Early Childhood

Science For Early Childhood

Hello everyone, I work at a preschool and was wondering if anyone has had any luck with any types of science projects and/or experiments with younger children? I am having a hard time thinking of a simple science lesson for young children and that might be because I always thought science was very hard. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions that I can take with me to the classroom that would be great!

Amanda Socarras
Amanda Socarras
235 Activity Points

Hi! when I worked for an After School Program I did a small science activity with my preschoolers. The activity was about the seasons and how the leaves on the trees changed throughout the year. This activity required the use of 4 toilet paper rolls that would represent the trunk of the tree, we also used paint to create the different leaves in the tree and place it in a construction paper folded in four. This is a hands-on activity, which keeps children engaged in the lesson while they are learning about the seasons.

Karen Rivas
Karen Rivas
835 Activity Points

Amanda~ Have you considered taking the children on a sensory walk to find out what they are interested in learning about? Exploring the senses and the world around them is simple science. and the children can teach you alot about how they see the world working.

Colleen Meacham
Colleen Meacham
20 Activity Points

My class I had this past year was really big into cars so I thought force of motion would be a great science project to cover.  We defined what push and pull are by created a venn-diagram of push and pull objects (from our classroom) with 2 hoola hoops.  We also experimented with pushing and pulling ourselves on a swing with the motions of our feet and legs when we had a field trip to the park.  The final experimentation with force and motion was with ramps.  I first introduced the students to ramps by setting the ground rules, then distributed a small ramp and ball each and discovered how to use them together.  When the students were on their own experimentation I brought in other small manipulatives (such as, cars, soft balls, hard balls, curved tracks, blocks) for them to try.  I hope this was helpful for you and good luck on finding some great science projects for your kiddos! 

Jessica Philipp
Jessica Philipp
5479 Activity Points

Hi Amanda! I am currently going to the University of Northern Iowa and studying Elementary Education. In my science methods class, we are learning about ways to incorporate science into Early Childhood Education. We were able to explore a classroom that was all science-based learning to get ideas. A few things you could try in your classroom is doing shapes with light, it is about science the students will love the shadows and discover which objects are opaque and opens up the door to science vocabulary. Another option you could do is have a water table with cups and different holes in them and they have to find a pattern to get the water into the buckets. This works their problems solving and be able to experiment and test their theories. You could even do a lesson that they bake something in the microwave because their test their recipes and finding the correct method to use and they also get to make themselves a snack. These are just a few of the resources that are easy to obtain and relatively cheap to get for your classroom. I hope this helps give you some ideas to use to make sure your students are using science and the students and you both enjoy a few of these ideas!

Alyssa Hawkins
Alyssa Hawkins
2485 Activity Points

Hi! I'm currently a student at UNI majoring in Early Childhood Education. In my science methods class, we talked about STEM and options you can have for younger grades. Having a science center is always a good idea. We got to experience different possibilities for centers like ramps, tops, a water tables, and a light table was just a few options we got to play with. It lets the students explore on their own and asks questions to themselves or try and figure things out.

Natalie Witt
Natalie Witt
2735 Activity Points

Hello, One of the experiments I saw done at the Maryland Science Center was making slime out of glue, borax, and a little food coloring. The recipe is in the link below. This experiment gets kids really excited, and can lead into talks about why the glue changed into slime. http://www.hometrainingtools.com/a/slime-recipes-project

Cara Campbell
Cara Campbell
515 Activity Points

That is a great idea and I think that the students will enjoy it. Thank you.

Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez
1230 Activity Points

I really like this, the kids would love it!

Stephanie Moreno
Stephanie Moreno
750 Activity Points

My professor did an activity with us and Oobleck. He used the Dr. Seuss book to get us engaged and then had Oobleck for us to explore with. We all got to touch it and make guesses about what it was and what form of matter it was. Anything hands on gets kids engaged and keeps them interested!

Kiana Jensen
Kiana Jensen
710 Activity Points

Hi, I agree that the ooze, that you read about in the Doctor Seuss book is a great activity to do with the kids. Making the ooze will show the kids how it can be a solid and a liquid at the same time. This would be a great activity to do in the subject of solids and liquids. It is also very hands-on and exciting for the kids to do. They will love to play with the ooze and become curious about it's strange consistency.

Julia Satterfield
Julia Satterfield
440 Activity Points

Hi, I agree that the ooze, that you read about in the Doctor Seuss book is a great activity to do with the kids. Making the ooze will show the kids how it can be a solid and a liquid at the same time. This would be a great activity to do in the subject of solids and liquids. It is also very hands-on and exciting for the kids to do. They will love to play with the ooze and become curious about it's strange consistency.

Julia Satterfield
Julia Satterfield
440 Activity Points

Hi early childhood educators, Our community is rich in years of experience and wisdom about teaching young children. I hope you will also share your experiences and knowledge on the NSTA Early Years blog where your comments add to the discussion in my blog posts: http://nstacommunities.org/blog/category/earlyyears/ Thank you for doing science with young children, Peggy

Peggy Ashbrook
Margaret Ashbrook
8485 Activity Points

Hi Amanda
In my methods of teaching science class that I am partaking this fall we have been talking about just this. We recently took part in a couple of science investigations and I would like to share my favorite. We did an air flow lab that was very basic. This is very little direction you just give the kid pipes and connector, a vacuum and many different types of balls and objects. Give the Student a chance to play with all the parts with just one rule and that is no putting objects in the tubes. The student get to explore air flow and they will end up asking there own questions and exploring the martials. They may ask why does this float and this go flying? How many balls can I get to float at once. These investigation can be done with little inaction from the teacher this makes it a great opportunity to save you time in your day.

Nic Peiffer
Nic Peiffer
1805 Activity Points

Amanda,

I am in this same course and have the greatest resources through the university and I would love to pass some of these ideas on. We have an Early Childhood Center in our education building and in this center are various resources and items that can be thought of as toys, but instill critical thinking about science concepts. Some examples are ramps and pathways, water pathways with cups that have holes in them, shadow boxes, building bloack, tubs of water with items that float or sink, cooking, etc. All of these examples offer students the opportunity to investigate science concepts like density, gravity, engineering, etc. without being explicitly told. This is great for young students, because to them they feel like they are 'playing', but in reality they are engaging in science practices. You as the teacher can then teach through their curiosity and excitement for what they are doing and can capitalize this through diologic teaching, inquiry, and other forms of teaching that would expand their thought process and understanding of these science practices and skills. Overall, I think that you would be surprised at how what you already have can relate to science in some way shape or form. I just would over think it and would allow for student investigation and interest to be the driving force of your instruction.

Lauren Person
Lauren Person
1995 Activity Points

Amanda,

I am in this same course and have the greatest resources through the university and I would love to pass some of these ideas on. We have an Early Childhood Center in our education building and in this center are various resources and items that can be thought of as toys, but instill critical thinking about science concepts. Some examples are ramps and pathways, water pathways with cups that have holes in them, shadow boxes, building bloack, tubs of water with items that float or sink, cooking, etc. All of these examples offer students the opportunity to investigate science concepts like density, gravity, engineering, etc. without being explicitly told. This is great for young students, because to them they feel like they are 'playing', but in reality they are engaging in science practices. You as the teacher can then teach through their curiosity and excitement for what they are doing and can capitalize this through diologic teaching, inquiry, and other forms of teaching that would expand their thought process and understanding of these science practices and skills. Overall, I think that you would be surprised at how what you already have can relate to science in some way shape or form. I just would over think it and would allow for student investigation and interest to be the driving force of your instruction.

Lauren Person
Lauren Person
1995 Activity Points

Hi! I am a current student at UNI studying early childhood education. This semester, I have been studying this in a 3-year-old preschool classroom. There are so many activities that fit into center time that include science! I set up a water dynamics center this semester that included materials such as cups, cups with holes and of different size, funnels, eye droppers, and beakers. I started the center with just cups and gradually added more materials when the students were ready to explore more. Other ideas for centers are: using ramps & pathways center, pendulum ball, air dynamics, and light and shadow center. All of these can include an investigation. You can incorporate language into these by creating a KWL chart, a rules chart, asking questions, or having the students draw. You can ask them productive questions while they explore and build off of their ideas. Good luck!

Hannah Leist
Hannah Leist
2625 Activity Points

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