Science Activities

Science Learning Fun – Magic for Early Programs, Preschool and Kindergarten #9

Science learning fun is a super wish for early programs for kids. Science is part of school for older kids, but younger kids love science too. It’s more than another subject, it’s like a setting or channel in the brain for interacting with the world.

science fun for young children

This series of blog posts is inspired by parents and caregivers. They’ve answered the question, “If you had a wish or magic wand for something for kids in a program like preschool or kindergarten, what would it be? One parent wished for some great science activities. Ones that nourish the brain and children’s spirit of curiosity.

This is almost like the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”

Science doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t need expensive materials. Many of them can be found right at home. These videos from Raising Dragons  have some very doable science. They are definitely child friendly.

Baking soda and vinegar combine for some explosive learning. From volcanoes to a rainbow in a dish, it’s always a treasure to watch the action. Kids like action!

Orange you glad science can be this easy and this fun? Before trying the orange, ask your child what s/he thinks it might do in water. Will it float or sink? This builds on the curiosity.

Science ideas often come from kids themselves, as it says in the description for this one. White corn syrup and green food coloring create a work of art.

These are all activities that can happen in a kitchen at home, as well as on a table in a care center for kids. We really must nurture the sense of wonder in young children. Children are so naturally curious as they explore the world around them and seek to figure it out. Their questions now can bring answers for the future. Can science learning fun and play be part of your child’s day?

Magic Wishes for Preschool/Kindergarten #6: Kids’ Gardening Fun and Learning

Spring is the best time of year for kids’ gardening fun and learning. Do your kids know that food has to grow before we get it at a store? In this series, parents and caregivers of preschool kids are answering the following question:

Q. If you had a magic wand or one wish you could use to conjure up something in a preschool program, care center, or kindergarten, what would that be?

kids' gardening fun and learning

The answers give plenty of food for thought. Patrick, dad of K, wishes his son and other kids could learn about gardening and the value of food. It must be the time of year, because just this week there was a radio interview with a scientist and growing food in space. Growing food in space is more than a science challenge. It’s also a mental and emotional issue, as astronauts find they really miss eating something fresh. Plus, being involved in growing food provides a connection nothing else can. Not only do plants feed bodies they also feed our hearts. Caring and looking after plants can reduce the isolation and loneliness of those in space—and back on Earth too.

There are so many great reasons to include gardening activities for kids, no wonder Patrick wished kids could have access to gardens. Gardens nourish the senses. Think of the smell of soil and water, green plants, and freshness outdoors. Soft, slippery, wet, and sandy are a few of the different textures for sense of touch. With plants and earth, eyes get lots of stimulation. There’s not a lot to hear, or is there? Perhaps this is one reason why gardening is relaxing, the sounds are oh so quiet.

kids' gardening fun and learning

Children not only tune in to their senses, but to their own nature. They also learn about being patient and responsible. The experience the circle of life, in that plants need our care and we need plants for food. Creepy crawlies like worms are part of the connection too. When we care for a garden, we also care for ourselves and others.

Raising food from planting to harvesting, not only gives kids knowledge of how food grows, but appreciation for it too. In the words of the Guerilla Gardner, Ron Finley, “Kids who grow kale will eat kale. Kids who grow tomatoes, will eat tomatoes.” That’s one way of getting kids to eat veggies. Having kids’ gardening fun and learning as part of early childhood is so worthwhile. Do you wish there was more of it too?

 

Child’s Play Helps Discover New Planets

Child’s play helps discover new planets? Well, that’s a bit of a stretch but what we do as adults often grows from how we loved to play as kids. Many of the scientists at NASA were fascinated by space as children and on a radio show, one of them was quoted as saying she has been intrigued with searching for new planets since an early age.

planets child art play

February is friends and heart month. Following a passion is following your heart. Did you have an interest or a favorite way to play as a child that gave clues about what you are doing today? Of course, child’s play has been a lifelong interest of mine. Being a kindergarten teacher means being able to play at work. On the blog, I’ve included many posts about careers adults choose and the clues we find when we look at their play. This excerpt is from the post Child’s PlayReaches to Outer Space from a couple of years back:

Astronaut Chris Hadfield adventured far beyond Earth to the International Space Station Endeavour. He played the guitar and sang the first song ever recorded in space. He was inspired at the age of nine as he watched Apollo landing on the Moon, but his interest in flying began much earlier than that. Along with others written about in this series, an artist that drew on the wall about the age of 2, a nurse that played with Dr. Barbie, a mathematician that enjoyed numbers, a designer that always liked to draw, a scientist that took apart her toys and dolls, a crafter who created and sold products to her childhood friends, and a chef who wanted an Easy-Bake oven as a young boy, Chris Hadfield extended his play to a career. How can we so trivialize children’s play when time and time again, we hear stories like these?

Lego space playThe question is even more relevant with the discovery of these seven exoplanets. In a way, the curiosity to explore and the drive to discover are the fuel of play. We see from the time they are wee babies,  the immense hunger young children have to find out all they can about the world. They do this each and every time they play. That’s how we can say child’s play helps discover new planets.star wars science fun for kids

Although we mean well, we cannot fill our children’s days with activities that we plan and organize for them. We must give kids time and space for unstructured play and trust them to direct it. When we do, could we say the results are out of this world?

February Friendship #8: Kids Can Be Friends with Science

Instead of kids can be friends with science, maybe this should be adults can be. Kids are always exploring and trying things out to see what happens. For us, kids’ science play isn’t such fun when we answer 300 questions a day or wait while a child throws double that number of rocks in the … Continue reading February Friendship #8: Kids Can Be Friends with Science

Dragon Vinegar Baking Soda Science Experiment – Foam Instead of Fire

No matter how many times we’ve combined these two ingredients, this dragon vinegar baking soda science experiment was still exciting. Be prepared though, once isn’t enough! The kids wanted to do some dragon science, but what to do? We needed an idea. The thinking process for some dragon science fun was long and winding. There … Continue reading Dragon Vinegar Baking Soda Science Experiment – Foam Instead of Fire

Autumn Activities #6: Apple Science Fall Fun Experiment

You may have done this apple science fall fun experiment before but kids like to ask and do the same thing over and over again. Have you noticed? Get out an apple, fun some water in the sink or a bowl, and here we go. Science experiments start with wanting to know. In this case, … Continue reading Autumn Activities #6: Apple Science Fall Fun Experiment

Space Activities #21: Baking Soda Vinegar Rockets and Water Rocket Fun

Two of the most ordinary ingredients and a small plastic container combine for some science fun. Have you tried baking soda vinegar rockets? This activity is best done outside. Once the rocket is fueled up, stand out of the way. It shoots off with quite a pop and can hurt if it hits a body … Continue reading Space Activities #21: Baking Soda Vinegar Rockets and Water Rocket Fun

Space Activities #2: Juno Straw Rockets

Today’s play-of-the-day, Juno straw rockets, is a space activity from earlier this year but worth doing again. Have you checked out any of the images–and sounds, from Juno? They are amazing but the story of how it got there is pretty amazing too. Not being a rocket scientist, it’s hard for us to wrap our minds around … Continue reading Space Activities #2: Juno Straw Rockets

Transportation Activities #16: Simple Ramp Science

Cars, trucks, train cars, and other toys get to be part of some science fun and learning with this play-of-the-day. All aboard for some simple ramp science. While grownup engineers want to know how to construct the safest, most efficient roads, kid engineers only want to know how to make toy cars go faster. The … Continue reading Transportation Activities #16: Simple Ramp Science

Transportation Activities #14: Father’s Day Paper Airplane

Kids love to make something for their dads. This Father’s Day paper airplane combines a simple gift with an invitation to spend time together and play. (The following instructions are from an earlier blog post.) 1. Fold an ordinary piece of printer paper in half, the long way or hotdog fold. Open it back up. … Continue reading Transportation Activities #14: Father’s Day Paper Airplane