Science experiments are an incredibly effective means of getting preschool children interacting with the world around them, both inside and outside the classroom.
There is no limit to what you can do with science and the children absolutely love it. Science is all around us – our bodies, in nature, through cooking and gardening to name just a few.
In my 35 years as an early childhood educator, as you can imagine, I’ve carried out a lot of preschool science experiments! It’s one of my favorite learning experiences to explore with the children, due to the inevitable delight that they show.
Science experiments cover a wide range of experiences and a comprehensive list of developmental outcomes.
My top 15 Benefits of performing preschool science experiments are:
- Learning to use equipment safely and correctly. Equipment could include magnifying glasses, microscopes, magnets, scales, sieves, ramps and weighted objects. Sometimes this can also include chemicals, such as those used for making volcanoes.
- Drawing and writing to hypothesize results and discoveries.
- Encouraging discussion: Talking about what you see, feel, taste, hear, smell and discover.
- Observing changes: Children have the opportunity to develop their observational skills and identify changes and differences, such as changes in matter; for example, melting ice cubes.
- Reading books to explore scientific concepts and further experiments.
- Predicting: Encouraging children to discuss the possibilities of what will happen in the experiment.
- Asking questions: Science experiments encourage curiosity and many, many questions.
- Experimenting with the sequencing of steps to carry out the experiment.
- Exploring the natural environment.
- Exploring the man-made environment.
- Using our five senses: For example, smelling or touching and tactile discrimination.
- Considering maths concepts: For example, comparing size and weight.
- Problem solving: For example, how will we melt the ice? Will we leave it in the room, cook it in a pan or leave it in the sun?
- Exploring cause and effect through various materials.
- Developing an inquisitive mind.
What are your favorite science experiments to undertake with your preschool children?