What Can Tracks Teach Kids? Preschool Science Activities Are a Big Deal
By Rachel Ward
Oh, that’s how that works—wow! Your preschooler’s inquisitive little mind is going ten million miles an hour as they start putting together all the information that they’ve gathered about the world during toddlerhood, from motion and body movements to using new materials and supplies to craft something unique.
And, according to our experts, that makes this the perfect time to start helping kids build early science skills and more.
“With all that preschoolers have learned and their never-ending curiosity, they’re ready to start trying out new skills, such as making predictions and experimenting to see if their predictions are correct—and all that aids them in discovering even more about how the world works,” says Sue-Ann Lively from KinderCare’s Education team.
The great thing about building early science skills is that we can incorporate them into all sorts of activities, from math to art—take a look at one of our favorites!
How We Use Art Activities to Build Early Science Skills and More in Preschoolers
Skimming toy cars through paint and zooming them across paper to see what kind of tracks they make isn’t just delightful, giggle-inducing entertainment for kids and teachers alike—it’s also full of learning opportunities as teachers ask kids what they think will happen beforehand, and have them pay attention to the differences in each car’s tracks.
And that scientific inquiry extends right into developing artistic skills, too!
“As children experiment with how they can move the cars on the paper to make tracks, they’re also building artistic abilities as well, from trying out straight, curved, or zig-zag lines to creating basic shapes like circles, squares, or even triangles,” explains Lively.
The end result is skill-building fun with a beautiful class mural to hang on the wall! Keep your child’s learning going at home with our nifty ideas below.
3 Easy Science Activities for Preschoolers, All in the Comfort of Your Own Home
1. Mix finger paint for surprises in color
Purple, orange, green—kids have definitely seen these secondary colors, but they probably don’t know that they’re made from a mixture of other colors! Set your child up with red, blue, and yellow finger paint and encourage them to mix two of the three together. What do they think will happen? Will the colors stay the same or create something new?
2. Explore speed with basic ramps
Whoosh, zoom—every kid loves to go fast and furious! Stack some books on top of each other, and then set another book at an angle against the stack to create a ramp. Have your child try setting a toy car on the ramp. How fast do they think it will go? Remove a book from the stack and try again. Do they think the car will go faster or slower? Keep going and see if their predictions hold true!
3. Head to the kitchen for culinary wizardry
Stiff noodles turning soft, ingredients morphing into a mixture for deviled eggs, and the tantalizing sizzle and scent of meat or veggies on the grill: The kitchen is a magical place! Bring your child into the kitchen while you’re prepping a meal they haven’t seen you make before. Ask them what they think will happen to the ingredients as you prep!