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Educational Activities

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Nature and Science


Magnetic Box – have two boxes, one for things that are magnetic, one for things that are not

Jumping Magnets – magnet on table jumps to meet magnet in air

Buried Treasure – bury magnetic objects under ½ in. of sand, kids search for them with magnets

Magnetic Pyramid – stack magnetic marbles to form a pyramid

Floating Rings – put two ring magnets on a dowel so that the top one “floats”

3-D Designs – place two large magnets about 5 in. apart and use magnetic objects to build a sculpture

Magnetic Maze – move a magnet through a maze, using a magnet on the other side of the paper

Magnetite – look at magnetite, explaining that it was found in Asia Minor in a country called Magnesia

Magnet making – look at the difference between natural magnetite and manmade magnets (made of a ceramic/metal alloy)

Iron Filings Drawing – make smiley face using a magnet to move iron filings on opposite side of glass

Magnetic Pull – put a paperclip in each of four cups containing air, water, sand, and paper; have children use magnets to get paperclips out; can be done with cardboard, foil, plastic wrap, wood, paperboard, etc.

Magnetic Fields – talk about invisible magnetic fields and see where they are by putting a piece of paper over a magnet and dropping iron filings onto the paper


Flower Seed Pockets – separate seeds, looking at size, shape, color, and where their location on plant

What is a Seed? – soak lima beans overnight, break seeds in half, and look at the little plant inside

Tree Seeds – look at leaves and tree seeds, discuss how seeds travel (maple, dandelion, tumbleweed, honey locust [pod twists], burdock burrs), talk about how trees grow and stay alive

Celery Color – place celery stalk into cup of colored water and check during day to see color change

Gift Plant – plant a few seeds in small container and watch them grow, giving them away when bigger

Roots and Sprouts – soak beans overnight, put in clear glass with soil next to edge so they can be seen

Growing Sequence – shuffle pictures of bean plant as it grows, have children put them in order

Seed Snacks – roast some sunflower, pumpkin, or peanut seeds and have them for a snack

Peanut Butter – explain the uses George Washington Carver found for peanuts, and make peanut butter

Air and Water

Breathe In, Breathe Out – take a deep breath, hold it in, then exhale, discuss how it feels to fill lungs with air, try breathing through your nose then your mouth and discuss the difference, put your hands up to your nose and mouth and feel the invisible air moving

Air Power – feel the air when you blow through a straw; try to move various objects by blowing air at them through a straw; objects may include cotton ball, feather, pebble, penny, half of a tissue, eraser, a small piece of paper (flat or wadded), or a puddle of paint on a piece of shiny paper

Name that Balloon – write each child's name on a balloon, inflate the balloons, and have children catch them

Big and Little Air – blow bubbles in a bowl of water with a large and a small straw and talk about the difference in bubble size, try again after adding soap to the water, add a drop of food coloring for variety, use an egg beater to make mountains of bubbles

Windsock Wonders – look at windsocks at hospitals or airports, discuss how windsocks work

Flying Birds – pretend to be birds and flap your arms, look at various birds and discuss how they flap their wings differently

Water Fun – blow bubbles, use funnels and bottles, paint with water, discuss uses for water, look through magazines to find other uses for water

Feeling Water – put hands in water and move them; feel the water running through your fingers; try to grab a handful of water; move one hand around and around to make a swirl, then try to move your hand in the opposite direction; feel the water with bath or beach toys; feel the water as it comes out of a spray bottle, a strainer, a funnel, and a bottle with holes punched in it

Sailing Boats – put some small plastic boats in the water, try moving them by creating currents with your hands and blowing at them through a straw

Colored Water Designs – add a few drops of food color to a bowl of water; watch the color spread through the water; mix with a spoon; repeat with a second color in a separate bowl; paint on a piece of paper with each color; try painting one color over another

Sink or Float – test to see if a magnet, penny, nickel, balloon filled with water and tied, crayon, sponge, ping-pong ball, plastic boat, small empty plastic bottle (capped), plastic spoon, cork, small wooden block, and other small, water-safe objects float

Wax and Water – dip a candle in water and watch the water run off it, repeat with a crayon; color a picture with crayons (color heavily) and paint some other sections, paying attention to how the water moves off the crayoned section(s)

Measuring with Water – use kitchen measuring aids to learn how water can be measured; discover that two ½ cups equals 1 cup, three 1/3 cups equals 1 cup, etc.

Be the Scale – put different amounts of water in two buckets and find out which is heavier (which has more); repeat with different amounts of sand in both, equal amounts of sand with one dry and one wet, one sand and one water, one sand and one pebbles, one leaves and one twigs

Animals and Pets

More Activities

Crossword puzzles
Math problems
Traced outlines
Dot-to-dot with letters and numbers
Writing stories/poems
Look at leaves with magnifying glass or microscope
Looking at stars/planets with telescope
Crayon rubbings over leaves
Matching games
Sorting leaves into categories
Leaf-shaped cookies
Leaves we eat
Opening and closing drawers
Dressing dolls/self
Pouring rice, beans, and water
Carrying a chair
Washing hands
Lacing a shoe
Tying a bow
Bead stringing
Using a dropper (How many drops of water can fit on a penny?)
Cutting with scissors
Stacking boxes
Thermic bottles
Textile textures
Modeling clay
Play dough
Rough and smooth
Silence game
Naming colors
“I Spy”
Sound bottles
Walking the line
Taking walks
Riding bikes
Visiting zoos and museums
Teaching pre-reading and reading skills
Involving children in meal preparation
Involving children in cleaning
Teaching manners (everyday and social)
Playing dress-up
Making different kinds of play dough
Safe science experiments with everyday items
Making books
Visiting the library
Fun math activities using everyday items
Field trips
Art activities
Personal tools