Preschoolers by nature love to explore. They are curious, ask questions and love exploring their world. You might ask “what kind of science activities can preschoolers do?” What can’t they do?
Science for preschoolers can include things that they see in their everyday environment at home, in their neighborhood and the outdoors. Preschoolers benefit from exposure to science. Encourage your child to ask questions and try to make science fun to learn. Expose your child to early science by collecting rocks, cooking in the kitchen, reading about weather/seasons, dinosaurs, and space, etc.
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There are many everyday experiences that can focus on science concepts. Mixing kool-aid with water and noticing the change of color in the water is an opportunity to discuss mixing colors.
Your kitchen can be a home science lab for measuring and cooking concoctions. Playing with water and bath toys can show what sinks and what floats.
Here are some tips to consider in having fun with science:
– Provide hands on experiences for learning science concepts.
– Listen to your preschooler make their own observations as they learn.
– Focus on everyday experiences that your child can relate to.
– Use fun objects to include in learning about mixing colors, playing with sand, playing with sound, magnetism, etc.
– Ask your child questions to encourage discussion.
Here are some ideas for simple science experiments that your preschooler can participate in:
Fill a small glass 3/4 full of water. Mix in 2 Tablespoons of baking soda and mix well. Add a drop or two of food coloring and add 10-15 popcorn kernels. Then add a few drops of vinegar and watch the kernels start to move in 1 -2 minutes.
Fill a plastic bottle 3/4 full of water. Add blue food coloring and then add cooking oil. Leave about one inch at the top of the bottle. Show your preschooler how the oil and water do not mix. Show how tilting the bottle back and forth causes a wave effect.
Place an empty baby food jar on a clean Styrofoam tray. Surround the jar with play dough to look like a volcano/mountain. Place a drop of red food coloring and a tablespoon of baking soda in the jar. Then add vinegar to your volcano to make it erupt.
Remember that the preschool years are the most curious age. You don’t have to be an expert in science to draw your child’s attention to science. Common everyday experiences like blowing bubbles, mixing colors in water, watching birds, growing plants and flowers can be the basis in teaching preschool science!
Reprinted with permission. Sandra Lombard lives in Texas with her husband and son. She is a writer, homeschooler, artist as well as a parent to a special needs child. As a free-lance writer, her content focuses on gardening, crafts, relationships and family life. She maintains a position as a Community Leader and a Moderator at Friends and Families, an online community for women. For more ideas, visit the Homeschool Board of Friends and Families, where friends become family. http://www.friendsandfamilies.com/