Elementary Science

Kindergarten Centers

What are some engaging science activities for kindergarten centers to have in the classroom? 

Linda Lerma
Linda Lerma
240 Activity Points

Hi Linda! I found a site where I found many activities for kindergarten https://www.education.com/activity/kindergarten/science/ I found some activities that were interesting like the "Make rain" and "Where Do I live? An Animal Habitat Game". Hope this helps!

Jeanette Gonzalez
Jeanette Gonzalez
220 Activity Points

Hi Linda, I found some articles that discuss learning centers - check out the links below! General information about centers: http://common.nsta.org/resource/?id=10.2505/4/sc05_043_03_20 Centers about plants: http://common.nsta.org/resource/?id=10.2505/4/sc05_042_07_36 Centers about dinosaurs: http://common.nsta.org/resource/?id=10.2505/4/sc10_048_02_36 What topic do you think you would create your centers around? Would you want to incorporate multiple subjects? -Megan

Megan Doty
Megan Doty
11847 Activity Points

Hello Linda, I think it would be cool to have different "exploration bins" in your classroom. You could portray a different theme for each of them. For example, one bin could be about the solar system. Inside the bin could be real images from Nasa's Hubble space telescope. You could also have legos in the bin that students could try to design their own Mars rover. Another bin idea could be a wild life bin. This bin could include molds of animal foot prints, books about different animals and samples of animal fur. A final station that kids would love is a water station. Here, students could test the different properties of water. For example, testing different objects to see if they sink or float. I hope these ideas help. -Lindsay

Lindsay Thompson
Lindsay Thompson
780 Activity Points

Hi linda!

There are so many things to do to engage your students in you're classroom, especially with science. Kindergarten students are very antsy and love to get out of their seat and engage in learning. I found a few centers you can have in your classroom to enhance learning.
You can have centers that involve the many different lesson you teach in science and have students sort out objects related to the lesson. For example, you can use your Five senses , sort animals by habitats: ocean, farm, jungle, sort Living vs non-living, sort Plant vs animal, sort Hot vs cold,sort plant needs, sort objects that have volume or not, and sort by types: sunny, raining, snowing. The students can walk around to each center and sort out the following .
Just make sure to have fun during these activities, and keep them engaged but make sure they are learning and retaining the information. Best of luck and hope this helped!

London Eaves
London Eaves
325 Activity Points

Recently, I have been working a lot with Pre-K/Kindergarten students. I've noticed that they always look forward to their "centers". I feel like the learn the most from their centers and the activities they get involved with. I think some great activities include observation activities that focus on the five senses such as filling a container with random objects and asking the students to use their senses. All except for taste, unless it is edible. This is the choice of the teacher. Also, another interesting activity can be to laminate leaves and different types of flowers and place them on a light board. This way, the students can pretend to be scientists and observe their findings.

Amanda Morales
Amanda Morales
380 Activity Points

Hello Linda!

My name is Annika Krieg and I am a pre-service teacher at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. In numerous classes I've had the privelage of taking, we discussed the significance of hands on activities in a constructivist classroom setting in order to encourage children to discover, learn, and create on their own. Constructivism is a student-centered learning approach which allows students to use their imagination and make connections to more than one subject (cross-curricular focus). One activity in particular that I've found to be successful and exciting for kindergarteners is tinkering stations! This activity is based off building and engineering concepts but can be connected to Mathematics, Science, Technology, Art and many other subjects as well. It's a fun way for students to interact with each other, express their unique ideas, and learn engineering concepts. There are many other fun interactive activities, but this is my personal favorite! I hope this helped in formulating what an engaging and informative activity should consist of. Good luck!

Sincerely,

Annika Krieg

Pre-Service Teacher

Wartburg College '20

Annika Krieg
Annika Krieg
80 Activity Points

Hello, 

I am a pre- service teacher at Wartburg College and I am looking to become a kindergarten teacher and I think this is a great question. My personal favorite that I have seen is a discovery center with several different materials such as magnifying glasses, tweezers and different materials that will also help with their fine motor skills. Then you should have the discovery objects, leaves, rocks,(have them look at a variety of leaves and rocks, find the similarities and differences, draw them) worm/ant cages, different science books, kids love new things and even if you think it is simple or not interesting, they will find it very interesting and engage themselves.

Ashley Jacobs

Wartburg College

Elementary Education

Ashley Jacobs
Ashley Jacobs
80 Activity Points

Hi Linda!

My name is Mallary Erbes and I am currently a pre-service teacher at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. Teaching kindergarten has always been a goal of mine, so this topic is one that I have done research on myself. I have had many hours of field experience in kindergarten and taught science in these classrooms as well. One engaging science activity kindergarteners love is a water table. Having objects of different density in the water allows students to explore it and make predictions as to whether an object will sink or float. Another idea for centers is to have animals in your room where students can interact with them, notice change over time, and journal about them. Technology centers can also be used to engage students in science activities. There are hundreds of apps on science topics out there and you are sure to find some that your students will love. One particular app demonstrating multiple science concepts is called, The Cat in the Hat Builds That. A discovery center with objects from outside, tweezers, magnifying glasses, and more are also great opportunities to allow students to let out their curiosity and learn science while they are at it. In general, children are naturally curious and let them embrace it!

Best,

Mallary Erbes

Pre-Service Teacher

Wartburg College '19

Mallary Erbes
Mallary Erbes
90 Activity Points

Hello Linda, 

I am currently taking a Science Methods course at the University of Northern Iowa where I am a pre-service teacher. One of the things I have learned about teaching science to Kindergarden students is that the activities/centers should be hands-on. This allows the students to experiement on their own and learn by trial and error. Something as simple as setting out a tub of blocks and allowing them to use their imagination to build towers and buildings. You could also give students different light sources (flashlight, battery opperated candles) to compare brightness and shadows. If the light sources are different colors, students can compare the color of shadows. Another center you could give them specific materials and a picture and have them build it like the picture using the materials given. Another fun I idea would be to use a water table. I think the more hands-on the centers are the more likely your students will be to stay engaged. 

I hope some of these help. 

Good Luck, Baylee! 

Baylee Kleitsch
Baylee Kleitsch
2426 Activity Points

Hands-on for open-exploration of natural phenomena helps children build their understanding! See some ideas for centers in the photos in my blog post for the NSTA Early Years blog:

http://nstacommunities.org/blog/2018/11/30/early-childhood-science-education-at-conferences/

Best wishes,

Peggy

Peggy Ashbrook
Margaret Ashbrook
9535 Activity Points

In a kindergarten classroom, you can have different objects around the classroom. For example, you can have an apple, cotton ball, car toy, etc. at each station. Kids can be in groups and at each station they would ask themselves whether the object they are presented with can sink or float. Additionally, at each station, you can include a bucket of water at each station so students can test to see if their predictions match the end result. This is a great way to get the students involved.

Aleksandra Kijowska
Aleksandra Kijowska
478 Activity Points

In a kindergarten classroom, you can have different objects around the classroom. For example, you can have an apple, cotton ball, car toy, etc. at each station. Kids can be in groups and at each station they would ask themselves whether the object they are presented with can sink or float. Additionally, at each station, you can include a bucket of water at each station so students can test to see if their predictions match the end result. This is a great way to get the students involved. Do you find this to be useful?

Aleksandra Kijowska
Aleksandra Kijowska
478 Activity Points

It seems as though a natural transition would be utilization of seasons especially changes in plants and animals to build a centers approach. Bringing in leaves, bugs, plants.etc. Nonstandard weight equivalents, magnifying glasses, journal descriptions, encourage students to think about dance to mimmic falling leaves, play dough pumpkin making with seeds. iPads at each station to allow for further inquiry around questions raised.

Joshua Yoakam
Joshua Yoakam
940 Activity Points

I am a current preservice teacher and soon to be student teacher. I am very interested in someday teaching kindergarten after doing some field experience in a kindergarten room. I am currently in a science methods course and learning how to integrate science throughout other content areas. I like your idea of having "exploration bins" around the classroom, that way students are free to explore on their own. I can see myself as a teacher having these bins around the room or getting them out at a certain time period for students to explore and expand their knowledge or question themselves on certain objects. I envy the idea of how these science bins can have many different objects in them such as wildlife, pictures or objects that relate to a certain topic...such as sink or float. Thanks for this great idea, it's so hands on and interactive for students. Julie

Julie Bentley
Julie Bentley
4010 Activity Points

Hello, I am an elementary education student and a substitute teacher. I absolutely adore watching the little kids learn, and my favorite grade is actually kindergarten. There are so many things to do to engage your students, especially with science. I think having a lot of 3-D graphics in the classroom is great for them to visualize science all around them. You can have a solar system hanging up or pictures of students working on science projects so it will motivate them. Having live organisms is also great for kindergarten, such as keeping a butterfly or growing a plant with them. Kindergarten students love to walk and move around so you can have them act out science books or stories. An example of teaching a lesson with a fun activity is having them jump up or throw a ball to each other when they are learning the basics of gravity (I tried this once while substituting and it was super fun, engaging, and informative!) You have them play and move around while pausing to explain the laws of their motions. You can have students walk around outside as a "fieldtrip" for them to observe living organisms around the school. There doesn't necessarily have to be developed centers in the kindergarten classroom for science because using things around you can turn into a lesson of its own! Just make sure to have fun, and keep them engaged but make sure they are learning and retaining information!

Katherine Chambers
Katherine Chambers
2355 Activity Points

Hi! I'm a student working on my Elementary Education degree, so I don't have much experience in classrooms other than doing field hours, but from what I've seen so far elementary kids love hands-on stuff that they can interact with and be a part of. I really love the lego idea Lindsay posted-- there are definitely a lot of things you could do with that! Taking students out of the classroom to observe living things outside is also a good activity to get them engaged and interested.

Christina Isakson
Christina Isakson
2615 Activity Points

As a future educator, i haven't had a lot of real experience teaching kids, but we still design and impliment lesson plans. One group will teach the rest of the class as if they were students, and as such, we all get to see each other's lessons and see different ideas and techniques. During these classes, I have seen a lot of engaging activities that range from extremely simple, like a flashlight and some simple objects to learn about shadows, to more complicated activites, like a bin of sand to represent land and water and straws to represent wind and rain in order to learn about erosion. I also really like Lindsay's idea of the exploration bins, as they would be very easy to make, as well as being able to group objects into general ideas (such as space, animals, five senses). 

Elizabeth Meyer
Elizabeth Meyer
2495 Activity Points

Hi Linda!

I would base your centers off what your student's are interested in. In addition, I would reccommend giving them materials that are open ended so they really have to think about how they are going to use the materials and how they are going to manipulate them. 

Hannah Heissel
Hannah Heissel
2580 Activity Points

Hi Linda!

I'm a preservice teacher at the University of Northern Iowa. I've had the opportunity to visit our example classroom that has many different learning centers. One interesting one that I had the opportunity to explore is a light table in which students make their own investigations about transparency. It included light tables, colored transparencies, objects that reflect light and other translucent objects as well as natural objects that do not let any light through. I imagine that the art teacher at your school might have a light table that you'd be able to borrow. Other examples of centers would be ones investigating shadow, water exploration or even pentominos. 

Audrey Klunenberg
Audrey Klunenberg
2900 Activity Points

Hi Linda!

 

Some centers that I would have in my kindergarten classroom would be, in my first center would be a science center, I owould have sensory center for hands on learners. Then that way you can change the sensory items to every season of the year or different topics you would want to teach. In the next center I would have a sound center I would have cups in the center, in the cups I would have rice, or beans or paper clips because each item in the cup would have different sounds. In the next center I would have an accounting center, in this center I would have dice, and the students could role the dice and students could right down what those numbers are. The next center I would include a kitchen or a fake kitchen so they can experiment with different recipes, fake recipes they could use play-doh to make fake cookies etc. 

Lorena Leal
Lorena Leal
3025 Activity Points

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