Forums / Informal Science / Informal science for children that have yet to enter school?

Informal Science

Informal science for children that have yet to enter school?

Author Post
Pamela Garza Pamela Garza 160 Points

Hello, What are some good activities to start introducing and teaching science to children that have yet to enter school? Things that can be done at home, in a place or with materials that are accessible. If they are things that can keep an active toddler intrigued all the better. Are there any recommendations, whether they are from experience or in theory, anyone has?

Joselyn Hermoso Joselyn Hermoso 785 Points

Hello.....maybe try using story books about some science and parents too can read it with them.

I came across with this

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92364 Points

You might be interested in this article from the Science and Children NSTA publication. I love to create a list of things to look for like a scavenger hunt. If the children are pre-readers, you can always use pictures or icons for them to check off.



Toneka Bussey Toneka Bussey 1928 Points



Field trips, museums, the zoo and learning stations to explore are  all great ways to heighten the curiosity for early learners.

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92186 Points

Hi Pamela and Everyone following this post,

I have the unique pleasure of working part-time at a Botanic Garden that has a preschool on the premises.  They take their children outside every single day, rain, snow or sunshine, to explore.  There is a separate Children's Growing Garden and Sensory Play area that is accessible to all families to come to the Garden.  Places like this are popping up all over in outdoor, living museums.  Check out the Botanic Garden or Children's Science Museum closest to where you live.

ALSO, every issue of Science and Children has a 'The Early Years' section written by Peggy Ashbrook.  You will find 100s of great ideas that can be done at home in her articles. Here is the most recent one:

about open exploration.

Happy Exploring!

Carolyn Mohr,

Senior Online Advisor and Adjunct Science Methods Professor

Susan Farmer Susan Farmer 1520 Points

Great question! I tell my students that they began learning everything we are studying in physical science in kindergarten. Some goals for pre-schoolers could include developing and maintaining their curiosity about the world around them, helping them enjoy scientific activity and helping them begin to understand how to explain natural phenomena. Teaching through exploration and play is key... but don't forget to teach a little about safety! The science process skills of observation, measurement and experimentation can help you think of fun explorations with the everyday materials and science content that students are interested in. I use water, oil, sand, plants, small animals, clay, magnets and toys for science lessons. Sesame Street has some cute segments on observation. Little children love to observe by looking carefully (sometimes with a magnifying glass), listening, touching, smelling and even tasting. What kinds of questions do they have about what they have observed using their senses? Can they experiment to find answers? What do they predict will happen when they experiment?

Toneka Bussey Toneka Bussey 1928 Points

Your post was very helpful!  I agreee that activitating the students' natural curiosity through the five senses will enable them to learn about the world around them at an early age.

Asmara Mengisteab Asmara Mengisteab 535 Points


As a private tutor, I come across lots of parents that want to incorporate science lessons at home with their kids that have yet to start school yet. Many of the parents I work with tend to shy away from teaching science to their children because they do not feel confident in the content area all together. However the earlier we introduce our kiddos to the beauty of science, the quicker we may develop a love for science. This article does a great and simple job of explaining how to teach science to younger children.

Start by introducing your student to science vocabulary, hands on science exploration, trips to museums and family field trips, experiments with household items and animated videos that keep students engaged. Have discussions with your child about the importance of understanding and experimenting with science concepts. Introduce your students to different cycles with hands on activities. Take your students outside to explore and come up with conclusions on their own and then discuss those topics with facts. I hope this helps!

Toneka Bussey Toneka Bussey 1928 Points

This article was a great read and very helpful!

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers