Clipboards with paper for drawing and recording observations is an important part of the basic equipment in the science area.
Children use the clipboard both indoors and outdoors. Today there are flowers outside to observe.
Observing and drawing nature.
- make drawings of objects
- make drawings of observations of nature
- find pictures in books to compare drawings
- write the words
Posted in ABCs, Books, Language, literacy, Super Science, writing
Tagged alphabet, books, fine motor, fine motor development, letters, literacy, observations, outdoors, preschool, science, toddlers, vocabulary, writing
Fabric float or sink is a great hands-on science activity using materials you already have on hand.
- a variety of fabric (here you see flannel, cotton, felt, rayon, polyester, and upholstery fabrics)
- a container for water
A child chooses which fabric to put in the water. Does it float or does it sink? The fabrics here all floated at first.
When does the fabric start to sink and why? The fabric would float until either the fabric soaked in the water or the child turned the fabric over so both sides were wet. The results: All the fabric pieces used here sunk.
Children get to
- observe change and learn about cause and effect
- use sight and touch senses to gain information
- compare similarities and differences between objects
- observe some attributes of fabric
Posted in cognitive, Super Science, writing
Tagged clothes, experiment, fabric, hypothesis, material, observation, preschool, science, water
As children develop their writing skills, take time to make it fun! Here a green theme is used to make writing fun and encourage writing.
Children need multiple opportunities to draw and write. The green box needs to be easy for each child to open using fine motor skills. The contents include green writing tools: markers, pencils, crayons. A variety of white and green papers for children to write on. Words with photos give a model for children to draw letters and make the connection that letters make words as they write the words themselves. Include the names of other children: friends, siblings, classmates, and teachers in the box.
Give children an opportunity to display their writing. When they see writing as enjoyable and purposeful they will do it more!
Posted in ABCs, cognitive, Colors, kindergarten readiness, literacy, Motor Development, School readiness
Tagged alphabet, cognitive, colors, fine motor, green, language, literacy, preschool, teach colors, writing
Jamberry by Bruce Degen is a wonderful book about a boy and a bear who find berries celebrating along the way.
After a few readings, the children will chant the words as the story is read!
To extend the story into the library area, cut flannel purple berries. Children put the berries on a flannel board counting the number of berries. Cut red, blue, black, and purple shapes to represent the berries. Sort the berries and compare the colors and shapes. Retell the story with the felt pieces.
Enjoy a Jamberry snack with berries. Add a little yogurt for a little dipping. Be sure to count the berries, compare the shapes & sizes, name the colors, discuss the textures, and observe that some have seeds.
The bear and boy dance with enjoyable movement in this story. Put on some fun music and everyone dance like the dancing in the story. Use ribbons, fabric, or scarves to move while dancing. Children can use the musical instruments and play them to the rhythm of the music while they move to the music!
Extend the story by looking around the environment and find any “J”s in the room. Here is one on the alphabet wall.
Posted in Books, Colors, Language, literacy, Movement
Tagged berries, books, dance, lesson plans, literacy, movement, observations, reading, rhythm
A vehicle writing case gives young children a fun way to write.
Use a case that can be opened on by the child. Inside the case include some of the following materials for writing:
- 1/4 sheets of copy paper
- markers, pencils, color pencils
- names of the children in class or family members
- cards with stickers or pictures of vehicles and their name
Children may trace the vehicle words.
Children may write the vehicle words on another paper.
Children may copy the names of the children or family members.
Children may think of additional vehicle names to add to their vehicle writing case!
Writing is a developmental process. To help children develop the small muscles in the hands and arms, use a variety of tools like the vehicle writing case!
Posted in ABCs, For Teachers & Parents, kindergarten readiness, Language, literacy, Motor Development
Tagged fine motor, language, school readiness, small muscle, words, writing
I notice that the children are interested in playing with music. So, I decide to use this interest as a starting point for them to explore something new. I choose to use something that is common to their environment – cans.
After gathering cans, the children sort them according to size. Only 3 sizes are used: small, medium, and large. A tally mark is placed on the graph according to the size of the can.
Since I choose to use cans from their environment, I choose to introduce a paint brush as the “stick” to cause the music sound.
Using the paint brush, each can is tapped. After listening to the sound, another can is tapped and the children notice that a different size can has a different “pitch”. Talk occurs about similarities and differences of the sounds and which cans make which sounds. The small cans make a different sound than the large can does. The children predict what the large can will sound like when tapped with the paint brush.
Also, the paint brushes cause their own sound due to the type of metal on the paint brush. They identify that one object (the paintbrush) influences or affects other objects (the cans). I record these observations on a large paper so each child can see the words.
Some of the concepts from this study include:
- Cans come in different sizes.
- Each size makes it’s own sound.
- Common items are used for music and play.
- We use our ears to hear the sounds.
- We can count and sort the cans using a graph.
- Science and music are fun.
Posted in cognitive, Imitation, Math, Music, Observation, Super Science, Terrific Toddlers
Tagged cans, cause and effect, comparison, graph, interest, math, music, patterns, prediction, science
When teaching about the air and wind, a fun science hands-on activity is discovering just what the wind can blow and what it can’t blow.
With some groups of children, the child(ren) blow “wind” themselves by blowing air through their mouths. You can take time for each child to blow a kleenex or napkin and see it move. It’s also a treat to bring in a small safe electric fan creating “wind” and then testing what that wind blows.
A child finds items in the environment or have some prepared ahead from both indoors and outdoors. Some items could be the following:
- popcorn bag
- cotton balls
- pom poms
- brown paper sack
- kleenex or napkin
- fruit blossoms (pear is shown here)
- metal screw
- construction paper
- flower (tulip shown here)
Extend this activity to involve math. Create a graph from construction paper or a poster board. At the top write, What Does The Wind Blow? Draw a line down the middle of the graph under the title. On one side write “The Wind Does Not Blow” and write the name of the object that moves when the wind blows under it and on the other side write “The Wind Does Blow” and write the name of the object that does not move when the wind blows. Be sure to have some heavy items as well as light items. Hang the poster up for the rest of the week to refer to again.
At the end of this activity show how the wind can blow bubbles around. This is alot of fun to catch and pop bubbles.
Posted in cognitive, Environment, For Teachers & Parents, Observation, Super Science
Tagged blow, cognitive, language, preschool, science, toddler, wind
A fun activity for science, math, language, and more using what the children bring with them – their shoes! Do this activity with each child, small groups, or in a large group. Another option is to have a variety of shoes in the science area for the same learning activities.
You’ll need shoes, rulers or make some measuring tapes from paper, and a graph.
- The child/children take off their shoes and line the shoes up so they are side-by-side.
- The children can work together to put the shoes in order from smallest to largest. An easy way to practice problem solving and encourage cooperation.
- Using a homemade measuring “tape” or a ruler, the shoes are measured. Children can predict how many inches each shoe will be. A graph show a tally record of the number of inches of the shoes. (see sample)
How Many Shoes?
Total number of shoes
- Compare: What is the smallest shoe? How many inches is the smallest shoe? Which shoe is the longest shoe? How many inches is the longest shoe?
- Which length has the most tally marks (shoes)?
Do this same activity another day when the children wear different shoes.
Posted in cognitive, Colors, Diversity, Language, Math, Super Science
Tagged activities, compare, inches, length, measure, order, prediction, shoes, Sorting, vocabulary
Children love the sound of tearing paper as well as getting to tear paper. Children tend to hear “don’t tear…..” often, so this may surprise them to hear “it’s okay to tear”.
|The Supplies Needed:
- Construction paper – you choose the color
- Glue or glue stick
- Magazines or Store Ads
Write the name of the color of the paper at the top. Here you see “orange” and “blue”.
Most people don’t know it but paper tearing is actually an important skill toddlers need to build so they can eventually learn to cut, write and draw.
Tearing builds strong fingers and hands. First show the children ‘how’ to tear paper. You need to emphasize that the fingers hold the paper and one hand goes forward and the other goes backward. The child uses his thumb and forefinger in opposing directions. Tearing paper into small pieces improves the ability to use both hands in a coordinated manner.
For this activity, find pictures and words in magazines or ads that are the color of the paper. If this is a small or large group activity, child take their torn pictures to the designated location so they can glue them on the group paper.
For this to be a productive activity, have the supplies ready ahead of time. Also be clear as to the expectations. The child may be very interested and excited and ask to do more – up to you!
To develop concepts during this activity, talk about the real world connections of the pictures.
Model language with repetition by repeating the child’s comments. Be sure to introduce new vocabulary that is sure to be available as the child finds pictures to tear.
A Rain, Rain game for one child, a small group or a large group.
1. I cut a large cloud of out some white paper. One large white cloud is cut for a group of children or each child cuts their own white cloud. Raindrops are cut out by the teacher/parent or each child cuts outs some blue raindrops.
2. I label the raindrops with the numbers the children are learning. So, it could be 1 -5, or 1-10, or 1-20, etc. Use cut-out blue rain drops to practice number identification, order, and counting.
More Than One Way To Play:
a. Each child takes a set of numbered raindrops and places them in numerical order on the floor.
b. Each child draws one raindrop. A number line is on the floor or the cloud is numbered. Each child places her raindrop on the matching number.
c. Each child puts the correct number of objects on their numbered raindrop that corresponds/matches.
d.Using sets of numbers, a child places them in numerical order. It may be a set of 3 numbers, 4 numbers, 5 numbers, etc.
- The teacher/adult uses talk to say what he is doing. For example: “I am cutting out the raindrop.” “I am putting the raindrop with the number 5 after the raindrop with the number 4.” This talk expands the child’s language and vocabulary.
- Language develops when the child asks questions.
- Fine motor skills develop when picking up and moving raindrops
- Cutting out the clouds and raindrops develops fine motor skills.
Rain, rain, come here today. I want to …… When I child answers this with writing/drawing, both fine motor and language skills develop.
- The child uses their knowledge of number order to put the numbered raindrops in order.
- The child uses counting when counting the raindrops.
- Shows diligence when working until the task is completed.
- If a child counts the raindrops in order from left to right, she understands number order.
- The teacher/adult enjoys the activity with the child. Smiles and laughter occur between teacher and child(ren). Teachers/adults are interested in the activity and the child. When the child is enthused the teacher is also enthused.
- Respecting the rights of others develops as a child recognizes it’s someone else’s turn to put down a raindrop on the number line.
Posted in Colors, Math, Motor Development, School readiness, Terrific Toddlers
Tagged cooperation, counting, language, math, number games, number identification, number order, preschool, rain, toddlers, writing