Preschool Science Activity: Planning One
by Sue Chehrenegar
In addition to singing, storytelling, arts and crafts and outdoor
activities, the instructor at a preschool will want to expose
the young students to some sort of preschool science activity.
For these very small future scientists, the best activities involve
simple hands-on science.
Even the youngest toddler can make important observations. The
preschool science activity that is selected might be one that
makes use of these observational abilities. There are, for example,
two very simple activities that will teach young children about
the science of air pressure. One involves no more than having
the children drink from a straw. The other requires only the availability
of a cup of water and the kitchen tool that is used to baste a
turkey. Both of these can become a preschool science activity
that demonstrates how everyday happenings come about because of
the way that air pressure acts to fill a vacuum.
Water is the surest resource for multiple preschool science
activities. Let the preschool children observe for themselves
the surface tension that is an important property of water. One
preschool science activity that does this is the blowing of bubbles.
Another activity calls for the presentation to the young students
of a cup of water and a pile of paper clips. Let the students
keep adding bubbles to the cup while they watch the water level
rise above the rim of the cup. Show them how the water tension
keeps the water from dripping over the rim.
Water can also be used to busy the preschool children with an
opportunity to do some sorting. Like observation, sorting is a
skill that even the youngest child can seem to master. One preschool
science activity that involves sorting is one in which the students
explore what objects can float on top of water, and what objects
will sink to the bottom of a water-filled container. The students
should be asked to observe what floats and what sinks, and then
they should be asked to sort the tested objects according
to what they observed.
Another preschool science activity that can lead to a period
of sorting is one that makes use of a magnet. Do not use small
magnets or small objects, as these could be swallowed. Secure
some large magnets and then some decent-sized pieces of metal,
of wood, of plastic and of whatever else is of an appropriate
size. Let the students discover which of the objects will stick
to the magnet, and which will not. Have them then sort the objects
into two groups (one group that clung to the magnet and another
that would not stick to the magnet)
Once you get started on doing preschool science activities,
you will find that you can picture any number of new ways to busy
your active students. A pair of binoculars or a magnifying glass
can be the focus of a great preschool science activity. Anything
that asks a preschooler to observe or to sort is science.
Resource for Your Preschool Science Activity
Finding a Safe Preschool Science Activity
At one time Sue pursued a career in biomedical research, but
she has now taken on the challenges of the freelance writer.
She has written for Vainqeer Teens, for Nature Friend Magazine,
and for the Website www.abcteach.com.