Tag Archives: science

Water Music!

owen bowls

What could be more fun than playing in water on a hot summer day? Making music AND playing in water! I came across a video at Child’s Play Music and just had to try this with our children. We’re only on day two, but the activity is so open ended that I’m sure it will be out for the rest of the summer!

ellie glasses 1

bella squirt bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We began by rounding up all the colored plastic items we use for our light unit and put those in water tubs with some utensils including chopsticks and wooden spoons to use as strikers. The colors in the bright morning sun were beautiful and attracted the kids to the table.

green cups

owen pouring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The children began exploring sounds by pouring water from different heights to hear loud and soft sounds as well as fast and slow sounds. They also learned about high and low sounds. They experimented making sounds with containers both above and below water. Comparisons were also made with filled and empty containers. Differences between metal, plastic, and wood sounds were also discovered.

group playing cups

owen lids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Metal objects including pan lids and several sizes of mixing bowls were added to the table this morning. The children loved the sounds from the mixing bowls!

izzy

owen blue spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure the children will make more discoveries about sound and water throughout the summer as we add other objects to the water center.

Little Pandas Preschool

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Magnetic Tiles at the Light Table

Bella’s Structure

Preschool has started, and I have so many ideas to share with the kids this year.  Our theme for the year is “All About Me and My World!”  This year’s big project will be an interactive iPad book created by the kids and teachers.  More will be posted about that in another post.  During September the kids are learning about themselves and their families.  Gao, Laoshi, our Chinese teacher has been using the wooden doll house and the panda family to give children vocabulary about their families and homes.  I wanted to take pictures of the doll house furniture for the iPad book, but found many of the pieces missing or broken.  So, I went to the store to get some new furniture.  Unfortunately the store only had plastic furniture.  However, the store had these magnetic tiles in clear colors that would be perfect for the light table.  I could’t resist them!

The tiles were introduced to the children Monday morning during center time.  They were a BIG hit, and the kids loved them!  It was amazing to watch the children explore and build with the tiles and to hear all the language being used to describe their constructions.  Children were building houses, towers, pizzas, and just putting pieces together like a puzzle.  One boy was creating birds and making them fly.  Not on the light table, but still he was using his imagination.

In addition to language skills the tiles have the potential to teach science and geometry concepts.  The kids were learning to build using trial and error and making hypothesis of what will and won’t work as they created.  There was also a lot of team work happening.  I may have to purchase some more tiles to create more elaborate structures.

Little Pandas Preschool

Caterpillars & Butterflies

The preschool class has been studying the butterfly life cycle.  This photo is one of the ten butterflies that we watched grow from a caterpillar and emerge as a butterfly.

Larvae were ordered from Carolina Biological Supply.

The children were fascinated with the caterpillars and checked them daily for growth.  They also read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

Insect specimens inside acrylic blocks showing the butterfly life cycle were set out at the science table for children to explore.

Gao, Laoshi has been teaching the children Chinese vocabulary related to butterflies.

After the butterflies emerged they were released from the habitat.

While I was on vacation I visited the Smithsonian’s Butterfly exhibit.  These are a few of the pictures I took to share with the children.

Little Pandas Preschool

Styrofoam Root Observation Box

The preschoolers have been learning about seeds and plants.  Last week they sprouted some bean seeds with wet paper towels inserted into sandwich bags.  This week they planted carrot and radish seeds in a styrofoam cooler made into an observation box.

I cut window openings on both sides of the cooler and then used duct tape to secure the 10″ x 6″ plexi glass windows to the inside of the cooler.  Our local hardware store was able to cut the plexi glass from scrap they had on hand.

A meat thermometer was used to poke holes in the bottom of the cooler.

The children lined the bottom of the cooler with pea gravel and then filled it with potting soil.

Carrot seeds were planted on one side of the cooler and radishes on the other side.

The seeds were covered with a layer of top soil and then watered.

The children will observe their carrot and radish garden each day and then get to eat the produce that results.

Little Pandas Preschool

Sorting Seeds

This week the preschoolers have been studying seeds in more depth.

Transparencies with pictures of corn, pea, watermelon and pumpkin seeds were set out on the light table.   Boxes containing the same seeds were available for the children to match with the pictures.  Pictures of each plant were taped to the top of the boxes.

The microscope was used to further examine and compare the seeds.

Preschoolers are heavily dependent on their senses for learning, so the seed activity was extended through fingerprinting.  Sesame seeds were added to the paint.

Little Pandas Preschool

A Tiny Seed

The preschool class is beginning their spring science unit covering plants and bugs. On Monday the children watched The Tiny Seed, a Youtube movie based on Eric Carle’s book.

They were also very excited to watch some bean sprouts grow. These can also be seen on Youtube at Growing Beans HD Timelapse – YouTube

The science table was set up for the children to explore some very tiny seeds after watching the videos.

The children explored the seeds through touch and taste.

The children looked at the seeds under the microscope and noticed they could see more details when the seeds appeared to be larger.

A magnifying glass was also used to look at the seeds.

After exploring the seeds the children remembered that the seed in the book grew to be very large. They wanted to know what the poppy seeds would grow to be, so some research was done on the computer. It was also decided that we should plant some poppy seeds.

After the group activity was completed children chose to work in centers. The iPad center included the “Seed Cycle” activity to reinforce the concepts learned earlier.

Little Pandas Preschool

Pumping Balloon Heart Experiment

The preschool class continues to learn about the human body and recently did a heart experiment.  The children poured red water into a balloon, inserted a straw into the opening and then taped it closed.

After filling the balloon with water the children could “pump” the balloon to see how blood flows through veins.

After completing the experiment the children and teachers talked about how important it is to have a healthy heart.

Little Pandas Preschool