Preschool Science Activities & Projects At Home? Of Course!
We all hear a lot about the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) learning and the value of teaching children science skills at a young age. You may wonder what that means or think you don’t have the time to explore that at home. If so, you may be surprised to learn that you are likely doing many things to encourage scientific exploration at home for your preschooler without realizing it!
So First, What is Science All About?
Science is a process of thinking, learning, and problem-solving. Four steps are involved in the scientific process:
- Observation – using our senses, seeing what is around us
- Making predictions – asking questions, making guesses
- Collecting data – gathering information, sorting, grouping, graphing, recording
- Making conclusions – Sharing ideas, comparing results to predictions, observing again
And Why Do Science with Preschoolers?
Preschoolers have a natural curiosity, they love to explore the world around them and ask questions. Think of how many questions you answer on any given day! Preschoolers love to touch and use all of their senses; most are constantly seeking out sensory experiences throughout the day. As children play, whether alone or with friends, they are often naturally engaged in the steps of the scientific process. You can also easily work in more science activities for preschoolers into your child’s day at home or outside of school. Science lessons can be found in each bedtime book that you read as you observe patterns or ask extension questions. The various toys in your home or playroom can also lend themselves to science activities and experiences. Think blocks, Legos, puzzles and art materials to name a few. Outdoor play can offer countless opportunities for physical science and nature exploration. How fast does each person go down the slide? How many kinds of birds can we see from here? What happens when the sand and water mix? This can also provide an opportunity for your child to build relationships with other children if they share in the activity.
Here Are Some More Ideas for Preschool Science Activities:
- Making observations – What do you see in the sky? Do you hear any animals or birds? How many wheels do you see on that truck?
- Making predictions – What do you think will happen when the rain stops? Where do you think the fire truck is going? Why do you think that bird is gathering materials?
- Collecting data – Gather rocks, leaves or other items in nature for sorting, take pictures of trucks or birds that you see and count them, or draw pictures of the weather each day.
- Making conclusions and connections – Compare footprints or measure snow after a storm, examine a bird’s nest and try to build your own, use a sheet of paper and design a boat that floats, compare the changes on deciduous trees through the seasons.
Chances are that many preschool science activities are already part of your child’s daily routine. Think about the routines and activities in your day – are your children asking questions and solving problems? Are they trying new ideas or new strategies? Are they sharing ideas? Brainstorming? They are doing science every day!