Preschool STEAM (for children ages 2-6) is all about having fun with science, math and art!  There is no right or wrong way for children to experiment – the fun and learning comes from the doing!  Early childhood research shows us that little hands and minds learn best when at play.

For our September  STEAM adventure, we focused on “liquid” Volume.


Volume is the quantity of three-dimensional space occupied by a liquid, solid, or gas. Common units used to express volume include liters, cubic meters, gallons, milliliters, teaspoons, and ounces, though many other units exist. ~Thought Co.

For our preschoolers, we focused on liquid volume in ounces (cups).



Plastic cups/containers of various sizes

Plastic measuring cups (1 cup & 2 cup)

3-4  plastic kiddie pools

Water (preferably from a water hose)

Optional:  Liquid watercolors or food coloring



The children used their measuring cups to gather water from the kiddie pools.  They were instructed to pour the same amount of water into each of the 5 containers they were given.  The containers were various sizes and shapes; two of the containers in each set held the same amount of water even though they were shaped differently.

Children were able to experiment to see how much water each container would hold.  In the process they realized that some containers held 1 cup of water, some 2 cups, some only 1/4 or 1/2 cup and so on.


During the exploration phase, we talked about ounces, including the numbers of ounces in 1 cup of water (8) and the number of ounces in 2 cups of water (16).  We conducted a group experiment with a very large plastic punch bowl.

Each child poured either 1 cup or 2 cups of water into the punch bowl.  We kept count to see how many cups of water the punch bowl could hold.  We counted 45 cups of water!  A parent was kind enough to convert that number to ounces (360) and one of children said, “Wow!”  Always fun to see that light bulb of learning and awe go off!



Join us for our next Preschool STEAM adventure! Monday, October 22 @ 10:30 a.m. in the Studio on 4th at Central Library.