A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!

Archive for March, 2017

Learning Science the Montessori Way

Teach Me to do it Myself by Maja Pitamic

This practical book is filled with fun, simple and inexpensive activities that you can do with your preschooler. Each activity has a picture next to its description, a numbered list of directions, a list of what you will need and similar activities to try. The book is divided into sections:

  • Life Skills
  • Developing the Senses
  • Language Development (including letters, word building, and first sentences)
  • Numeracy Skills (learning numerals, learning quantities, adding and subtracting numbers and quantities, and shopping number and numeral vocabulary)
  • Science Skills

Some examples of the activities are:

  • Distinguishing sounds with objects such as 2 pan lids or a jar of coffee to shake
  • Musical scales using 5 glass bottles with varying levels of water.
  • Discovering colors using paint color sample strips
  • Understanding volume and estimation with water in different glass sizes
  • Making land models with disposable dishes, paint and play dough

The book How to raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way has a chapter on exploring the wider world with the key idea that children are little scientists, with a drive for discovery. It includes ideas for working in the family garden, taking a walk in the forest, and making your own nature museum. Another chapter includes ways to build sensory awareness and sensory activities that help children learn such as texture matching.

Learning About the Rainforest

Learning about all the colorful animals, insects, and plants in a rainforest make for a fun storytime theme!

The children really enjoyed The Frog With the Big Mouth by Teresa Bateman.  It’s a humorous tale about a little Argentine wide mouthed frog that goes around the rainforest to brag about his fly-eating abilities. At the end of the book there are notes about the Toco Toucans, Coatis, Capybaras, Jaguars and Argentine wide-mouthed frogs, also known as Argentine horned frogs.

The Parrot Tico Tango by Anna Witte is a wonderful cumulative rhyme in which a greedy parrot snatches delicious fruit from his animal friends in the rainforest until he can hold no more.

I used the book Rain Forests by Nancy Smiler Levison with a flannel board activity for the preschoolers.

I handed out animals, insects and plants mentioned in the book and read the pages about the four layers of the rainforest: emergent, canopy, understory and the forest floor.

As I read about each layer, I invited the children to put the corresponding trees, plants, and animals on the flannel board. The preschoolers really enjoyed learning about the animals in each layer and helping to create a rainforest.

Here are two more nonfiction books about the rainforests:

Wow! Rain Forest Animals by Carolyn Franklin

Rain Forest Revealed by Jen Green

Other great rainforest picture books to read to preschoolers are:

Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck

If You’re Happy and You Know it Jungle Edition by James Warhola

Slowly Slowly said the Sloth by Eric Carle

If I were a Jungle Animal by Tom and Amanda Ellery

We’re Roaming in the Rainforest: An Amazon Adventure by Laurie Krebs and Anne Wilson

Jungle Drum by Deanna Wundrow

The Umbrella by Jan Brett

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry

The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell

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