge to your next STEM activity. One of the puzzles includes several jars filled with what all look like water. But what happens when you add the right jar to one of the clues. Is it water or something else?

Learn a bit about float and sink with this easy science experiment and STEM challenge. With a few simple materials children have to create a boat that will float on water.

Create a water compass with just a few simple materials.

Quick and Easy Science Experiments

Sometimes you only have a few minutes, and limited materials for a STEM activity. The activities below are quick and easy to prepare and complete. However, many of them are kids favorites!

With just water, oil and food coloring create fireworks in a jar. Kids of all ages and even adults can resist these beautiful designs and movement through the water.

Learn about the properties of water with this quick and easy STEM experiment. Although a warm and cold glass of water looks the same, the molecules act very differently.

The Mpemba Experiment is a fun experiment to try at home! Kids love it and you only need water and a pot or cup… and of course water!

Make beads dance in a glass full of water. Kids will love watching the beads move.

Pour water into a jar and learn about how water refraction affects the way we see images.

Water STEM Activities

Grab some frozen water, or snow this winter for a melting science experiment. Children watch as their adorable snowman begins to disappear.

With a few pieces of leftover candy try this easy science project. A cup of warm, cold or even salted water and candy is all you need. Does the temperature or type of water make any difference for how fast the candy dissolves.

This STEM activity with water is almost like a magic trick. Use cabbage to create this special water that children can magically change the color of.

If you’ve got some flowers around your home, use them for a science experiment that kids will remember. Use colored water to show how flowers ‘drink’ water and change the color of the flower.

Although a lot of liquids look the same, test out how water behaves differently than oil, syrup and other liquids. This experiment created a beautiful rainbow while teaching about density.

Water is clear and liquid. What does it look like through a light and how is it different than other liquids? Children explore the properties of different liquids and solids.

Walking Water STEM Activity

This walking water science experiment is so much fun and super easy to do! It even comes with a free printable recording sheets for kids as young as preschool!

This ice cube primary color mixing activity is a fun way to show preschoolers how primary colors mix and become new (secondary) colors!

Watch water rise like magic while you learn about the ideal gas law! An amazing and simple STEM activity for kids.

Have fun creating your own water xylophone using a few simple supplies and learn about sound waves too.

The kids will love this simple water science experiment and be amazed when the paper doesn’t even get wet! All you need is a few household supplies for this fun science activity.

Learn how to make an indoor water cycle that works. Kids will be able to taste the difference between the saltwater you start off with and the freshwater that you create.

Learn about sublimation with these 5 easy dry ice experiments your kids will love.

Add a bit of art to your exploration of water in STEM activities with these self blooming paper flowers.

A little bit of warm water and some colorful candy creates a beautiful rainbow pattern as the candies melt. Kids will love watching as the water touches and begins to dissolve the candies.

Try the instant ice experiment, with a twist. Watch as instant ice crystals form on a string hung in a bottle of water.

Hands-On Sensory Water STEM Activities

Children learn as they play and explore. Let children conduct science experiments as they learn through sensory play.

Build a city that floats. This is a fun way to take you tower building to the next level.

All you need for this fun musical science pool activity is some kitchen bowls, utensils, and water.

Let children explore and feel ice as they play with beautiful ice cubes. As the ice melts children will begin to feel and be able to remove the flowers inside.

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If you like the water STEM ideas, you may also like more from Hands-On Teaching Ideas. Learn about the importance of clean water with this hands on experiment. Clean Water Experiment for Kids.

Try a balloon rocket experiment outside that kids will love! Balloon Rocket Science for Kids

Or create a DIY Volcano craft and experiment.

stem challenges shows a collage of three photos.  A volcano, filtration cup and green balloon on a string.

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