I had a reader ask what topics that a Kindergartner/1st Grader (ie. 5-7 year old) might learn for science. I’ve gotten this same question several times in the past month or so, so I thought I might share with you some of the topics we explored when the kids were in early elementary.
As you’ll see below, there are SO many things you could do with your kids. Just ask them what they are interested in learning and go with that! Borrow lots of books from the library and dive in! 🙂
My kids *loved* science because there are so many wonderful, hands-on activities to do!!
As homeschoolers, there is nothing you *have* to cover with your kids at this age. I had a general science checklist that I want to cover from K-8 and keep that I kept in mind over the years. When I noticed a hole, then we’d do a unit on that. You can grab the free Science Checklist for elementary and middle school here.
I’ll share many of the units that we did, but please don’t be overwhelmed! I have THREE kids, so this represents years of fun science exploration! I’m just pulling out the units that your early elementary student might enjoy!
As I said, above explore the units/topics that you think your kids would enjoy the most! So, while my family did TONS about zoology/animals, maybe yours will explore geology/rocks & minerals in depth or will want to learn about tornadoes & other natural disasters! 🙂
When the kids were little, we did as many hands-on, engaging activities as we could. Sometimes, these were one-off experiments that captivated their imaginations and made them wonder, “Why did that happen?!!” Things like this colored milk explosion or oil and water fireworks:
At this post you’ll find three more science experiments and another free printable.
Other times we would explore topics in more depth.
When the kids were little, we generally spent somewhere around 2 or 3 weeks on a unit before moving to a different unit. I always played it by ear and switched it up when the kids weren’t quite as engaged.
Then I might come back to a unit to review that material again later in the year or a year or two later and would add to what we had already learned.
We did a lot with zoology in early elementary. We studied animals most every year in one way or another! We covered basic animal classification, for example. We started with living-non-living and then went on to talk about invertebrates-vertebrates, the five animal groups. Other years we talked about nocturnal-diurnal animals, animal shelters, wild vs. domesticated animals, herbivores vs. carnivores, and more!
- We have a free living-nonliving packet here.
- From there we generally went on to review basic animal classification and other animal topics. As I mentioned above, our Animal Packet explores vertebrates-invertebrates, animal characteristics, nocturnal animals, herbivores vs. carnivores, animal homes and shelters and more).
- We also studied the Life Cycles of various animals and critters over the years. Of course, lots of early elementary students study the life cycle of the frog and the butterfly. We also talked about the life cycle of mosquitoes, ladybugs, chickens, dragonfly, bee, mouse… and others! 🙂
- We also studied World Animals from time to time (and tied that in with basic world geography activities). This might go well with the Where I Live Activity Packet which helps kids see where they live from their galaxy, solar system, planet, continent, country, state, town, right down to their home!
This post has more information about all of our Animal Packets: Big Animal Bundle
- Of course, all of my kids loved Dinosaurs at one point or another, so we studied that when the kids were interested!
- Another year we talked about the Rainforest (rainforest animals, insects and things like that!)
Space – The Solar System
We also talked about the Solar System at this age (and in later years too!)
- Be sure to check out this post about various hands-on Solar System activities and grab the free Solar System packet!!
We did some basic Earth Science units when the kids were little. For example, we talked about Rocks and Minerals. There’s a free Rocks & Minerals Packet here (I don’t know if all the links still work because I made it so many years ago, but I know it had some material for my youngest who was about 5 at the time.)
In first or second grade, I think we talked about the Water Cycle for the first time. We also did some fun experiments about air and the Weather. (I have 3 kids and we did science together for years and years, so the kids were different ages when we covered these!) We have some units/activities here at these posts:
- Water Cycle Unit
- Weather hands-on activities
- The kids were also fascinated by Natural Disasters, so we talked about those about every other year or so! There’s a Natural Disasters Packet that is currently free here.
- We also did a lot of exploration with magnets from time-to-time! There are lots of neat hands-on activities kids can do as they explore how magnets work. We did a magnetism unit last year, but this unit is probably better for slightly older kids (though younger kids will enjoy all the hands-on activities!)
We did units on the Human Body at this age too. We did a unit on the Five Senses. We had a lot of fun with these hands-on activities for the 5 Senses.
Another unit we did early on was the Skeletal System. We started first with fun, hands-on activities and the kids learned many of the names of the bones. Note: we came back to this again & again through the years! (Then in later years, we went on to talk about the Digestive System, Circulatory System and things like that.) My kids really loved doing the hands-on activities you see down below. 🙂
Another fun unit for this age was the simple machines unit – This was a super fun, hands-on unit with TONS of hands-on activities my kids enjoyed!
My kids also have had a lot of fun with various STEM projects we’ve done over the years. This post has some good ideas: 7 Fun STEM – Engineering Projects for Kids
This FREE printable has a list of topics we covered in the early years: Homeschool Science in Early Elementary
What other subjects did my kids learn in Kindergarten and 1st grade?
I have a really detailed list of the kinds of topics we covered at this age. Did you see this free resource guide I have over on the blog — Here’s the link to that Creating a Homeschool Curriculum: Kindergarten – Grade 1 (Free!) This free Resource Guide – Creating a Homeschool Curriculum includes some of the other things we covered in our homeschool (for math, language arts, history and things like that).
Every homeschool is different (and each child within that homeschool has different strengths, weaknesses and interests), but this is a glimpse at the kinds of things we did over the years. Hope it’s helpful! 🙂 ~Liesl
If you are interested in any of our science units, be sure to visit our store or any of the links above for more details!
In this post, I mentioned lots of free pdfs we have available. Generally, you have to click on the links in the post. The pdfs will then either show up in your browser or you’ll have a window open to save the pdf onto your computer. (It depends on the setting you have in your browser.) Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to email me!
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts. You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. ~Liesl
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Happy Homeschooling! ~Liesl