Art and windowsill science activities for preschoolers - bringing inquiry skills into the pre-k classroom!
I'm not just a teacher - I'm a mom of three boys and one of them is still in preschool. I have loved watching all my children exploring science through inquiry based strategies and learning about the world around them through simple experiments.
They have to be easy enough for a child to do with little help from an adult yet be interesting enough to provide wondering and entertainment.
Your goal is to develop a love for science, exploration and to create avenues for self-discovery about our world.
Let kids be kids, because some of these will get very messy!
Grab a windowsill and a few other bits then watch your students get excited about science! A recommended picture book is listed with each of these science activities for preschoolers.
Wiggle, Jiggle, Wriggle: A Pond Ecosystem
Talk about how the pond in the jar is just like a real pond. The jar pond has both living and non-living things that interact together.
Make a drawing of the jar together and show the children how to label what they see in the jar.
Set the jar on the windowsill and ask the children what they think will happen over the next month. Record their predictions.
Once or twice per week, sketch the jar again, noting any changes. Revisit the predictions as well.
Music to My Ears: Tapping Water Tunes
Have the students measure different amounts of water into the jars. Put a few drops of different food coloring into each one.
Predict what sounds they will hear. Will they have a high or low pitch? Tap on the highest and lowest filled jars first. Then ask the children to put the jars in order from low to high pitches.
At the end of the day, place the jars on the window sill. Discuss the concept of "evaporation." Predict what will happen to the pitch of each jar as the water evaporates.
The next day, play the "music" again. Compare it to yesterday. Does it sound higher or lower? What happened?
Camouflaging Chameleons: Acids and Bases
The study of animals and chemistry come together with this fun and easy acid and base indicator science experiment!
Have each student cut out a chameleon. Each child will also need a cup of grape juice and a cotton swab or small paint brush.
Talk to the children about what color they think their chameleons will turn when they paint them with the grape juice. Have the students lightly "paint" their chameleons with the grape juice then allow them to dry overnight.
The following day, prepare for each student:
Have the children observe their chameleons. Are they purple still? Why are they dry? What happened?
Now predict with the children what will happen if they paint a spot on the chameleon using the baking soda cup. Record their answers and allow them to paint. What happens? (it turns blue-green = base).
Then predict what will happen when they use the vinegar. Instruct them to use a fresh cotton swab and see what happens (it turns pink = acid).
Allow the children to finish painting their chameleons. Then they can color an environment for the chameleon to live in on the construction paper. Encourage them to have fun trying to camouflage the chameleon in their picture!