Child Care Programs Should Inlude a Science Center or Table!
SCIENCE CENTERS THAT WORK!
Article Source: Exchangeoftheday Feb. 13, 2008
In the Exchange book, The Wonder of It: Exploring How the World Works, Karen Miller describes how to make your science center engaging to children...
"In a typical science center, we might see some sleeping gerbils or hamsters buried in cedar shavings, and perhaps an aquarium with some goldfish in it. On the table might be some dusty pine cones, some shells, a few rocks, a balance scale, a large magnifying glass, and maybe a color paddle. There are only things to look at, but nothing to hold the child there more than a minute or two. Each interest center in the classroom should have some involving activity to hold the child there....
"Give the children some specific challenges using the balance scale for example. First of all, let them play with the scale without directions, and then ask them some questions about it.
'What makes this side go down?' 'Why doesn't it go down when I place this rock on the other side?' When they seem to understand how it works, you could pick one object to be used as a standard, an apple, for instance. Let the children guess which objects in a random collection...are heavier than the apple and which are lighter, and put them into two piles in front of the scale. Let them test their guesses.
Children must first use their senses for this activity. To keep the activity interesting, you could select a different object each day to be the standard. Lining things up from the lightest to heaviest is a more complex activity, because children have to compare objects to each other rather than just to one specific object. It takes considerable flexibility in thinking and is quite difficult for pre-operational children....
BOOKS & RESOURCE IDEAS TO HAVE IN YOUR SCIENCE AREA:
- Biographies/Stories of well known scientists
- Endangered Species
- Life Cycle Books (Frog & Butterfly)
- Life Cycle Posters
- Animal Match Games
- Ant Farm/Ants
- Aquarium to use for fish-- as well as for Float or Sink Experiments
- Bird Nests
- Butterfly Net
- Color Paddle Set
- Computer/Internet Connection
- .....There are tons of Science Activity Sites and Games
- CONTAINERS FOR:
.....Beef, Pork, Chicken
- Color slides
- Flowers/Flower Seeds/Vegetable seeds-seedlings
- Frozen Fish
- *INGREDIENTS TO MAKE: Gak/Goop/Glarch/ Flubber/Silly Putty/Play Dough
- Lab and Science Kits/Crystal Growing Kit
- Program Pet
- Magnet Kits
.....Scales and Weights
- Owl Pellets
- Pickled Eggs
- Prism Light Center
- Rocks, Minerals, Fossils
- Tornado Bottles
- THINGS TO TAKE APART and/or PUT BACK TOGETHER:
.....Clocks, Small Appliances, Cameras, Computers, Old Toys, Out-of-date Nintendo equipment
- Tuning Fork
- Tweezers, Forceps
- Sniff Jars
- Soil, Twigs, Sticks
- Specimen Bags
- Squishy-Feely Things
- Sun Sensitive Paper
- Supplies to make Tornado Bottles
- Wasp/Bee Nests
- Wheels and Pulleys
- X-Rays of Humans and Animals
• Science-Related Coloring Pages
• Word Search
• Recipes to make snacks that look like bugs
*If you have the following items in your storage area, you'll be able to make just about any playdough or goop recipe there is!
- Alum (Powdered)
- Baking Soda
- Corn Starch
- Cream of Tartar
- Food Coloring
- Ivory Snow Clothes Detertent
- Kool Aid
- Liquid Starch
- Vegatable Oil
- White Glue
For ingredients to make SPECIAL PLAYDOUGH such as 'Peanut Butter, Cotton, Coffee, Lint, etc.-- see the PlayDough category
For first four Science Sections: click here
Back to top of page