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Early Childhood

Hands on Science

Author Post
Laura Rosales Laura Rosales 290 Points

We know that children under the age of 7 love hands on activities and projects but sometimes there is not enough resources or places to visit so that they can get the full experiences of a real life-based science lesson. What resources do you recommend for our students to have an enriching and real life science experience?

Estela Salvador Estela Salvador 50 Points

Hello Laura Rosales! At the moment I am a student preparing to become a bilingual teacher EG-6. I totally agree with you children like and learn much better doing hands on activities. Regarding your question I would recommend going outside the school and explore what's outside (plants, insects, climate, and more) you will get surprised the adventure of exploring and learning in their own campus. I hope my suggestion helps you . As I previously mentioned I am a student and I have to do lesson plans for practice, what lesson plan format would you recommend me or which one will help me better in the future?

Peggy Ashbrook Margaret Ashbrook 10433 Points

I encourage early childhood educators to use the book series, Young Scientists, to learn about science inquiry in a variety of settings. Worms, Shadows, and Whirlpools is another very helpful book. All these books have examples of teacher's documentation of their work with young children.
Thinking BIG, Learning BIG by Marie Faust Evitt is a wonderful resource of science activities that integrate math and literacy.
My books of science activities might be helpful as well: Science Learning in the Early Years and Science Is Simple

The free National Science Teachers Association's blog, The Early Years, is another place to find activity ideas and resources.
Best wishes,

Megan Doty Megan Doty 11847 Points

Hi Laura, To add to what has already been posted, I found a short article with some additional resources geared toward Early Childhood STEM incorporation. Take a look and see if these may help as well: Does anyone else have some real-world applications of science for younger students? -Megan

Jennifer Martinez Jennifer Martinez 100 Points

Yes, children under the age of 7 love hands on activities and projects. Students are naturally curious about how things in the natural world work, which makes them respond well to science instruction. There are many activities that can be done by utilizing materials that can be found in the classroom, such as a magnet, paper clips, plastic containers, popsicle sticks, coins, and so on. You can teach a lesson on what attracts magnets and what doesn't, and also a lesson on what objects float in a container filled with water, and what objects don't. You can teach the reasons as to why these things happen, and they can experiment to see for themselves, which becomes a learning experience. I hope these suggestions may be helpful for you. Do you recommend the lesson to be directly taught by the teacher to stimulate the interest of science occasionally in order to let the students observe to intrigue their interest in the science topic? -Jennifer Martinez

Shelly Tran Shelly Tran 330 Points

Hi Laura! I recommend looking at the objectives and think of ways to be creative of what you do have. There are many activities that can be done with paper and crayons. Also, taking the children outside and using the environment around your school can be a resource because science is all around us!

Janice Venezuela Janice Venezuela 2935 Points

With low amount of resources or having no time to visit certain places, the best resource that is useful and accessible is the environment around the students. If there is a lesson in which taking the students outside to teach is suitable, then the children will be able to gain knowledge and perspectives based on what they see around. Children are usually very observational and will find many little things that capture their attention in which they can draw information from. Not only is going outside and using their environment an easy resources, but students will also be able to enjoy learning in a different setting, and may perform better, as well.

Megan Doty Megan Doty 11847 Points

Hi Jennifer, I found a few articles through the Learning Center that discuss using hands-on learning experiences in a structured way, to allow for students to experience learning themselves without losing control of the classroom. Might these be helpful? What have you found to work best for your classroom? Do you have any "favorite" lessons that you would like to share? -Megan

Evelyn Guerrero Evelyn Guerrero 70 Points

hi, I am a strong believer of hands-on learning experiences. You can maybe take the students outside in the playground and give them a scavenger hunt to look for several objects/things. Maybe give a lesson on climate or animals , flowers anything you can find in a playground. I hope this really helps! -evelyn

Kylie Sheets Kylie Sheets 3145 Points

Hi Laura, I am currently a student at the University of Northern Iowa and we have been spending a lot of time in class talking about this topic. Young children learn the best with hand on activity and stay the most focused and we have been discussing how to make this happen in a classroom where you might not have the resources or support you need. Using what you have in your room, school and environment is the best way to get some hands on activities for younger students. You do not always need to have elaborate activities just multiple materials that students can explore leads to many great questions and learnings.

Mikaela Bahlmann Mikaela Bahlmann 3195 Points

This website I found includes a bunch of ideas on how to set up science learning centers for 2 and 3 year olds - so this is on the very young end of early childhood! Science can definitely be incorporated into toddler learning -- and it's not as difficult as you would think.

Here's a link to the website:

Julie Morales Julie Morales 440 Points

I feel that students learn best through direct and hands-on experiences. Hands-on experiences are great because they keep students engaged and let them be in charge of their learning. I feel that students need to be responsible for their learning, and hands-on experiences allow them to be. There are many resources that can be used for hands-on experiences if teachers are creative in finding ways to use things around them. This article has many ideas for ways to use easy to find things for hands-on experiences:

Valentina Visbal Valentina Visbal 350 Points

Thank you for sharing your post. As I have worked with children, I have come to notice how much they learn and remember when they do a hands-on activity. Whenever possible take them outside to experiment with insects and plants. The ice activity is an example of a good hands-on activity, take a few ice cubes outside and show them that it melts with heat. Another activity is to create an s'more oven for the children to understand temperature. Try to have the students touch the plants while explaining what they need to stay alive. Once back in the classroom incorporate art to the lessons, maybe drawing the results of the experiment that was done outside, these are some of the tips that have worked for me.

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