Toddler STEAM Jars and Experiments

Toddler STEAM

Toddler STEAM sessions are run online weekly by mum-of-three Sandra Beale. Sessions introduce STEAM ideas and scientific concepts in a fun and engaging way, through experiments and creative play.

Sandra recently came up with the idea to provide pre-made ‘STEAM Jars’ for the parents and carers that attend sessions as well as some of the teachers and parents of St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Saffron Walden and to use the sale of these jars to raise money for Children In Need. Sandra’s STEAM jars have raised £235 to date!

Each jar contains the main ‘ingredients’ for five fun experiments and there are two categories of jar to choose from.

Like to buy a jar and raise money for a good cause? Visit Sandra’s Just Giving page for more info and make a donation. Scroll down to see what is supplied in the jars.

Fancy making your own? Sandra has very kindly shared the ‘ingredients’ for the jars and instructions for the experiments.


Experiment 1 (Jar A) – Simple Circuits

  1. Pipe cleaners x2 – supplied
  2. Lithium Watch Battery x1 – supplied (please keep in a safe place, dangerous to young children if swallowed)
  3. LED light x1 – supplied

(1) Pull off the fluff on both ends of the pipe cleaners to expose the wire. (2) Attach one end of the pipe cleaner wire to the wire end of the LED light; attach the second pipe cleaner to the loose LED wire. (3) Connect the exposed ends of the pipe cleaners to either side of the battery to create a circuit. The LED should light up. You can play around with the pipe cleaners and twist them into the shape of a Christmas tree or any other object.

Experiment 1 (Jar B) – Climbing water

  1. Tea light x1 – supplied
  2. Food colouring x1- supplied
  3. Jar x1- supplied / Glass- not supplied
  4. Plate x1 – not supplied
  5. Lighter/matches – not supplied
  6. Water- not supplied

(1) Place the tea light on a plate and light it. (2) Pour water on the plate and squirt a few drops of food colouring in the water. (3) Turn the jar/glass over the lit tea light, the light goes out and water is sucked up into the jar creating a climbing effect. You could try using different colours and observe mixing of colours as the water is pulled into the jar.

Experiment 2 (Jars A & B) – Lava Lamp

  1. Jar x1 – supplied
  2. Food colouring x1 – supplied
  3. Alka Seltzer tablets x2 – supplied
  4. Oil – not supplied
  5. Water – not supplied

(1) Fill 3 quarters of the jar with oil, and the rest with 10 or 15 ml of water. (2) Squirt a few drops of food colouring into the oil. (3) Drop broken bits of Alka Seltzer into the jar, creating swirling bubbles that rise and fall giving a lava lamp effect.

Experiment 3 (A & B) – Dancing Jingle Bells

  1. Jar x1 – supplied or wine glass- not supplied
  2. Jingle Bells x2 – supplied
  3. Sparking water/Lemonade(clear)/Tonic water etc- not supplied

Fill the jar or wine glass with sparkling water (or other) and drop the jingle bells in. The bubbles in the water will attach to the bells and they will slowly rise, when the bubbles pop the bells will fall and rise again.

Experiment 4 (A & B) – Making a Catapult

  1. Craft sticks x6 – supplied
  2. Pompoms x2 – supplied
  3. Elastic bands x3 – supplied

(1) Stack 4 craft sticks together and bind using supplied elastic bands at each end. (2) Stack two craft sticks together, bind at one end using a supplied elastic band. (3) Spread the second pair of sticks to create a ‘V’, then slide over and under the 4 craft sticks so that one arm of the V sticks out. (4) Press the V down with a pompom and release, the pompom catapults off.

Experiment 5 (A & B) – Wobbly Balloons

  1. Jar x1 – supplied
  2. Balloon x1 – supplied
  3. Tea light x1 – supplied or kitchen roll- not supplied
  4. Lighter/matches – not supplied
  5. Water-not supplied

(1) Place the tea light or kitchen roll paper in the jar. (2) Fill the balloon with water from the tap and tie off with a knot. (3) Light the tea light or kitchen roll paper at the bottom of the jar and place the balloon over the mouth of the jar. The balloon will wobble and will partly get sucked into the jar depending on how much water is in the balloon.

Toddler STEAM continues weekly all year round every Monday morning at 9:30am. Call or text Sandra for details 07708 157326.

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