1.18.2014

Science Projects for Preschool Learners, Magnets

Having a teenage brother and two parents in grad school has made Lilah acutely aware of school. She no longer likes us to ask how was school or Heaven forbid, how was preschool, instead she wants us to ask how was class. Her interest in classes stemmed not only from the modeling of her older family members, but also from her early career aspirations.

Lilah loves for people to ask her what she wants to do when she grows up.  She very proudly stands up tall (as tall as a very petite two and half year old can) and says matter-of-factly, “a pharmacist.”  If you ask Lilah what a pharmacist does she answers, “make and study medicine to make people feel better.”

The other day it occurred to Lilah that she would GET to take a lot of classes on her journey to becoming a pharmacist.
“What classes will I take Momma?” I told her she would get to take a lot of math and science classes. “Oh, wow! Will you teach me to help me get started?” I love this girl.  I needed to quickly come up with some age appropriate science activities for my precocious two year-old.
 Our first experiment involved magnets.  I prepared a “science box” ahead of time, which just contained a combination of household items.  I built excitement.
 “What do you think is in the science box?”
“Are you going to do an experiment today?”
 Lilah was very nearly bursting at the seams, when I finally gave her the magnet.   
I taught her the word magnet and explained that we were going to use her magnet to search for magnetic fields. You would think I had told her we were going to have a giant chocolate cake for dinner. I explained that some things that contained iron would stick to her magnet.  
We then opened the science box!
Lilah explored a bit. I had her guess whether or not different things would stick to the magnet.
 “Do you think the cotton ball will stick?”
After some exploring, I made a line down the middle of a piece of white paper and asked Lilah to sort the objects by which ones were attracted to the magnet. Lilah dutifully went to work. 
Occasionally she would hold up an item stuck to her magnet and declare, “I found a magnetic field!”

Eureka!


If you have recommendations for great science activities for preschool children please leave them in the comments.



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