Five or six weeks ago, someone asked me how I go about setting up our science units. I wanted to spend some time really laying out that process. Since we have homeschooled from the start, I thought it would make the most sense to talk about the preschool years first. (Click here to see the second post in the series: Science in the Elementary Years.
Science in the preschool years:
I found that my kids absolutely loved science from an early age. For that reason, I did a lot of research on how to make it engaging. I had a teaching background, but really had no idea how to tackle science for a three or four year old. I spent a lot of time reading about the Montessori approach to science. I read some of the free online Montessori science albums such as Moteaco.com (this site was taken down) – and started to cover some of the topics that they suggested: zoology , botany, the human body, astronomy, geology and meteorology. I also covered some basic science concepts through science experiments.
Update, 2016: At some point soon, I hope to share a printable version of all our preschool science, culture and geography activities (with clickable links). Stay tuned for that!
zoology: living and non-living (and the characteristics of living things), vertebrates-invertebrates, the 5 classes of animals, animals of the world, the parts of the animal, animals and their babies, animals and their group names, animals and their biomes (such as the rain forest, desert, forest), animal tracks, where do animals live? above ground-below ground, ocean animals, farm animals, Where do things come from?, Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals
botany: parts of plant, plant life cycles, fruits and vegetables, germinating seeds, edible plants, plant nutrition (colored carnations and slurping celery) — (plant unit-lots and lots of plant related activities and experiments!)
human body: the bones of the body, the five senses, smell matching (we’ve also done tons of other activities about how blood circulates and how food is digested that my youngest really enjoyed with my older kids. Check out our human body activities here if you want to go in more depth.)
astronomy: the planets of our solar system, the moon and its phases, lots more astronomy posts
geology: Earth’s layers, mountain formation, volcanoes, rocks and minerals, natural disasters
physical science: transparent, translucent, opaque
science experiments: there are so many terrific science experiment books to choose from. Anything that makes kids go, WOW, at this age works well. I found that I threw in lots of terms as we did the science experiments… things like acids and bases… that just form the first foundations of a science education. See the free science experiment packets below…
So here are a few things you could get started with today!
Animals Around the World: Animal cards from each continent are over at that post
Inner and Outer Planets — Activity – ED still has this in her science notebook. We took it out and looked at the inner rocky planets and our gas giants… and the asteroid belt.
The Phases of the Moon Activities (plus a homemade oreo cookie recipe at that post!!)
Science Experiments for ages 3-6 (and beyond!): I’ve shared these before but here were some of our favorite science experiments. Just download them and go!!
Download your Free Science Experiment Packet (for ages 3-7 or so)
Other related posts you might be interested in:
- Preschool at Home: Activities you can do with your 2-4 Year Olds, Fine Motor Skills
- Preschool at Home: Learning Letters
- Preschool at Home: Alphabet Activities
- Preschool at Home: Handwriting
- Preschool at Home: Science for 2-4 Year Olds
- Preschool Montessori: Vertebrate and Invertebrate Study and Free Cards
- Preschool at Home: A Few Math Ideas for the 2 1/2-3 year old crowd
- Preschool Math Activities (K4) Montessori Math and More
- Preschool at Home: Lapbooks
- You might also be interested in the post: Homeschool Preschool Year in Review which was a recap of many of our preschool activities this past year.
- Preschool Geography: Activities for learning about where we live in the world, Montessori world map work and more
- Preschool Geography: Maps and More
- The Seven Continents and World Landmarks
- Various Free Montessori 3-Part Cards
- If your child knows their letter sounds, they may be ready to learn to read. Visit this post, Teach Your Child to Read, for fun ideas that help your child learn to read!
Free and Useful Montessori Resources:
- Living Montessori Now — This website has a wonderful collection of how parents are instituting Montessori inspired activities in their homes.
- ETC Montessori – Free Downloadable Materials
Montessori Mom — This wonderful website has an extensive list of various Montessori resources.
Montessori Album — A growing site with lots of photos.
Montessori for Everyone–Offers free downloads each month–sorting cards such as the seasons, where things come from, animal tracks and more.
You might also be interested in our Animal Packet:
Come visit us over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! It’s a quick easy way to browse through the past posts you might have missed.