The Early Years: Nurturing Young Chemistsby: Peggy Ashbrook

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Chemistry explorations in early childhood classrooms often involve baking, mixing, or dissolving, during which students predict outcomes and try to replicate the results. The objective is to help students come to an understanding that even though we cannot see what is happening to cause a change, we can see that the change happens every time we follow a certain procedure. A corresponding activity is included with this article.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (4)
  • on Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:57 PM

I love how the articles promotes the use of chemistry with such young students. We think that we have to wait to teach children about chemistry until they are older but it would open another world if we introduced it to them at such a young age. We recently made slime in out science content course and, as an adult, had so many questions about the slime. I feel that if this was brought to my attention earlier in school, I might have loved science. Also give a great little activity with ice and toys for younger students.


  • on Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:07 AM

Some people would think that young students cannot understand chemistry concepts, but they definitely can, only at a primary level. They can see chemical changes in the form of gases and changes of temperature. This article gives an excellent example of how to make slime with young students. Directions are clear and easy to follow.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:56 PM

Young children learn to be chemists as well as follow simple instructions to combine everyday household materials to make a form of slime. After following the instructions they then explore the properties of that substance. Also provided in this article are other sources of chemistry activities for young children.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:56 PM

Engaging and overflowing with scientific concepts! This inquiry activity aimed at PreK-2 levels could easily be adapted to any elementary classroom with higher level thinking questions. "Hooking" our young scientists with hands on "slime" experiments (in a prescription bottle - Genius idea ) could easily lead into discussions about changing climate, icebergs and buoyancy. The ideas and concepts from this free article could easily be adapted to a week's worth of classroom learning.

Alyce Dalzell  (Peyton, CO)
Alyce Dalzell (Peyton, CO)

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