Preschool children are naturally open-minded and curious, and are amazed by chemical reactions and science based activities. This curiosity creates a perfect opportunity to start exploring science in preschool classrooms. By choosing the right preschool science activities, you can nurture a child’s authentic sense of adventure, help them begin to understand the scientific world, encourage problem solving and even introduce them to the concepts of seeking evidence and testing their predictions. Read more here about the importance of Early Childhood Education.
The following are some simple science activities ideal for introducing preschoolers to some basic science concepts:
Density: Float or Sink?
Fill a large bucket or kiddie pool with water, and provide a variety of similar-sized objects of varying weights. Have preschoolers classify the objects into two groups: sinkers and floaters. Next, allow them to drop objects one by one into the water to see if their predictions were right. This activity teaches the concept of density, and illustrates that though two objects may be roughly the same size, they can vary greatly in weight.
This is a very simple preschool science activity, but it is highly effective at introducing the concept of gravity. Collect a number of different balls with a range of sizes and weights (i.e. a baseball, tennis ball, a basketball). Explain to your preschoolers that they will drop the balls from the same height and see which one hits the ground first. Ask them to think about which one will hit first. After several drops, ask children if each ball took the same amount of time to hit the ground. Explain that no matter the mass, an object will free fall at the same rate due to gravity.
Baking Soda & Vinegar
This experiment is one of the most-loved preschool science activities that children enjoy recreating over and over again. Fill the bottom of each well in a muffin tin with a small amount of baking soda. Next, using an eyedropper, have children slowly drop small amounts of vinegar into the tray. Watch the resulting chemical reaction together, and let preschoolers see, smell, touch and hear the effects of the reaction as they continue to experiment on their own.
Discover How Plants Absorb Water
Have children place cut celery stalks in cups filled with several different shades of water mixed with food coloring. Explain that you will watch how plants absorb water and grow. Ask preschoolers to predict what they think will happen to the celery as it sits in the colored water. Monitor your celery stalks over the course of several days and watch as their leaves change colour over time. Have children closely examine the bottom of the stalks to see just how the plant draws water upward into the stem.
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