A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!

Posts tagged ‘STEM’

All About Horses

I began our horse themed preschool storytime with the True or False Book of Horses by Patricia Lauber. The children really engaged with the true-or-false question-and-answer format with questions such as do horses walk on their tiptoes, do horses need to move their heads to see behind them, or do horses have a better sense of smell than we do. I used a Breyer toy horse to show the children the hooves and eyes and ears. I asked them to show me how they turned to see behind them. Then I asked them to show me their eyes, and then demonstrated how horses’ eyes are more wide set and closer to the sides of their heads than human eyes. This was a fun introduction to get the children excited about horses!

Are you a horse? by Andy Rash is a very humorous book. The children learned the differences between the various objects, plants, and animals to determine what makes a horse a horse. Categories included living and nonliving, plant versus animal, animals with no legs, and animals that lay eggs. The preschoolers enjoyed answering “No!” when the main character would ask each thing or animal if they were a horse, and chiming in with explanations of why it could not be a horse.

Other books the children enjoyed:

Horseplay by Karma Wilson

Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee

Noni the Pony by Alison Lester

Big Horse Small Mouse: a Book of Barnyard Opposites by Liesbet Slegers

“Play Giddy-up” from Miss Carole’s Polka Dots music cd was the perfect way for the children to walk, gallop and whoa to a stop.

https://lcl.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=miss+carole%27s&te=&lm=MUSICCDS&rt=false%7C%7C%7CTITLE%7C%7C%7CTitle#

Here’s a link to a printable worksheet with the parts of a horse. http://homeschoolhelperonline.com/2015/07/18/label-the-horse-worksheet/#

 

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Preschool Inventors

Here are several books to inspire creativity for your preschoolers!

Tinkerlab: a Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley

The book has 55 activities for children to explore their world with creative experiments with easy to find materials. There are ideas for everything from making marks with crayons and markers to simple machines, robotics, electronics and unique hands on art experiences.

Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children by Lisa Daly

Loose parts can be acorns, hardware, stones, aluminum foil, or fabric scraps.  Loose parts can be natural or synthetic, found, bought, or upcycled. Free reign to play and manipulate with these materials inspire creativity in children.

With more than 550 color photographs of many kinds of loose parts in real early childhood settings, this book provides information about the variety of ways everyday materials can support open-ended learning, enhance play, and empower children.

50 Fantastic Things to Do With Preschoolers by Sally Featherstone

This book offers a wide range of suggestions for purposeful play activities including:

Sort it Out; sorting natural objects

Five Little Peas; popping and placing

Jelly on the Plate; playing with familiar substances

Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl

This book is full of hands-on reading, science, and social activities for children.

The author includes stages of development and activities for writing, reading, math, science, art, and more that include supply lists, instructions, and ways to expand the activity.

More resources available at https://home.playfullearning.net/free-resources/

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids by Asia Citro

Each chapter begins with an introduction and the author’s experience and tips. The chapters are: slimes, doughs, paints, small worlds, simple sensory activities, and do it yourself toys. Each activity lists prep time, ages, ingredients and supplies, detailed instructions as well as variations, troubleshooting and budget tips. The last part of the book has information on the science behind the activities, where to find supplies, and additional resources.

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.

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