How to Make an Easy Butterfly Feeder

I love using our outdoor area as a nature classroom. We are lucky to be surrounded by mature trees and flowering shrubs that invite butterflies, birds, bees, and squirrels. Our toddlers and preschoolers are lucky to see all of this in person every time they are out there. And so, creating feeders for these creatures is extra fun. The idea of how to make an easy butterfly feeder came to mind after we released butterflies last month. The children continue to talk about that experience, so I knew this activity would be a hit.

 

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

Disclosure: I was given 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever to review for free. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

My blogging friend, Colleen Kessler, an award-winning educator and founder of the blog Raising Lifelong Learners, asked me if I’d like a copy of hew new book 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever. Knowing all the fun activities Colleen shares, I eagerly accepted. Her book is packed with fun ideas to do with your kids outside.

When you put away the video games, close down the computer and turn off the television to head outside, you actually can make yourself smarter. I’m serious. Studies show that being outside around nature can make you calmer, more peaceful, more attentive and even increase creativity and inventiveness.

Those are Colleen’s words, and I wholeheartedly agree.

How to Make an Easy Butterfly Feeder

It was a hard decision to make, since there are so many fun ideas to try. We decided to make the Super Simple Yogurt Lid Feeder on page 90.

What we used:

  • Lid from a plastic container
  • Hole punch
  • 4 long pieces of yarn (We used lacing yarn since they have nice tips, making it easier to thread the beads.)
  • Pony beads
  • Very ripe fruit

How to make the butterfly feeder:

Punch 4 holes in the lid, as evenly spread out as possible. Tie one end of each strand of yarn between the hole and the edge of the lid.

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

Invite the children to string beads on the yarn. The book’s photo shows 8 pony beads on each strand. My preschoolers just could not stop at 8. They adore threading beads and kept on going. It made the feeder a little heavier, but we figured it wouldn’t blow around as much in the wind.

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

Plus truly, if you know me by now, you know that I won’t stop a preschooler from wanting to use those fine motor skills!

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

This is very much like when we made our macaroni necklaces. I did have them stop every so often so that I could tie knots in between a series of beads. This way if they dropped the yarn, we would not lose all the beads that were carefully strung on the yarn.

And yes, I have learned this from experience. Beads spilling everywhere. And frustrated children!

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

And so, they threaded those beads until their fingers got tired or we ran out of yarn.

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

Once the beads were all strung, I tied the 4 pieces of yarn together at the top.

When we were finished assembling the bird feeder, we talked about the fruit we’d place on it. At circle time I cut strawberries, an apple, and an orange and we took them outside. The preschoolers carefully placed the fruit on the lid.

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

Every so often I’d pick it up by the ends of the yarn and see if it would balance okay. We quickly realized we had too much fruit so we removed some pieces.

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

We looked around our outdoor area and found a tree that we felt would work best, near lots of flowers. We hung it and stood back, delighted!

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

We are now watching and waiting for some butterflies to try our feeder! In the meantime, we can make more pretend butterflies to hang in our classroom.

Preschool Science: Make a Butterfly Feeder

 

More activities from the book 100 Backyard Activities:

  • Wet Bugs, Dry Bugs – Roly Poly Bug Experiment
  • The Most Colossal Worm Home You Can Make
  • Stupendous Spider Web Art
  • Finding and Identifying Bird Nests
  • Groovy CD Case Bean Plant

100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever! is available on Amazon!

See it on You Tube!

More fun preschool activities:

Outdoor Learning Activities for Kids       10 Fun Preschool Science Experiments      Preschool Science - Gravity Experiments

 

Get a Full Week of Butterfly Theme Learning and Play

Save time and get right to the playful learning with these printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and there are different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.

Preschool Butterfly Lesson Plans       Home Preschool Butterfly lesson

This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:

1) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
2) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
3) Caterpillar Uppercase Alphabet Cards
4) Butterfly Lowercase Alphabet Cards
5) Butterfly Life Cycle Cards
6) Butterfly Symmetry Matching Cards
7) Butterfly Life Cycle Word Building Mats
8) Caterpillar Measurement Recording Sheet
9) Caterpillar Patterning Activity
10) Caterpillar Syllable Sort
11) Caterpillar Egg Leaf Counting Mats (Numbers 1-10)

Get Your Lesson Plans

Home Preschool Butterfly  Theme Lesson Plans

Preschool Classroom Butterfly Theme Lesson Plans


 Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




44 Preschool Learning Activities for the Outdoors

You’ve planned your learning activities for the classroom or homeschool, but it’s just too nice outside to be indoors. What to do? Take learning outdoors! I’ve put together 44 preschool learning activities that are perfect for the outdoors.

Counting.

Measuring.

Letter hunts.

Science with nature.

And more.

Lose the 4 walls and the ceiling and get outdoors with this fun collection!

Outdoor Learning Activities for Kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

44 Preschool Learning Activities for the Outdoors

The photo collages beneath each group of activities is shown left to right, starting with the first activity in the group. When you click the title of the activity, you will be taken to the original post with full directions.

 

  • Paint with Bubbles: Whip up a batch of vibrant bubble paint and make prints.
  • Outdoor Canvas Painting: Collect flower petals and add them to a watercolor canvas art activity.
  • Water Spray Alphabet Hunt: Work on letter recognition or letter sounds with water and a spray bottle! (Mom Inspired Life)
  • ABC Excavation Sensory Bin: Fill ice trays with ABC beads and freeze for a fun letter exploration activity. (Parenting Chaos)
  • Garden ABC Hunt: Get outside and enjoy some fresh air while practicing letter recognition. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)
  • Alphabet Ice Boats: Match the letters on the boats as the ice starts to melt. (School time Snippets)

preschool learning outdoors

 

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Bubble Play: Make your own bubbles and try some fun activities that little kids love. (Red Ted Art)
  • Floating Flowers: Collect flowers from the garden and add to a tub of water. (Twitchetts)
  • Learn with Leaves: 7 math activities that you can do outside! (Crafts on Sea)
  • Exploring Senses in Nature: Make an easy DIY mystery bag and fill with natural materials for a fun tactile sense activity. (Natural Beach Living)
  • Play with Helicopter Seeds: These are fun to use for large motor activities, nature hunts, fine motor, counting, and in crafts! (Lalymom)
  • Outdoor Play Ideas Jar: Use the free printable for activity ideas, place in a jar, and let the kids pick a fun outdoor idea. (Kitchen Counter Chronicles)

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Cutting Lavender: If you have lavender in your yard, invite your child to snip it for some fine motor fun. (Teach Me Mommy)
  • DIY Dice Game: Work on gross motor development while completing the task that the dice lands on. (Days with Grey)
  • Hammering Ice: Fill ice cube trays with water and small plastic bugs, freeze, and take outdoors to hammer! (Beauty Through Imperfection)
  • Sink or Float Science: Fill a tub with water, collect items, and see if they sink or float. Use the free printable to document results. (Buggy and Buddy)
  • Blow Bubbles with Household Objects: Discover which household objects work best to blow bubbles. (Playground Parkbench)
  • Spread Shaving Cream on Blocks: Help your children develop spreading skills with this fun activity. (Happy Hooligans)

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Safari Small World: Create a safari small world in the sandbox with loose parts, including  natural materials. (Little Worlds Big Adventures)
  • Nature Number Art: Collect items on a walk, roll the dice, and create something with that many of the pieces. (Mosswood Creations)
  • Sand Cast Starfish: Next time you go to the beach, make this fun keepsake! (Crafts by Amanda)
  • Shadow Art: Add some hands-on STEAM to your outdoor time with this fun art and science activity. (Rhythms of Play)

 

preschool outdoor learning

 

  • Stone Faces Craft: Collect rocks on a nature walk and use the free printable to create funny stone faces. (Messy Little Monster)
  • Earth Craft with Rain: Use markers on paper and see what happens when rain falls on it. (To Be a Kid Again)
  • Jackson Pollock Art: Drip paint on a large sheet outdoors! (Learning and Exploring through Play)
  • Nature Paintbrushes: Collect pieces of nature while on a walk and then use them to paint with. (Messy Little Monster)

 

preschool outdoor learning

Looking for a more structured summer camp program for your kids?

preschool summer camp

Let the kids have the best summer ever! They will be busy learning, making and playing active games. Each day Summer Camp at Home offers 3 different activities.

Click here to read more >>>> Summer Camp at Home

Outdoor Learning Activities for Kids

 

 

More ideas for kids:

summer sensory bin      Fun Summer Activities for Toddlers     Fun Summer Activities for Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Sunflower Garden Project for Kids

Inside this post: Sunflower Garden Project for Kids

When I was a new teacher I had no idea where to start when it came to gardening activities. I gardened with my own children, but that seemed easy because it was usually one-on-one. But with 16? It felt a bit daunting. Have you felt this way, too? Somehow I figured out how to put together a sunflower garden project that not only involved all 16 preschoolers, but involved 16 individual cups of seeds being planted and nurtured.

And it’s a hit year after year.

I will admit I don’t recall why I chose mammoth sunflowers, but they have been the easiest and fastest growing plants, year after year. Over the summer I will get emails with photos of the preschoolers standing next to their super tall sunflowers, beaming. They had nurtured their sunflowers every day with love, water, and sunshine. They learned what it was like to taking care of a living thing.

This is why I do this sunflower garden project year after year!

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Growing sunflowers with preschoolers - hands-on gardening fun! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Sunflower Garden Project for Kids

 

What you will need:

Setting up this sunflower garden project:

  •  Place soil in a bin along with a scoop.
  • Have seeds available in a shallow tray.
  • Fill spray bottle with water.
  • Place cups near soil.

 

Sunflower Garden Project

Before starting, share a book about how seeds grow. We displayed these on our science table along with a model that showed the sequence of a seed’s growth.


Sunflower Garden Project

Scoop soil into the cup. Poke 2 holes on the top and place a seed in each one. (I have them plant 2 because sometimes one never takes off.) Gently cover the seeds with soil.

Sunflower Garden Project

Spray soil with water.

Sunflower Garden Project

Sunflower Garden Project

I placed plastic wrap on top of ours and set in front of the window. This kept the soil moist and warm. Our preschoolers would give them sprays of water now and then, watching for those first signs of growth.

Sunflower Garden Project

In one week they looked like this:

Sunflower Garden Project

I made name labels and taped them to craft sticks, poking them into each cup. I realized afterwards that it would have been easier having the label placed directly on the cup, especially when the cups were covered with plastic wrap.

Scroll to bottom of post for free printable sunflower labels!

Sunflower Garden Project

Now they are ready to be taken home!

Sunflower Garden Project

 

Bonus! Get a full week of preschool seeds theme lesson plans!

Preschool Seeds Printables
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:

1) Foods With and Without Seeds Shared Writing Recording Sheet
2) Uppercase Alphabet Seed Packet Cards
3) Lowercase Alphabet Seed Cards
4) A to Z Seed Writing Task Cards
5) 1 to 12 Flower Pot Seed Counting Mats
6) Seeds Science Journal
7) Seed Shape Tracing Task Cards
8) Seed Sorting Mat
9) Seed Theme Beginning Sounds Sort (Seeds T, F, C)
10) Seed Sprouting Graph

Get Your Lesson Plans

Preschool Classroom Seeds Theme Lesson Plans

Home Preschool Seeds Theme Lessons Plans

 

Growing sunflowers with preschoolers - hands-on gardening fun! Teaching 2 and 3 Year OldsSunflower Garden Project

 

More ideas with sunflowers:

Fine Motor with Sunflowerspreschool science sunflowersToddler Science with Sunflowers

Sunflower Garden Project

Free sunflower labels for you!

free sunflower garden labels

Free download: Sunflower Garden Printable Labels

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




How to Use Scholastic’s My Big World in the Preschool Classroom

Inside: How to use Scholastic’s My Big World in the Preschool Classroom

We love to explore the world around us. I’ve mentioned many times how young children are more interested when what they are learning is connected to real life experiences. We read books and share our experiences during circle time. We have hands-on exploration and play during centers time that connect to these themes.

However, it can be a challenge to find literature and activities that are appropriate for our younger children.

Recently Scholastic contacted us to see if we’d be interested in reviewing their My Big World with Clifford. I’ve been using Scholastic for over 17 years, starting the first year I began teaching preschoolers. So of course I accepted!

Scholastic My Big World

Scholastic’s My Big World in the Preschool Classroom

A subscription to My Big World with Clifford includes 16 issues each school year, delivered in sets of 2 during the school year. Every issue is filled with simple text, big clear pictures, and easy to understand facts that young children can understand. There is also a big issue for the teacher that we used on our bulletin board.

We first read our magazines together at circle time, and then the children got to take their copies home. This gave them a chance to look at the magazine again, perhaps with their family.

Scholastic My Big World

Using My Big World with Clifford in the Classroom

The April edition of My Big World was all about taking care of plants.

You can grow plants. How would you take care of them?

I soaked some cotton balls in water and asked the children to come up, one at a time, to drop them into a jar.

Scholastic My Big World

We then placed some dried beans inside the jar, between the glass and the wet cotton balls.

We sealed the jar and examined what they looked like.

Scholastic My Big World

Scholastic My Big World

The next day we passed the jar around and noted how the beans had changed, comparing the beans to our model.

We could see that some of the beans had sprouted.

Scholastic My Big World

We did this for each day, noting how the beans were changing and growing. We would refer to the big Scholastic magazine that we had tacked on our bulletin board.

Scholastic My Big World

At the same time, we planted sunflowers. We looked at the photos in our classroom magazine to learn how to take care of our plants as they grew. There was even a sing-along in the magazine to go with the activity.

scholastic my big world

More about My Big World:

My Big World is suitable for preschool and pre-kindergarten children. You will get 18 issues that include an editorial calendar, online resources, skills & standards, and a section for Head Start educators.

You can read more about it here: Scholastic “Our Big World”

Scholastic on Twitter

Scholastic on Facebook

Scholastic on Pinterest

 

Disclosure: Scholastic sent me a few sets of “Our Big World with Clifford” magazines to use in my preschool classroom. However, I’ve been ordering from Scholastic for over 17 years and love their reading club and resources!

 

Scholastic My Big World

 

 

More ideas for young learners:

     learning with lego - 100+ activities for kids     Learning activities using music for toddlers and preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Gardening Ideas for Kids

The weather is warming up. It’s time to plant! But, you know your little ones would LOVE to help. (Yes, they would!) So now you are wondering about gardening ideas for kids.

Children learn from growing things.

Children can learn new skills, have fun, play and develop self-confidence by spending time in the garden tending plants and growing their own food. Most children enjoy being outdoors and love digging in the soil, getting dirty, creating things and watching plants grow. (Source.)

Ready to garden with your children?

Preschool Gardening Activities

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Gardening Ideas for Kids

This collection not only contains ideas for growing plants, but also art ideas, sensory ideas, and outdoor garden art!

 

Teach your children how to plant seeds and take care of them with some simple tips.

Create a sunflower gardening project by starting your seeds in plastic cups.

For an miniature indoor garden, make a terrarium.

An egg carton makes a nice greenhouse. (Hazel and Company)


 

Gardening Ideas for Kids

 

Watch seeds grow in a jar. (Little Bins for Little Hands)

Grow plants from food scraps. (Modern Parents Messy Kids)

Use a coffee can to make a bug house. (Research Parent)

Dissect a flower and study its parts. (Sugar, Spice and Glitter)

Gardening Ideas for Kids

Explore real or artificial flowers with a garden sensory bin. (Mess for Less)

Examine different seeds with a magnifying glass and compare. (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Use different colors of construction paper to make a flower garden. (Cutting Tiny Bites)

Draw bugs on stones and use in the garden. (Daisies and Pie)

Gardening Ideas for Kids 3

Dress up a terra cotta pot with thumbprint butterflies. (Upstate Ramblings)

Make a bird feeder out of a juice carton. (Red Ted Art)

Recycle empty water bottles to make colorful wind spirals. (Happy Hooligans)

Play this alphabet activity during your garden theme. (Buggy and Buddy)

Gardening Ideas for Kids

 

Bonus!

You want to start a garden with kids but are overwhelmed with where to start?

You have a green thumb but have no idea how to begin teaching kids?

Grab this guide, Growing the Seeds of Wonder, for the home or classroom!

 

affiliate sowing the seeds of wonder

 

More fun ideas for young children:

Toddler Alphabet Ideas     Preschool Name Recognition - Ideas for Preschool Early Literacy - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     Looking for a fun way to strengthen toddler fine motor skills? Here's a fun water activity using basters!

 

Gardening Ideas for Kids - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Gardening Ideas for Kids - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds



15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Exploring the rainbow is our favorite way to expose young children to colors and color mixing. I’ve share how we’ve made rainbows on bubble wrap and sorted rainbow colors in the sensory bin. But what about science? How can you wonder what happens while working with ROYGBIV? I’m thrilled to have found 15 rainbow science activities for toddlers and preschoolers.

Hands-on science that get young children excited about what will happen next!

Pouring, mixing, fizzing, squishing … ingredients that make early learning fun!

15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Some of these activities are more suitable for preschoolers than toddlers. Close supervision is required.

15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Skittles Rainbow Science: What happens when you add skittles to water? (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Scented Rainbow Science: What happens when you add vinegar to frozen baking soda? (Fun-a-Day)

Marshmallow Color Change Experiment: What happens to water after colored marshmallows are dissolved in it? (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Colorful Water Beads Experiment: What happens when you hydrate colorful water beads? (Little Bins)

Sparkly Fizzing Rainbow: What happens when you add glitter to baking soda and vinegar? (Preschool Powol Packets)

Color Changing Flowers: What happens when you place white flowers in colored water? (Laughing Kids Learn)

Rainbow Paper Color Science: What happens when you dip black paper into clear nail polish and water? (The Science Kiddo)

Make Your Own Rainbow: What happens when you take everyday items and shine light on them? (Lemon Lime Adventures)

Rainbow Salt Discovery Jars: What happens when you color salt using chalk and add it to a jar? (Preschool Toolbox)

Exploring Prisms: What happens as the light from the sun passes through the prism? (Buggy and Buddy)

Rainbow Ice and Salt Experiment: What happens when you color a block of ice and then add salt? (Powerful Mothering)

Rainbow Density Jar: What happens when layer liquid mixtures that have different densities? (Schooling a Monkey)

Traveling Colors: What happens when you add the colors from the rainbow onto salt and glue? (You Clever Monkey)

Rainbow Water Xylophone: What happens when you fill jars with colored water, each at a different level? (Mama Papa Bubba)

Rainbow Clean Mud: What happens when you add toilet paper to soap flakes and colored water? (Simple Fun for Kids)

15 Rainbow Science Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

More science ideas:

Preschool Science - Gravity Experiments      simple toddler science activities      science experiments for preschoolers



Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Rain. It’s something we see a lot of in the Pacific Northwest. So when we were preparing our weather theme activities, I just knew I had to include something that involved rain. Truly, it was so simple. Our preschoolers love water in our sensory bin, they  to squeeze and pour. That helped me come up with this rainy weather sensory bin for preschoolers.

Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Every day during our morning meeting our class helper reports the weather, so our preschoolers are already familiar with it. We love noticing the clouds and wondering if the sun is hiding behind them. We also play a lot in the rain during recess. So to explore weather in the sensory bin was an addition to something we already love! We’ve already had fun with a winter sensory bin, a fall sensory bin, and a summer bin as well.

Before introducing our rainy weather sensory bin, we introduced some weather books:

We then made rain in the sensory bin.

What we used:

  • Plastic cups (I used a large thumbtack to poke holes in the bottoms of them)
  • Cotton balls
  • Water
  • A bin to put everything in

The activity:

At first the preschoolers scooped and poured water, as that is what they love to do.

Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

And then the water started trickling out of the holes. It not only looked like rain, but it sounded like it, too, as it hit the surface of the sensory bin.

Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

The preschoolers then explored what happened if they held the cup higher. Did it change anything?

Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Then they scooped the cotton balls into their hands and squeezed the water out, pretending rain was being squeezed from the clouds. (This is a great activity for strengthening the hands and fingers!)

 

Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Then they pushed the cotton balls into the cups. The more they pushed, the more water dripped through the holes in the bottoms of the cups.

Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

What a fun way to learn about rain in a hands-on way!

Here are more rain ideas to try:

Colored Waterfalls

Rainy Day Nursery Rhymes (Let’s Play Music)

Rain Pre-Writing Activity (The Educator’s Spin on It)

Puddle Jumping Alphabet Activity (Mom Inspired Life)

Paper Plate Umbrella (Happy Hooligans)

Raindrop Suncatchers (Pre-K Pages)

Rainy Weather Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

 

Check out even more activities on our weather pin board!

 

 

The Preschool Journey

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers

The cold weather is here. We love to explore ice this time of year! While planning winter theme, I found 15 fun winter ice activities for preschoolers. These are engaging, hands-on ideas that can be done in the classroom and at home. Ready for some winter fun?

15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers

15 Cool Ideas with Ice - Winter Activities for Kids -Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers

 

  1. Freeze blocks of ice and paint on them.
  2. Explore ice and water in the sensory bin.
  3. Brainstorm ways to keep ice from melting. (Planet Smarty Pants)
  4. Scoop ice out of water for a chilly sensory experience. (Busy Toddler)
  5. Princess lovers will have fun with this ice castle excavation activity. (School Time Snippets)
  6. Add some STEM to your winter theme by experimenting with frozen magnetic pieces. (Little Bins for Little Hands)
  7. Explore a rainbow with melting ice. (Powerful Mothering)
  8. Practice letter recognition while trying to remove letters from ice. (Little Bins for Little Hands)
  9. Melt frozen hands with salt and water. (Happy Hooligans)
  10. Go fishing for ice and learn what happens when salt is added. (Science Kiddo)
  11. For a simple winter science activity, explore fizzy ice. (Toddler Approved)
  12. Freeze Lego figures in water and excavate them. (Lemon Lime Adventures)
  13. Do you want to melt a snowman? This ice melting activity looks like a fun sensory idea! (Munchkins and Moms)
  14. Make volcanoes from ice and watch them erupt. (Reading Confetti)
  15. Paint with gingerbread ice men. (Practical Mommy)

 

15 Fun Winter Ice Activities for Preschoolers


 

More ideas for young children:

Watercolor Snowflakes - Beautiful Winter Art by Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds          Preschool Hibernating Bears     Preschool Science - Gravity Experiments

 

Check out our science pin board for more fun!

 

From our store:

This Winter Science Activities packet is filled with 10 hands-on learning activities that are sure to capture the interest of your little learner. Teach little learners about states of matter, density, chemistry and more with really fun experiments. All the activities come with detailed instructions, material lists, and some experiments include printables. For only $3.00 you can buy it now.

Winter Science Activities Book Button

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Salt and Watercolor Painting

I love to strengthen fine motor skills at the art table, so this is why salt and watercolor painting is one of my favorites for our preschoolers. I’ve talked about pipettes before, such as with our pine cone art and our colored waterfall art. What I love about this particular activity is that the salt allows the colors to travel. When you add different colors, you can see them mix in the salt. Science, fine motor, AND art!

Salt and Watercolor Art
 Salt and Watercolor Painting

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Salt and Watercolor Painting

 

What we used:

 


Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

The process:

 

Squeeze glue onto paper. We talked about how the glue was “dancing”.

 

 
Then, spoon salt on top of the glue.

 

Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

You can also shake the salt. This is a fun activity by itself!

 
Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Shake off the excess salt.

 

Applying the watercolors:

 

Use the pipettes to transfer the liquid watercolors on top of the salt.
Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

There are always those who want to use 2 pipettes at the same time!

 

Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

As the salt absorbs the paint, and they both mix with the glue, an interesting texture appears.

 Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Some of the preschoolers poked and pulled at the mixture, finding the feeling fascinating.

 Salt and Watercolor Painting - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

When finished, let thoroughly dry. Some of the salt might flake off if there was not enough glue. I made sure to shake each one over the garbage can before sending them home, so that the excess was removed.

 

Exploring Science and Art with Salt, Glue, and Watercolors - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Make sure to follow us on Pinterest!

 


Salt and Watercolor Painting

 

More ideas for young children:

Watercolor Snowflakes - Beautiful Winter Art by Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds          Preschool Science - Gravity Experiments

 

Check out our science pin board for more fun!

 

From our store:

This Winter Science Activities packet is filled with 10 hands-on learning activities that are sure to capture the interest of your little learner. Teach little learners about states of matter, density, chemistry and more with really fun experiments. All the activities come with detailed instructions, material lists, and some experiments include printables. For only $3.00 you can buy it now.

Winter Science Activities Book Button

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




16 Christmas Science Activities for Preschoolers

Science activities are a wonderful way to engage preschoolers in active, hands-on learning. If you’ve done science experiments with young children, you’ve most likely seen the look of wonder in their eyes as the activity unfolds. Because my goal is to add more science to our daily schedule, I am always searching for great ideas. For the month of December, I found 16 Christmas science activities for preschoolers that are just plain fun!

16 Christmas Science Activities for Preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

16 Christmas Science Activities for Preschoolers

 

Christmas Glitter Eruptions: Set out to catch the fizz with this fun sparkling activity! (Little Bins for Little Hands)

Peppermint Oobleck: Put a little twist on a classic science experiment with this 2 ingredient Christmas science experiment. (Little Bins for Little Hands)

Borax Crystal Ornaments: Bend pipe cleaners into holiday shapes for this fun crystal experiment. (The Craft Train)

Grow Your Own Christmas Tree: Have you ever grown your own Christmas tree using a sponge? You’ve got to try this! (Gift of Curiosity)

christmas science for preschoolers

 

Engineering an Ice Lantern: This is a fantastic opportunity to see what happens when water changes states. (STEAM Powered Family)

Minty Reindeer Toothpaste: A Christmas spin on the popular elephant toothpaste, and so much fun! (Playdough to Plato)

Dissolving Candy Canes Science: Watch how candy canes dissolve at different times depending on the type of liquid. (Lemon Lime Adventures)

Dancing Jingle Bells: What happens when you add bells to carbonated liquid? (Modern Preschool)

christmas science for preschoolers

Christmas Fizzy Painting: Learn what happens when you combine baking soda and paint! (Gift of Curiosity)

Grinch Slime: Make this green sparkling slime and make it stretch and grow, just like the Grinch’s heart. (Schooling a Monkey)

Jingle Bell Train Coupling Activity: What happens when you use jingle bells as coupling chains for your toy trains? (Play Trains)

Salt Crystal Tree Ornament: A fun crystal science activity that works well for younger children. (Go Science Girls)

christmas science for preschoolers

Soft Circuit Christmas Ornament: Use a LED pin light to put at the top of your felt Christmas tree ornament. (Teach Beside Me)

Bubbly Christmas Lights: Use a mixture that includes Alka Seltzer to create cheery bubbly Christmas lights. (Schooling a Monkey)

Christmas Bell Game:  Learn about magnetism  while attracting colored jingle bells. Can even add some counting! (Teach Beside Me)

How to Bend a Candy Cane: Why can you only bend a candy cane when it’s warm? (Preschool Powol Packets)

Christmas Light Science: Separate a string of Christmas lights and turn them on by touching the wires to a battery. (Pre-Kinders)

christmas science for preschoolers


16 Christmas Science Activities for Preschoolers

More Christmas ideas for young children:

 

Easy Christmas Ideas for Little Kids     Christmas Painting Activities      Christmas Sensory Play Activities

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable Cards

Oh, fall, with all your beautiful colors. How we love you! We’ve been having lots of fun with fall science activities. Spiders, squirrels, apples, pumpkins…and leaves. Where we live, the leaves turn magnificent colors this time of year. So naturally we put together some fall leaf sorting with (free) printable cards for you to try.

We tested it out this week, in fact. (Thank you, weather forecast, for being wrong and NOT sending us rain.) Oh, the fun we had with this fall leaf sorting activity!

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable Cards

We started this leaf sorting activity by reading a favorite book, Going on a Leaf Hunt. (If you have not read it yet, you must!)

We then went on our own leaf hunt! I gave each of our preschoolers a plastic baggie to hold their findings as we took our walk.

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable

Sorting Our Leaves by Color

I used our leaf sorting cards for this circle time activity. (Bonus! Scroll further down this post and get your free leaf printable cards!) I placed all of our leaves in a tray in the middle of the circle, along with our sorting cards.

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable

 

I called each preschooler to pick out a leaf or two from the leaf tray and sort it by color.

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable

Just like when we sorted apples by color, we found that some leaves had more than one color, so we then had to decide what color they mostly were.

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable

We also noticed the different shapes of the leaves and the different shades of color.

Once all the leaves were sorted, we counted how many of each color we had and I documented it on the sheets of paper. The leaves were glued to the paper and hung on our bulletin board along with our watercolor tissue paper leaves.

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable

Ready to give this color sorting activity a try? Download your free leaf cards here.

Fall Leaf Sorting with Free Printable

More fall ideas to try:

Preschool Math Activity Making Spider Snacks      20 Free Fall Printables for Preschoolers     Pine Cone Fine Motor Activity for Toddlers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




7 Fun Preschool Gravity Experiments

Have you noticed how preschoolers are fascinated by things that move? Whether it’s pushing, throwing, or falling, they are very into it! So why not tap into this interest? Here are 7  fun preschool gravity experiments that you can add to your classroom or homeschool curriculum, or for weekend fun.

Preschool Gravity Experiments

 

When talking about gravity with preschoolers, we keep it simple. During our morning meeting or circle time, we demonstrate what happens if we drop an item. We notice that it went down instead of up. We can then try a gravity experiment during small groups, noticing that if we alter the movement or materials, things change.

This is basic and yet fascinating for this age group!

 

7 Fun Preschool Gravity Experiments

 

Defy Gravity – This super cool activity is easy to make with paperclips and magnets. (Buggy and Buddy)

Galaxy in a Bottle – The glitter doesn’t fall down, but instead rises as it settles. Crazy! (One Little Project)

Gravity Splatter Art – What happens when you drop something with paint on it?

Exploring Gravity with a Tube – Why does the position of the tube change the speed of the car? (HOAWG)

Exploring Gravity with Balance – Learn how to make a craft stick stand up right on a chopstick. (Rookie Parenting)

Gravity with a Pendulum – Learn about the forces of motion and gravity by placing paint in swinging pendulum. (Handmade Kids Art)

Pool Noodle Gravity Play – Explore gravity and slope by making your own pool noodle marble run. (Little Bins)

Preschool Science - Gravity Experiments

Related posts:

preschool science activities      Preschool Science Ideas for Fall - 5 hands-on activities from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      science experiments for preschoolers

 

Check out our science pin board for more fun!

 

From our store:

This Winter Science Activities packet is filled with 10 hands-on learning activities that are sure to capture the interest of your little learner. Teach little learners about states of matter, density, chemistry and more with really fun experiments. All the activities come with detailed instructions, material lists, and some experiments include printables. For only $3.00 you can buy it now.

Winter Science Activities Book Button

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




How to Set Up Your Preschool Science Center

Science is an important part of a preschooler’s day, especially when it involves hands-on exploration. Teachers, are you wondering how to set up your preschool science center? Does it intimidate you a bit?

It doesn’t need to be intimidating! With just a few simple tips, you can have a science area that is inviting for your young learners.

Today I am going to show you almost all of the science centers we set up on ONE  year in our preschool classroom. Some of these stayed out all week, some for a couple of weeks. All of them were tied into our preschool theme of that week. We connected other classroom activities with what was in our science center.

preschool science activities

 

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

How to Set Up Your Preschool Science Center

 

You will notice that many of these science centers include picture books and perhaps one or two visuals placed in plexi-glass sign holders. At some of the centers there were also tools such as magnifying glasses and tweezers. We also tried to have some sort of objects that could be touched. I’ve added some affiliate links if you are interested in learning where these products can be purchased, but you might already own them. I am hoping these photos help you understand how to set up a science center that will be visually pleasing to your preschoolers, inviting them to come and explore.

Magnets

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

At the start of the year we explore with magnets. This is a simple and fun activity that is especially loved by visual learners. The preschoolers discovered that the magnets stuck to some objects, but not to others. Later in the year we explored magnets at the light table, in the sensory table, and even in the block area.

More to read:

8 Irresistible Activities to Do with Magnets

Preschool books about magnets:

Families

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

Learning about families is another great preschool activity at the beginning of the school year. As we are getting to know each other, we also love talking about the members in our family. The children bring in a family photo which we frame and display on the wall all year.


Owls

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

As we explore owls, we also learn about nocturnal animals. Why do they sleep during the day?


Bats

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

During October, one of our science displays is all about bats. Most of our preschoolers remember seeing the bats at our local zoo, so this is meaningful to them. I put together a simple discovery bottle placing some small foam bats (from a sticker pad) into water along with some glitter (just because our preschoolers love to watch it swirl).  We love National Geographic Kids books, as you can see in the photo. The rubber bat was a nice prop, too!

 


Pumpkins

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

In October we go on a field trip to the pumpkin patch, so we make sure to study pumpkins at the science table. Along with small pumpkins, we also provided a pumpkin matching activity. (If you are interested in these types of printables, you can find them at Montessori for Everyone.)

Make sure to check out our Pumpkin Theme post for lots of pumpkin activities!


Corn

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

While at the pumpkin patch, we get to walk through the the corn that is being harvested. We set up this science center to show a real piece of corn that is still in its husk, a can of corn, dried corn kernels (that I also placed letter tiles inside to spell “corn”), and some visuals.

Pines

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

Where we live, there is an abundance of pine cones. This includes all around our preschool building. We learn where they come from while we take a nature walk. What trees did they fall from?

Dinosaurs

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

Preschoolers have a fascination with dinosaurs, and we’ve happened to acquire quite a collection. The children love how large and powerful dinosaurs are!


Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

In the winter a dental team visits our preschool, talking about how to keep our teeth healthy. The week that they visit, we invite our preschoolers to practice brushing teeth with a model.


The Colors of the Rainbow

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

During the month of March we explore the rainbow. You might recall our giant color wheel, where the children bring in items from home that are the colors of the rainbow.


Seeds

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

April means gardening! We invite our preschoolers to play with our seed model while we plant sunflowers. By doing this, they actually get to watch their seed sprout. They learn about taking care of another living thing, giving it sunlight and water.


Daffodils

Preschool Classroom Science Area Ideas

After learning about seeds, we then explore daffodils. We explore them under our magnifying stands and learn to treat them gently.

 

Ocean Life

science shells

In May we explore the ocean. We have real shells, a couple of discovery bottles, and books. You can read more about this in our Preschool Ocean Theme post.


 

Want to see more science activities? Check out our pin board!

 

 

preschool science activities

 

More preschool activities to explore:

friendship activities for preschoolers      Shape Activities for Preschoolers     Learning the Alphabet - Activities for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




10 Easy Science Activities for Toddlers

 

Toddlers can be very curious about how things work. In fact, you might hear “why?” a lot. This is a good time to give them opportunities to investigate, finding answers to those “why” questions. Hands-on science exploration should be a part of your toddler curriculum. Simple, short ideas that work with their shorter attention spans. Today I’m going to share 10 easy science activities for toddlers that you can easily add to your home or classroom.

Oh, and if you have other simple science ideas for young children, please share!

10 simple toddler science activities for home or classroom

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

10 Easy Science Activities for Toddlers

 

Exploring Sunflower Seeds: Strengthen those little fingers while pulling seeds from large sunflowers.

Painting on Ice Blocks: What happens to the paint as the ice starts to melt? Preschoolers love this activity, too!

What’s Magnetic: Fill a bin with large objects and a magnetic wand. Super easy! (Busy Toddler)

Easy Toddler Science

Which One is Heavier: This easy science activity only takes a couple of minutes to set up, using a child’s hanger and some paper cups. (Go Science Girls)

Will it Sink or Float: This is a favorite, mostly because it involves playing with water! (Hands On as We Grow)

Magnetic Discovery Bottle: Discovery bottles work well with toddlers because the small pieces are contained in the bottle. Move the wand and watch the pipe cleaner pieces move! (Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls)

Exploring Vegetable Seeds: This only takes a minute to set up! In fact, this would keep your toddler busy while you are fixing dinner. (Lemon Lime Adventures)

easy toddler science activities

Magic Milk Science Experiment: Perfect for little ones who have not yet experienced chemical reactions. (Laughing Kids Learn)

Bubble Snake: Toddlers are learning how to blow bubbles, and they will love this easy DIY bubble snake activity! (One Little Project)

Color Surprise Eruptions: Add simple color recognition to this fun science activity. (Learn, Play, Imagine)

easy toddler science

More fun ideas for toddlers:

Toddler Alphabet Ideas      toddler play activities      parachute play for toddlers

 

Now available! The Toddler Journey ebook!

 

simple toddler science activities

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Winter Discovery Bottles

Every January we add easy winter discovery bottles to our list of activities. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know how much we love making them. They are perfect any time of the year, such as when we made our patriotic discovery bottles. Little kids love to hold and look at them. There is something very calming as the ingredients gently move around. For this activity, we kept it very simple with just a few ingredients. I wanted them to resemble snow globes, with sparkles and snowflakes.

Make sure you are following our winter board on Pinterest!

 

easy winter discovery bottles

Toddlers and preschoolers love discovery bottles, so why not have them be involved in the process of making them? We loved adding these bottles to our winter theme!

 

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Easy Winter Discovery Bottles

What you will need:

  • Your choice of plastic bottle

  • Silver glitter

  • Foam snowflakes

  • Water

     

    Pour the liquid into the plastic bottle. Younger children might need assistance. A funnel might make things easier, too.

    Winter Discovery Bottles for Toddlers and Preschoolers

     

    The snowflakes can then be dropped into the bottle. (You know how I am always working on strengthening those little fingers!)

     

    Winter Discovery Bottles for Toddlers and Preschoolers

     

    Then, scoop the glitter into the bottle.

     

     Winter Discovery Bottles for Toddlers and Preschoolers

     

    Add a bit more water and watch the glitter swirl. (Note: I partnered the preschoolers so that one could hold the bottle while the other added the materials. Worked out great!)

     

    Winter Discovery Bottles for Toddlers and Preschoolers

     

     Winter Discovery Bottles for Toddlers and Preschoolers

     

     
     Once everything is in the bottle, seal the lid tight. I like to squirt some hot glue in the lid before closing it, just to make sure it does not open.

     

    Then, shake it up!

     

    Winter Discovery Bottles for Toddlers and Preschoolers

     

    We then placed them in front of the window.

     

    Winter Discovery Bottles for Toddlers and Preschoolers

     

    Toddlers and preschoolers love discovery bottles, so why not have them be involved in the process of making them? We loved adding these bottles to our winter theme!

    Here are more ideas to try:

    Winter Snowflake Art        simple activities for kids      toddler shape activities


Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Preschool Science Ideas for Fall

We love exploring science in the fall! Well, we love exploring science all year…but there is something special about fall. At least where I live! And so, putting together preschool science ideas for fall is pretty easy. We take a look at what’s going on in nature and plan around it.

This year we explored sunflowers, spiders, squirrels and acorns, owls, and pumpkins. We used the same themes for both our toddlers and preschoolers, but removed the smaller pieces for the toddlers. Both ages enjoyed the hands-on environment.

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall - 5 hands-on activities from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall

 

Sunflowers

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall - 5 ideas for your fall science table - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Every September we explore sunflowers. We ask around who might have some mammoth sunflowers that are ready to be harvested. We then place them on our science table, along with tweezers to pull out the seeds.

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall

We display sunflowers in vases to brighten our classroom. We extend this activity to our art table, where we create a large sunflower bulletin board, and we have fun with a sunflower sensory bin.

 

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall

Spiders

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall - 5 ideas for your fall science table - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Our spider science table included plush toy spiders, spider fact books, and a spider discovery bottle.

 

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall

I created a pretend spider web across the window above our science table and added some spider rings. We also enjoyed a spider counting craft at the art table.

 

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall

Squirrels

 

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall - 5 ideas for your fall science table - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

In September and October we see a couple of squirrels above our outdoor play area, most often carrying nuts in their mouths. I created a science table that included our beloved tree blocks, acorns, and some squirrel books. You can see more of this in my squirrels and acorns science post.

 

Fall Science for Preschool with Squirrels and Acorns

Fall Science for Preschool with Squirrels and Acorns

 

Owls

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall - 5 ideas for your fall science table - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

While talking about animals that are awake during the night, we included owls at our science table.

 

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall

After reading books about owls, we made a flying owl craft to put on our bulletin board.

Pumpkins

exploring pumpkins at the science table

Of course, no fall science curriculum is complete unless it covers pumpkins. We extended this with a fine motor pumpkin activity, a pumpkin stand, and pumpkin painting.

 

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall

 

Preschool Science Ideas for Fall - 5 hands-on activities from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Want to see how we set up our science table throughout the school year?

How to Set Up a Preschool Science Center

preschool science activities

 

 

You can find more activities on my science board.

 

Related posts:

Preschool Science - Gravity Experiments      volcano science for kids     science experiments for preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds