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Early Childhood

Resources for Activities

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Valerie Green Valerie Green 480 Points

I am wondering what are some of your favorite places to get ideas for science activities for PreK and Kindergarten? Have you worked in anything that's currently popular with the kiddos, like baby shark?


Peggy Ashbrook Margaret Ashbrook 10953 Points

I have noticed that children are very engaged when they get to try out some of their own ideas by manipulating the materials themselves rather than only following a set of instructions. Open-ended materials such as building materials, group play in a large space holding a parachute, digging in the soil or sand to see what they can find or make, and creating with playdough, involve children in learning about the properties of matter, how forces affect balance and motion of objects, that small particles together make a larger material, and perhaps something about living organisms.

The best science activities are fun and meaningful to children because they connect with their everyday experiences in some way and there are things children can observe, act on, figure out, and talk about. We can ask ourselves: what do we want children to learn and what do we want them to experience? What phenomenon are they exploring?

For example, in PreK and Kindergarten, rather than hoping to teach the water cycle, teach about the properties of water in its liquid and solid forms by providing many different ways for children to manipulate water with all kinds of tools, and opportunities to observe that evaportion occurs by painting the sidewalk with water.  Having childen draw and write about their thinking, and talking with children about their ideas will reveal what additional or repeat experiences you can involve them in to further their understanding. 

A note about Baby Shark: I notice that in some of the videos where a multi-generational family of 'sharks' sing and dance that the female sharks are diminished, being represented with small motions, arms not fully extended. We don't want to teach children that females of the human species (since humans are representing sharks in the video) are less capable than males. Scientifically--not the goal of Baby Shark--sexual dimorphism can be seen in sharks with females often larger than the males. 



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