A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!

Archive for the ‘Experiments’ Category

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.

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Fun Science Books for Children!

Science experiments : shiny, slimy, stinky, shocking by Steve Parker.

Many fun and easy to create experiments for younger children are included in this book including light and color, slimy science, shocking science (static electricity) and lots and lots of stinky science using the sense of smell.

100 science experiments with paper by Steven W. Moje.

Lots of fun activities with paper, including a popping paper bag, a paper bull-roarer and a paper cup telephone!

Science in seconds with toys : over 100 experiments you can do in ten minutes or less by Jean Potter.

This book contains easy to do science experiments including some that are safe to use with preschoolers.  The categories are:

Reflecting, Refracting, and Glowing.
Mixing, Molding, and Stretching.
Rolling, Sliding, and Sticking.
Balancing, Swinging, and Spinning.
Throwing, Flying, and Falling.
Floating, Bouncing, and Pushing.
Plucking, Banging, and Blowing.

One example from the book is Friction Flurry, Why Will a Toy Car Roll Farther Than a Lump of Clay? Use a toy car, and a lump of clay to roll down a flat board to determine which rolls faster to explore the science of friction.

A great recipe for Play Plubber helps explain polymers to children and something the preschoolers would really enjoy playing with!

How Come by Kathy Wollard  answers many questions that preschoolers might have.

A few examples are:

Why does rain fall in drops?

Is it true no two snowflakes are exactly alike?

How come flowers have scents?

Why do some animals hibernate in winter?

How do birds sleep?

The answers are technical, but can be adapted for a preschooler’s understanding.

Super Science Concoctions by Jill Frankel Hauser is wonderfully illustrated and easy to follow.

Learn about water tension with water robots made from aluminum foil and a pan of water, try starched designs with string and starch or make spicy art with spices, paper and a bowl of water.

Water and STEAM!

Recently I attended a workshop at the UNL extension office in Lincoln titled STEAM* in Early Childhood. STEAM stands for *Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math.

The training included several hands-on activities including taking an ice ball formed in a balloon and adding salt and food coloring to it. The food coloring showed the patterns made by the salt melting the ice. This activity was really fun! Here’s a photo:

IMG_20160719_194604_228

 

We also built structures out of newspaper and made a birdseed feeder with cookie cutters.

The training informed us about the inquiry process and how to facilitate it for preschooolers by encouraging inquiry, giving them time, fostering questions and helping them to reflect.

I included this process in my boat themed storytime. I had the children make rafts of popsicle sticks and colored duct tape. We took the rafts down to the courtyard to a small wading pool with a couple of inches of water. The children were able to see if the rafts actually floated. We provided small plastic animals for them to experiment with as well. Incorporating STEAM activities is easy and fun!

Here is a link to water themed activities. http://handsonaswegrow.com/water-experiments-for-kids/

Here are some titles for encouraging water experimentation for children.

Orangey-Orange-Orange

Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear by Emily Gravett

Each Orange Had Eight Slices by Paul Giganti

Here is a link to a fascinating sink or float experiment: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/orangefloatorsink.html

orange pear apple beareach orange had eight slices

Mitten Science?

Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone

The Mitten by Jan Brett

There really is mitten science! Find some by going to the links below:

http://www.everythingpreschool.com/themes/mittens/science.htm

http://www.perpetualpreschool.com/preschool_themes/mittens/mitten_science.htm

http://livingmontessorinow.com/2014/01/15/free-mitten-printables-and-montessori-inspired-mitten-activities/

Mittens-Three little kittensthe mitten

Is There a Science to Scarecrows?

Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant

Since wind is the source of energy for most scarecrows, fastening streamers to a fan or bringing in a decorative scarecrow to use a fan on, would work well to demonstrate this concept.

For some other preschool activity ideas regarding Potential to Kinetic Energy, some sites to explore include:

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/kinetic-energy-activities-kids-46975.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/562636-kinetic-energy-activities-for-kids/

http://tomandmarta.com/post/60318912550/energy-is-everywhere-harness-that-preschoo

Scarecrow

The Science of Aesop #1

Aesop’s Fables by Jerry Pinkney

After/while reading “The Crow and the Pitcher,” demonstrate the displacement of water by using your pointer and thumb as the crow beak to pinch some stones and add them to a container of water one by one. Children can join in by making a crow’s beak with their fingers and helping to displace the water until it is high enough for the “crow” to take a drink. Helpful hint: Try this ahead of time to see how many stones are needed and how much water to begin with. Make a mark on the back of your container so you can use it as a fill line when you do this with children.

aesop's fables

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