A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!

Archive for the ‘General Science’ Category

Libraries Rock: All About Sound

Sound by Peter Riley

How does it work? This book explores frequencies, pitch, and volume including how sound travels, the anatomy of an ear, and what makes an echo. Readers are encouraged to follow the examples and engage in scientific exploration.


What’s that sound; classifying sounds ; loud, quiet, long, short, high pitch, low pitch

How is sound made; stretch a rubber band around a plastic box and pluck it with your finger

Seeing sounds: use a rope tied to a door handle to see the waves when you shake it.

Sounds near and far

Loud sounds, quiet sounds: the decibel scale

Pitch: slow and quick vibrations, low and high frequency

Rubber bands and strings

Wind instruments

Speed of sound

Sounds in solids and liquids; table test, balloon test

Sound insulation


Sound by Darlene Lauw

  • Sound energy – wrap plastic over speakers and watch sand jump
  • Transmission of sound, ear on the table, spy telephone (cup with string)
  • The speed of sound
  • Hearing sound artificial ear experiment with paper plate and cup
  • Playing with sound waves – collecting them with an umbrella, reflecting sound waves cardboard tubes
  • Qualities of sound
  • Fun with music – make a panpipe with 10 straws


Awesome Experiments in Light & Sound by Michael DiSpezio, illustrated by Catherine Leary

Investigates the different sounds of a vibrating ruler, producing sound with a blade of grass, and a variety of experiments with straws.

Sounds All Around by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Holly Keller.

Easy to understand nonfiction book that preschoolers will enjoy. Sound activities included at the end of the book such as making a guitar out of tissue box and rubber bands, musical glasses and the sounds matching game.

Big Book of Building by Marne Ventura includes instructions for a Groovy Guitar made with cardboard, rubber bands and other recycled items. The book also gives instructions on how to make Hot Beats Bongo Drums from oatmeal containers and duct tape.

The Science of Sound: Projects and Experiments with Music and Sound Waves by Steve Parker

Includes these topics: What is sound? — Sounds underwater — Quiet…or…LOUD! — High or low — Hearing sounds — Where’s that sound? — Speed of sound — Bouncing sound — Making sounds — Soaking up sound — Sound along a line — Recorded sound — Sound history.

Light, sound, and waves science fair projects : using sunglasses, guitars, CDs, and other stuff by Robert Gardner

Why can dogs hear sounds that humans cannot? Why does a flame give off light? How does a mirror work? In this book of experiments, readers learn how to explore the world of light and sound, with additional ideas for science fair projects.

Sound and light by Jack Challoner

White light and color, recording sound and light, and the light-bending properties of mirrors, prisms, and lenses are all explored in 40 hands-on, fascinating experiments.

Sound activities for preschoolers:

Water whistles with straws


Underwater sound experiment for kids


Bowls with plastic wrap vibration experiment with sugar:


Exploring sound with a hanger and string


Easy music science ideas



Libraries Rock is Instrumental!

We have some creative ways to enjoy the summer reading theme Libraries Rock!

Here are a few books and ideas.

 Getting the Most out of Makerspaces to Make Musical Instruments by Greg Rosa

 Cardboard folk instruments to make & play by Dennis Waring
Handmade music factory : the ultimate guide to making foot-stompin’-good instruments by Michael Orr
Junkyard jam band : DIY musical instruments and noisemakers by David Erik Nelson

Activity ideas

Mini-banjos from jar lids http://www.thecrafttrain.com/mini-lid-banjos/

Banjos from paper plates https://www.parents.com/fun/arts-crafts/kid/crafts-made-from-paper-plates-cups/#page=2

Recycled box guitar https://funfamilycrafts.com/recycled-box-guitar/

Popsicle stick harmonica http://www.housingaforest.com/popsicle-stick-harmonica/

Wind pipe straw instrument https://laughingkidslearn.com/wind-pipe-instrument

Cardboard tube xylophone https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/homemade-instruments-for-kids-diy-xylophone/

Wrapping Paper Tube Xylophone http://www.doodlesandjots.com/2013/12/27/wrapping-paper-tube-xylophone/

Tin Can Xylophone http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Tin-Can-Xylophone.html

Pool Noodle Sand Blocks http://nancymusic.blogspot.com/2011/07/tuesday-tip-swimming-noodle-sand-blocks.html

DIY Rhythm Sticks and Activities http://www.theottoolbox.com/2015/06/diy-rhythm-sticks-and-activities.html

Paper plate Tambourines https://www.stickymudandbellylaughs.com/2017/04/diy-tambourine-paper-plate-craft.html

All About Bugs

Bugs by Rosie Dickins

Learn all about bugs in this nonfiction children’s book with detailed colorful photographs. Topics covered include: what is a bug, bug bodies, senses, on the move, bugs and plants, hunting for food, in disguise, finding a mate, baby bugs, living together, in the ground, underwater, true bugs, beetles, butterflies and moths, flies, ants, bees and wasps, spiders, bad bugs, helpful bugs, amazing facts, using the internet and index. It also has descriptions of Web sites specially chosen to take you further into the subject in a fun and informative way. You can find links to the sites on the Usborne Quicklinks Web site at https://www.usborne.com/quicklinks



Bugs and Bugsicles by Amy S. Hansen, illustrated by Robert C. Cray

Where do bugs go in the winter? Some die, laying eggs to hatch in the spring. Others do different things, like ladybugs that huddle together for warmth, monarch butterflies that migrate all the way to Mexico, and woolly bear caterpillars who actually freeze and spend the winter as bugsicles.

Insects do amazing things with this part of their anatomy. Discover the different ways insects use their butts to avoid predators. Spittlebugs blow bubbles from their butts and hide under them, while some caterpillars shoot their poop far from their bodies to throw poop-searching wasps off their trail. Ants and beetles spray acid from their butts into the faces of predators, while some caterpillars and larvae build hide-outs with their poop to keep predators away.

Bug Zoo by Nick Baker

This nonfiction is a great book to use as a resource capturing, keeping and caring for insects found in your backyard.

Super Bugs by Michelle Meadows and illustrated by Bill Mayer

Fun rhyming picture book that includes ants, beetles, bumblebees, butterflies, caterpillars, cicadas, cockroaches, crickets, daddy longlegs, dragonflies, fireflies, fleas, grasshoppers, houseflies, mosquitoes, moths, spiders, stinkbugs, and termites.

Other insect themed picture books:

I Love Bugs by Emma Dodd

Anna Aphid by Christine Goppel

Step by Step by Diane Wolkstein

Insect activities for preschoolers:

Insect identification: https://www.insectidentification.org/

Create insects out of felt pieces here:


Printable backyard insect chart here: https://entfdn.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/enlist_lesson_1_of_4_-_order_chart.pdf

Scholastic activities: http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bugs/

Create your own super bug: http://www.mylearning.org/minibeasts/interactive-intro/4-77/

Bug bingo game: http://www.jemome.com/p-printable-insect-cards-899811/

Frogs are Fun!

Frogs by Julie Murray

This is an informational nonfiction book about frogs and their life cycle. It’s a perfect introduction for preschoolers with easy to understand text and beautiful photography  of the frogs’ natural habitat, the physical changes it undergoes, and its food sources.

How a Tadpole Grows into a Frog by David Stewart, illustrated by Carolyn Franklin

This nonfiction book explores the natural cycle of a frog’s life with colorful torn-paper illustrations. There is a glossary of words as well as illustrations of the frog as an egg, then as a tadpole at 7 weeks, turning into a frog at 9 weeks and its growth at 12, 14 and 20 weeks and fully grown.

Tale of a Tadpole written by Karen Wallace

This nonfiction book uses detailed photographs to illustrate the life cycle of a frog. From an egg on a lily pad to a tadpole hiding from the dangers of the pond (including hungry fish and beetles) until he grows up into a frog.

999 Tadpoles

The story begins with 999 tadpoles growing up in a pond but they need a place to live that has more room for all of the big frog family. So they start to explore the world beyond the pond but the frog family runs into predators such as snakes and hawks. The story has a humorous conclusion as the frogs find their new home.

Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan and illustrated by Byron Barton

Jump, Frog, Jump! is about a frog that is going across the pond where he is almost eaten by a snake. Frog must jump away from different dangers across the pond until he is caught by two young boys in a net. One of the boys lets him go saying “jump, frog, jump!”.

The Croaky Pokey! by Ethan Long

In this fun frog themed version of the classic “Hokey Pokey,” a pond full of animals such as frogs, fish, birds, and alligators all try to capture a dragonfly buzzing just out of reach, while singing and dancing to a froggy version of the “Hokey Pokey” called the “Croaky Pokey.” In the “Croaky Pokey” children do all the same body motions featured in the original, but then “hop the Croaky Pokey as they chase a fly around, right in the froggy’s mouth!

One Frog Sang by Shirley Parenteau and illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

One Frog Sang shares some of the many kinds of sounds different frogs make! It is also a counting book, where one frog says ker-bloop, two frogs say peep peep, and continues up to ten different frog sounds.

Frog on a Log by Kes Gray and illustrated by Jim Field

 This is a hilarious, rhyming story about a frog who thinks that the rule that all frogs sit on logs is unfair because logs are uncomfortable. What follows is the cat informing the frog about the rules of where certain animals are allowed to sit. For example, a frog sits on a log, a cat sits on a mat, a flea sits on a pea, a parrot sits on a carrot, etc. A very funny book that the preschoolers really enjoyed.

AhHa by Jeff Mack

Only two letters are used in this book. The words ah and ha take on new meaning as the story unfolds. A frog escapes capture from a boy with a jar, a turtle, an alligator, and a flamingo. The illustrations play a huge role in telling this story, but it’s the words, the tone, and the meaning behind each one that captivate young audiences.

Printable frog puppets: https://picklebums.com/five-green-frogs-printable/

Frog Jump: Measurement and Gross Motor Activity: https://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/frog-jump-measurement-and-gross-motor-activity/

Life Cycle Of A Frog Activities: https://teachwithme.com/blogs/getting-to-the-core/item/4987-life-cycle-of-a-frog-activities-frog-crafts






Engaging Preschoolers with Music

Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Rhythm Instruments and More for Active Learning by Abigail Flesch Connors contains hundreds of ideas for singing, moving, listening, and playing music with young children.

Activities using rhythm sticks, shakers, bell, sand block, tambourines, drums and other rhythm instruments such as the xylophone, ukulele, guiro, triangle and lollipop drum. Music and movement ideas include activities about body parts, animals, scarves, Spanish words, American Sign Language, and inner listening skills among others.

Music, a way of life for the young child by Linda Carol Edwards

This book explains the rationale and techniques for using music with infants, toddlers, and young children through the age of five as well as the developmentally appropriate stages for its introduction. Coverage is built on a strong foundation of research and theory, incorporating findings in the field and the suggestions of users. The authors take a developmental approach to the role of music in the life of the young child, and offer a sound program for successfully bringing music into the early childhood educational environment.

Musical children : engaging children in musical experiences.

The book presents 25 strategies for engaging children who are learning music based on the latest Music Educators National Conference (MENC) standards. It includes reproducible student activity charts, a song selection of 40 notated melodies, a collection of chants, and resource material.




Winter Olympics

Clifford’s Sports Day by Norman Bridwell

Dunk Skunk by Michael Rex

Elympics by X. J. Kennedy with pictures by Graham Percy

Koala Lou by Mem Fox

Loudmouth George and the Big Race by Nancy Carlson

Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger

The Mud Flat Olympics by James Stevenson

Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman and illustrated by Liza Woodruff

Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester

Rhinos Who Snowboard by Julie Mammano

Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar and pictures by Troy Cummings

Science activities

Ski Jumping Straw Rockets


Magnetism for Kids- Making a Figure Skater Skate


Penguins and Preschool

One Day on Our Blue Planet: In The Antartic by Ella Bailey

This is a beautifully illustrated picture book with a fun storyline. The story follows an Adélie penguin chick from her nest to the open ocean where she searches for food and swims among whales, seals and other animals. While at sea she avoids predators and rests on floating ice under a sky filled with stars and the southern lights.

Penguins and Their Chicks by Margaret Hall

Beautiful photographs of penguin chicks and how they grow accompany easy to understand facts making this a  nonfiction book that preschoolers will really enjoy.

Puffins Climb, Penguins Rhyme by Bruce McMillan

This charming nonfiction book explores the both puffins who live at the top of the earth in Iceland and penguins who live at the bottom of the earth in Antarctica. Preschoolers can observe,  compare, and name events of the natural world.

Penguin Problems by Jory John & Lane Smith

Life in Antarctica is not easy for penguins! It’s very cold and penguins have a lot of natural predators. Can you imagine trying to find your mom in a big crowd of identical penguins?! This is a very humorous picture book for preschoolers.

Playful Little Penguins by Tony Mitton, illustrations by Guy Parker-Rees

You can ask the children to join in the actions and sounds of the story. Preschoolers will enjoy jumping, swirling and whirling and imitating sleeping penguins in a happy huddle.

Blue Penguin by Petr Horáček

Blue Penguin is a beautifully illustrated picture book about being different and making friends. Blue Penguin doesn’t fit in because he looks different from the other penguins. He sings beautifully and he ends up teaching the other penguins a valuable lesson: that one should never judge others by how they look, but by how they are on the inside.

Face to Face with Penguins by Yva Momatiuk and photographs by John Eastcott

Although this book is geared to elementary aged students, there are wonderful photographs and fun questions and answers such as “What’s the Scoop on Penguin Poop?” (It changes color depending on what they eat!) or “Penguin Talk” which explains their honking, whistling, barking and growling, and what each sound means.

For more in depth information read The Great Penguin Rescue: Saving the African Penguin by Sandra Markle.

Preschool science activities including penguin measuring, sensory habitat and ice exploration can be found here: https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/learning-about-penguins-ice-melting-activities/

Learn how penguin feathers stay dry with this printable activity using way crayons.  http://raisinglittlesuperheroes.com/penguin-feathers-science-experiment/

Fun penguin rhymes and finger plays can be found here: http://stepbystepcc.com/animals/penguin.htm


Tag Cloud