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To continue our pumpkin theme, we are looking at Science skills that are age appropriate for preschool children. As we know, many skills are these ages interrelate with all of the developmental domains. Science and math skills at this age often go hand in hand as well. While there are a few science skills that can be addressed, we will look at four important ones for preschool. They are using the senses, making predictions, exploring cause and effect, and observing/recording details. Along with these activities, I would change up centers and permanent areas of our learning space to match the current theme and allow children to further explore science skills.
Below are a few example activities that cover these skills and fit into our current Pumpkin Unit Theme.
Using a large storage container, add a desired amount of cornstarch to the bin. This amount doesn’t have to be exact, just depends on the number of kids you have. In a separate container add a few drops of red and yellow food coloring to warm water. Slowly add the water to the cornstarch a little at a time until it reaches a desired consistency. You want it to be smooth and gooey, but not terribly runny. Add in some pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin guts, and seeds to add texture and pumpkin seeds. Children can share smaller containers to play with this or bowls. They can also take some home in sandwich baggies.
This will meet the needs of preschoolers because it is a fantastic way to explore pumpkins and also provides great input for the sensory system to develop. They smell the ingredients, feel them, and look closely at the colors and what they see.
This is a great activity and it ties in with one of our math activities from last week. Children will predict measurements of pumpkins such as weight, height, circumference, and how many seeds are inside. Record these on a giant poster board or flip chart. Then as a class you will measure all of those things and see which child was close to being correct. See the full instructions from last week HERE.
Cause and Effect:
This activity is crazy cool. Kids really enjoy getting into it and watching the pumpkin explode. They literally get to cause an erupting volcano using mini pumpkins, baking soda, dawn, and vinegar. Check out Little Bins for Little Hands for step by step directions for this activity.
Observe and Record Details:
Using the above activity, children can use science journals to draw what they observed during the activity. Encourage them to draw what they observed through their senses such as what they see, smell, felt, etc. They can draw pumpkins; draw those adding things to the pumpkins and then the pumpkins exploding.