Thursday, September 27, 2012

Science center

Having a science center or multiple science centers is a great way to encourage creative thinking, process thinking, and questioning along with exploration.  I love science.  Kids love science.  The US doesn't even compare to other countries in the subject of science.  I am always disappointed when I don't see much science done with young children.  So, I'm glad to share some of these fun things you can do to encourage your children in the skills they need in science.  You don't always have to understand science to do experiments.  Check these out and try one in your classroom.

First, try teaching the scientific method.  Here are some free cards to help.  Then leave them in the science center to remind children what real scientists do.
Thank you Ginger Snaps

Materials needed:
magnifying glasses
lab coat (optional but cute)
notebooks or paper
writing utensils
little clipboards are fun
An Experiment (try these)

Sensory table- Made for exploring materials by using mainly your hands and by using your hands you can use other senses and explore (pouring) measuring, language, sharing.
This site does a good job explaining why sensory play is important.
You can learn how to make your own sensory table at Teach Preschool.
remember when making a sensory tub to have at least 2 inches of materials and enough extras to provide each child with one or more. Remember it takes time to explore these skills, sometimes a child will pour something 100 times before they are willing to give up the item, so this center is not recommended to use as one to teach sharing, it just happens when they want something new, they might trade but probably wont take turns. Children need to be reminded to keep the materials in the tub and to pic them off the floor when they do fall. if you find children taking something out to play with it somewhere else, you should provide another one to play with. don't confuse the sensory tub with a place to provide a game- such as fishing game in water. Children need to use their hands to explore.
beans, rice(slippery), pasta rocks, shells, water, fake snow I found these cute plastic bulldozer type car, real snow, Easter eggs, Easter grass, ice with salt, sand (slippery), fake leaves
Things to include: scoops, tongues, measuring cup (i also use laundry detergent lids), turkey baster, egg beater, toys magnifying glasses
Here is something called cloud dough. It looks like a good substitution for moon dough.
here are some cute ones to look at and each of these sites usually do a monthly sensory bin you can look at others they've made
space theme I love the shiny pasta.


rainbow garden its bright and uplifting

flower garden to this one you could add colored cups to encourage sorting

Another cute one.

Here are some other ideas for sensory tubs.

Here are some amazing and colorful sensory tubs.

Water table
     sink and float- try it with apples and pumpkins this fall

If you have one you would like to share please leave your site on the comments section. I love to see how creative people can be.

Discovery Bottles
This is the easies, cheapest and least messy way of allowing kids to explore and question.
Check out this previous post for how I store mine.

Great discovery bottle ideas

Light Table
make your own light table or less find directions at Teach Preschool and then look at how she made light table disks.

Here is another mini version light table which might be more appropriate in the older grades. If I could find one of these containers I would make one this size, maybe two.

ideas for light table including a cool Christmas tree


See through planter

This looks like amazing fun. Neat version of salt and ice.

Baking soda and vinegar, the more scientific version

Lots of weather related stuff here

Pinned Image
I love it when learning becomes 3D.  I am so sick of seeing the Water Cycle worksheet.

Steve Spangler science always has neat experiments

Cloud Jar
clouds in a jar from teach preschool

Color mixing using flashlights

ice in a bag, color mixing too

More color mixing, but also how to use a science journal

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Thank you for encouraging creativity as a learning experience. Standardized tests, strict curricula, and rote memorization aren't going to save kids. It's work like this, creative thinking taking flight, that will. This article I read recently explains it best: