Science ideas

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Danny'sNanny, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Jun 9, 2008

    This summer, I will be in charge of planning weekly science experiments/ activities/ explorations for a class of 3-5 yr olds.

    I already have some ideas, and a few books, but I could always use suggestions!

    What are your favorite preschool science activities?

    I know in the class I just moved out of (I moved from a 9 month preK to a year round preschool classroom), we made popcorn "dance" in soda water, and did an acidity test with purple cabbage and other ingredients (boil the cabbage, add egg/ baking soda/ etc and it changes from purple to other colors).

    So far this summer, we have been exploring what happens to ice in our water table.
     
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  3. Mrs.Sheila

    Mrs.Sheila Cohort

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    Jun 10, 2008

    volcanoes are fun, rubber eggs, oh goodness! We LOVE science!
     
  4. Butterfly4

    Butterfly4 Comrade

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    Jun 11, 2008

  5. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 11, 2008

    Read Apple Man’s Secret by Jean Warren at www.htt://tech.dcboces.org/~oneill/applemanstory.html Apple Man’s Secret by Jean Warren Sarah loved having Grandma come to visit. They always had fun making things together. Today Sarah helped Grandma pick apples from the old apple tree. Then together they made two large apple pies and ten small jars of applesauce. When they were done, they had one large apple left. “I know,” said Grandma. “Let’s make an Apple Man.” Grandma took some whole cloves and some toothpicks from her cupboard. She showed Sarah how to stick the cloves into the apple to make two eyes, a nose and a mouth. Then she showed Sarah how to stick toothpicks into the apple to make arms for the Apple Man. Sarah was delighted with her new apple friend. They played together for the rest of the day. Sarah even took Apple Man upstairs with her when she went to bed. And before she fell asleep she shared a secret with her apple friend. “I have a new baby brother.” Sarah whispered to Apple Man. “His name is Andrew, and my parents are bringing him home from the hospital tomorrow.” In the morning Sarah told Grandma about sharing the secret with Apple Man. “You know what?” said Grandma. “Apple Man has a secret, too. He has a secret inside of him that he would like to share with you.” Sarah loved secrets What could it be, she wondered. Grandma cut Apple Man in half, right across the middle. And there inside was Apple Man’s secret - a beautiful little star! “Oh, “cried Sarah, what a wonderful surprise! Thank you, Apple Man, for sharing your secret with me. I wish I could share it with Baby Andrew.” “I know, “said Grandma. “Let’s make a star picture for Andrew’s room>” Grandma found a large sheet of paper and some paints. Next, she put a sponge on a small plate and put some paint on the sponge. Then she showed Sarah how to dip half the apple on the paper to create a beautiful star print. Sarah printed stars all over the paper. Her picture was finished by the time her parents arrived home with Baby Andrew. Sarah loved her new brother. “Someday,” she thought, “I’m going to make an Apple Man for Andrew. And someday, just like Grandma told me, I’m going to tell him about Apple Man’s secret.” …….Apples are awesome, healthy, tasty, juicy, crunchy and munchy.
     
  6. Mrs.Sheila

    Mrs.Sheila Cohort

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    Jun 15, 2008

    I LOVE that!! I am definately addding that to our program for Sept! Thanks!
     
  7. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    Jun 17, 2008

    One summer we made a "pond" in a big plastic barrel. We kept it out doors, and put in snails, minnows, tadpoles, and aquatic plants. We did put in a small air filter, and ran it on an extension cord. It was lots of fun (we took the kids to the pet store to get all the things for in it), and they had a great time taking care of it over the summer.
     
  8. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jun 23, 2008

    gardens, flowers, collecting seeds from the flowers, pressing the flowers, watering the flowers-and what happens if you don't....that is all science.

    cooking-that is math and science
     
  9. paige407

    paige407 Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2008

    I have been using The Quirkles with my 4's class the last two years ~ and they love it!
    If you are not familiar with them, The Quirkles are a combination of phonics and science. Each letter has it's own story and two experiments.
    My kids' favorite one is Gilbert Gas. The simple experiment (and we do need to keep it pretty simple) is that you add water and an Alza-Seltzer in a film canister, put on the top, and watch it blow (usually up to the ceiling). They can't get enough of it.
    Some of the experiments are a bit too much for us, but I can usually find a substitute (it helps that our preschool is in an elementary school and my room is across the hall from the Science Lab).
    I usually do Quirkles on Wednesday. I let them color the Quirkles picture while I read the story, and then we go to the experiment.
    Check out www.quirkles.com, if you are interested.
     
  10. paige407

    paige407 Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2008

    Forgot to say that I loved the Apple Man's Secret idea. I have already copied it and filed it away for September. Thank you!
     
  11. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 23, 2008

    discovery bottles

    DISCOVERY BOTTLE CENTER
    Discovery bottles encourage the development of observation skills, predictability, scientific concepts, and thinking skills. Seal the lids on with glue gun or electrical tape.
    1. Wave Bottle Fill half of the bottle with cooking oil, add water to fill the bottle ¾ of the way. Add blue food coloring, and seal the lid with glue As you turn the bottle on its side, the waves roll gently.
    2. Desert Bottle Add small plastic desert animals such as lizards, snakes, etc. to an empty bottle. Fill 2/3 of bottle with sand. As students turn and shake the bottle, they can see animals that live on the desert. This is a great activity for visual discrimination
    3. Magnetic Bottle #1 Fill a bottle with small items that can be picked up with a magnet, and objects that cannot be picked up by magnet. Seal the bottle Attach a magnet to the top of the bottle by tying one end of cord around the neck of the bottle and the end to a magnet. Students discovery which items are attracted to the magnetic and which are not.
    4. Swirling Colors: Spray foam shaving cream into a bottle. Add warm water to fill the bottle. Shake, and watch the foam dissolve. Add more water if needed, till all the foam is dissolved. Add food coloring (one color per bottle). When finished, attach the lids and prepare to be mesmerized as the colors and the white swirl together.
    5. Treasurer Hunt Jar: 1 clean peanut butter jar, with lid. Finch bird seed. Fill the jar half full bird seed. Add whatever small items you can find, jungle bell, bead, paper clip, button, penny, marble, (put 20 items in the jar) tape the following poem to the bottle. TREASURE HUNT BOTTLE. Some pirates got it all mixed up, and did things wrong way round. They put the treasure in a bottle, and buried the map in the ground! Their treasure was some silly stuff, like a button, penny, bead and more. That dear old Polly Parrot added all her extra seeds! So find the twenty items here, no two are quite the same. Don’t open up the bottle though, as that would break the game.
    6. Magnetic Bottle #2. Add magnetic objects to a bottle, and fill the bottle with salt. Attach a magnetic wand to the outside of the bottle. Students run the magnetic along the side of the bottle, and are surprised to find what is hiding under the salt.
    7. Dice Bottle Drop dice into the bottle. Do not fill the bottle with water. Students shake the bottle, and choose from any of these activities name the number on the dice, count out that many objects, name the number that comes before or after, write the number, predict what number will be next. Write multiplication facts and solve the problem.
    8. Density Bottle #1 Fill an empty bottle with hair gel (lots of colors are available) Add a marble. Students discover the properties of density as they turn the bottle.
    9. Density Bottle #2 Fill an empty bottle with shampoo. Add a marble.
    10. Dirt Bottle Add dirt to a bottle, and fill half of the bottle with water. See what happens when you shake the bottle!
    11. Glitter Bottle. Be sure and try this one. Fill a bottle half full with colored glitter, add water to the top of the bottle. Shake and see what happens, (very neat after the water has settled)
    12. Relaxation Bottle. Add a small package of colored or holiday confetti to the bottom of the bottle. Fill the bottle with Karo Syrup. It is a very relaxing experience to watch the glitter float and glitter as you gently turn the bottle.
    13. Potpourri Bottle. Cut a small hole into the side of the bottle; attach netting with clear plastic tape, over the hole. Fill the bottle with potpourri in flavors such as orange, vanilla, pine, gingerbread, roses, and etc. Students describe the scent, or what the scent reminds them of.
    14. Bubble Bottle: Add 1 cup of water, a squirt of dish detergent, and 2 drops of food coloring to the bottle. Shake to make bubbles.
    15. Glow in the Dark Bottle Add small glow in the dark items such as stars to a bottle. Do not add any water. Put the bottle under a box and look through a small hole.
    16. Float or Sink Bottle Place a variety of objects in a bottle, some that will float, and some that will not. Fill the bottle with water. As students shake the bottle, they can observe what items float, and what items sink.
    17. Estimation Bottle Fill the bottle with a variety of small objects such as beans, nuts, rocks, and etc. Students record their guestimations in their science folder.. At the end of the week, open the bottle and count! Discuss the predications. Send the bottle home with the winner, and have them empty the bottle, and fill with objects for next week’s bottle.
    18. Serration Bottles: Take four or five bottles and add different amounts of rice, (You can dye the rice beforehand using 1 part rubbing alcohol to 1 part food coloring) in each one, from empty to full. Mix the bottles up, then let the children seriate them from empty to full.
    19. Rain Bottle: Fill a dry empty bottle with a box of toothpicks. Add rice (uncooked) to the bottle leaving an empty space of about 1 ½ inches at the top. Seal the lid. As you gently turn the bottle, the rice falls through the toothpicks, sounding like rain.
    20. Classification Bottles: In empty bottles add objects that belong together in a group. For example: toy animals in one, miniature plastic food in another Students have to classify the bottles by their characteristics.
    21. Static electricity---Put small squares of tissue paper and little bits of Styrofoam in a dry clean bottle. Students rub bottle on carpet to make static electricity.
    22. Tornado Roll up several piece of foil into balls… Fill the bottle almost full of water, a few drops of detergent and a few drops of blue food coloring makes it pretty.
    23. Really I like the tornado where you put two liter pop bottles together and you buy a deal to put the two bottles together and it really looks like a tornado.
    24. Color Bottle…. ¾ water. 6 drops blue food coloring and red lamp oil.
    25. 1. Start out with a clean bottle.
    2. Use shaving CREAM.
    3. Rinse the bottle first. This helps the shaving cream slide
    down into the bottle.
    4. When putting the shaving cream into the bottle, do it SLOWLY.
    5. The more shaving cream you can get in the bottle, the better
    the results will be. Aim for at least half way full.
    5. Slowly add water and swirl bottle to combine water and shaving
    cream. Put bottle down and walk away and forget about it for a
    couple of hours.
    6. Continue to add water, swirl not shake bottle to mix.
    7. You can add color at any point. I am using regular food
    coloring, about 20 drops to get nice deep color.
    8. Continue to add water and swirl bottle. You want to get as
    rich a mixture of water and shaving cream as you possibly can.
    9. I try to leave almost no space between cap and top of bottle.
    Bottle is filled up to the top.
    10. When the bottle is at rest, it looks like its filled with
    plain colored water. You only see the swirls of white when you
    slowly tilt the bottle, not shake it.
    11. If at any point you lose patience and shake the bottle, you
    will have foam for days....resist the urge to shake!!
     
  12. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 23, 2008

    Colored Polar Bear Story & Activity
    Once upon a time there was a beautiful white polar bear who often visited
    the St. Lawrence Island in Alaska. Now on this island, you find a little
    schoolhouse filled with boys and girls and their teacher,

    It seems as though a neighboring child from Siberia ventured
    across the Bering Strait to St. Lawrence Island. Her name was Tessie,and she had beautiful golden hair. As she explored the island, she soon met Mr. Polar Bear. The children watched out the windows of the schoolhouse as the bear wished he had golden hair like Tessie's. He shut his eyes tightly and wished very hard for golden hair. Now will you just shut your eyes for a moment and help polar bear make his wish?
    (Teacher puts 2 drops of yellow food coloring in bear bottle)
    Now you may open your eyes!
    AMAZING!
    A blond polar bear- Oh, my goodness!
    Do you know what the children shouted out the windows of the schoolhouse? Do you think they liked a BLOND polar bear?
    Teacher gets children to slap, slap, clap, clap, and snap and say:
    POLAR BEAR, POLAR BEAR
    YOU ARE A SIGHT!
    YOUR COLOR WAS RIGHT
    WHEN YOU WERE WHITE!
    Mr. Polar Bear was MIGHTY SAD! He thought the children would like his
    new golden color! He climbed on an iceberg and began to think about his problem.
    Now, as Mr. Bear rested, he caught a new scent in the air. What did he smell? As he raised his head and looked around, he saw a young boy coming closer.
    Ryan was from the GREEN forests of Canada. He wore a green hat, a green sweater, green pants, and green boots. Guess what he had in his pocket? Ryan had a GREEN lollipop! Polar Bear thought GREEN must be the most beautiful color in the world! Maybe he should be a green bear. He shut his eyes and began to wish he was green. Can you help Mr. Bear?
    (Teacher puts 2 drops of blue in)
    Now he was a GREEN polar bear!! But the children said:
    (slap,slap...repeat chant above)
    Now this made Mr. Bear feel real bad. He pouted and pouted. Polar bear began to walk across the snow. As he topped a big snow drift, he met COUSIN BROWN BEAR from Kodiak Island. Cousin Brown Bear had followed the path of green tears that came from polar bear.
    The two bears had a nice,long
    visit and before long, Polar Bear began to admire his SMART
    COUSIN. The Kodiak Bear is the world's largest bear and gets angry very
    quickly. Polar Bear thinks maybe the children would like him if he were brown instead. Let's shut our eyes and wish with Polar Bear.
    (Teacher adds 2 drops of red, and children repeat chant above)
    Polar Bear felt so bad, he ran away from the children and dove in the ice cold waters of the Bering Sea. Polar bears are the best swimmers of all
    bears. His thick, heavy fur was now BROWN and looked quite strange as the children watched him swim DEEP, DEEP, DEEP into the sea. Now, if you will just shut your eyes and think about Polar Bear swimming around under the cold, cold water, a
    tiny bit of Alaska magic might happen.
    (Teacher bleaches the water, while their eyes are closed, and continues to talk about polar bear swimming while the bleach takes effect)
    Polar Bear swims up, up, up, up, to the surface and guess what!
    Children chant:
    POLAR BEAR, POLAR BEAR
    Your color IS right!
    WE LOVE YOU!
    WE LOVE YOU!
    YOU ARE WHITE!
    Polar Bear decided NEVER to change his color again. After all, polar
    bears are supposed to be WHITE, RIGHT?
     
  13. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jun 23, 2008

    worm farms and bug indentification are big here. even if you live where there are no bugs you can hide them in your sensory table and talk about them, make projects and snacks to represent them. We put fishing worms (after pulling hook and rising off the goo) into our sensory table that was set up for a pond-that was really fun.

    we had aquarium gravel on all four sides of the bin and large cleaned stones along the bottom. they could move the animals or redesign the banks. this kept them busy for weeks.
     
  14. rosew

    rosew Companion

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    Jun 24, 2008

    to Hescolline

    I love the bear story..what is the bear bottle?..I think I will have to try this one

    Rose
     
  15. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Jun 24, 2008

    It's a 12 ounce plastic bottle shaped like a bear. We buy Great Lakes premium clover golden honey in it. Packed by Honeytree, Inc PO Box 310, Onsted, Mi 40265

    I don't know if they'd send you an empty bottle or not. Any bottle will work.

    Like an experiment do it at home before doing it for your students.
     
  16. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Jun 24, 2008

    You can grow bean plants! i did this with my 3 year olds this year and they loved it! all you need to get started is a clear plastic dsiposable cup for each child , paper towels, dry kidney beans and water. Let them take a 3 or four paper towels and stuff them into the cup. give them several beans and have them stick them in the little pockets and crevices of the paper towels--make sure some of them are visable from outside the cup. then have them drizzle water over the papertowels til they are all wet---i duct taped the cups to the window sill so they wouldn't get spilled-- In a few days the beans begin to sprout and then they can see the roots grow and then the stems a nd then the leaves--- each day they can check to see if the paper towel in their cup is dry and if it is they can add some water. We grew them to the point we needed to transplant them into new cups with potting soil and then we sent them home---here is a picture
     
  17. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Jun 24, 2008

    here is the picture
     
  18. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Jun 24, 2008

    sorry I guess I can't put a photo into a post on here---- it is really a cool project and takes little time and space--
     
  19. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jun 25, 2008

    Sending the plants home is a great idea-we usually keep them in the yard in a roped off area or in an old wading pool.* Then by placing yard sticks behind the plants we are able to chart the growth and track how many beans we make.* Then dry the mature beans and try to plant them again next year.* That is the whole cycle.* My kids love this.* We also try to grow the biggest sunflower.*
     
  20. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Jun 25, 2008

    I deciede to send them home because I knew some of the kids were going to be moving up and others were talking about the gardens their parents were plantng-- a couple of the children were even able to plant the bean plant in the garden! I love it when I get great parents!
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jun 25, 2008

    Parents are great-this last year we were supposed to visit a older classes chicks (a great science lesson-but expensive to buy the equipment)-but the eggs died. One of my parents brought in the chicks from the farm store and after we visited (and washed) we took the chicks to the older class. There were so happy. They visited and then the farm came to pick them up. It was great-on many levels-all because one parent listened to dinner conversation.
     
  22. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Jun 25, 2008

    We raised frogs inmy classroom this year. My brother helped me get the eggs from the swamp behind my house. We were doing a unit on frogs at the time and it was awesome --thy got to see the whole process--even though it took a lot longer than the week we did the unit. We saw the eggs turn to tadpoles and the tadpoles to froglets and thento baby frogs-- i brought in the frog eggs in early April and we jsut let the baby frogs go last Thursday. I hung up a frog lifecycle chart and everday the kids would check to see if there were any changes and how the real ones comapred to the ones on the poster. Imagine the excitement when they saw the legs for the first time and wehn they found the first baby frog sitting on a rock!
     
  23. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    Jun 26, 2008

    Here are just a few Science projects I did with 4/5 yr olds.

    Jumping Raisins - Put 7-Up in a clear glass or cup (Yes, it MUST be 7-Up). Put a few (5 or 6) raisins in. The bubbles move them up and down. I'm even glued to it when we do it. (They can snack on the remaining raisins)

    Greenhouses - (wish I could post pictures and cut off a thousand words) We read The Tiny Seed first. Take a piece of green construction paper. Cut top corners off and a little off the sides to resemble a "house". Cut a square in the middle, the size of a sandwich bag. I put the student names at the top in the center. Be sure to use a Sharpie. The year I didn't, the names all ran when they got wet. Put a piece of brown paper towel in the bag to make it look like soil (I steal from the bathroom at school). Staple the bag on the back of the construction paper, showing through the hole, but leave the bag open. I make a model to show them and then have the kids draw what plants need to live on the house (sun in one corner, clouds and rain in the other, flowers at the bottom with their roots showing below a line of soil). Put in a few seeds (I put in a pumpkin seed or 2 (see below), a marigold seed and something else. I've used lima bean seeds and thyme (one's really big, one's REALLY small). Water the bag (just enough to moisten the towel). Then staple them up on a bulletin board to watch. Be sure to leave the bag open a little, otherwise you might end up with mush. (I talk about how living things need air.)

    This is a year-long one that I shared on a Pre-K food thread.

    We read It's Pumpkin Time and a multitude of other pumpkin related books. We dig out pumpkin seeds, wash, dry, salt and bake them. The kids LOVE this. (I save approx. 50 for a plant unit we do at the end of the year where we make "greenhouses" from sandwich bags and watch them sprout.) Then we put our pumpkin "Jack" into a gallon glass jar (pickle jar). I hot glue it shut and we watch it for the rest of the year. Everyone who comes in, looks at it and makes comments like "gross, cool, yuck". You just can't beat this science observation. Every year it looks different (maybe different germs...)
    It goes to our custodian on the last day of school for him to dispose... (pumpkin unit)
     
  24. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    Jun 26, 2008

    Oh yeah, I also bought some caterpillars and we watched them morph into butterflies. Then we had a big butterfly release day. The kids made "bug binoculars" out of 2 TP rolls to watch.

    We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and did a bunch of butterfly life cycle stuff. The kids loved it.
     

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