Planning a preschool shape-themed week doesn't mean the science table will sit empty. From the circle to the octagon, you can use shapes to teach science lessons, both inside the classroom and outside the door. Perk up the science center with shape activities for your curious preschoolers.
Circle Shape Planet Activity
Show the children pictures of the planets. Find these in books you have on hand or visit the library for a solar system picture book. Instruct children to cut eight circles from white construction paper. Let them refer to pictures as they color the circles on both sides to represent each one of the planets. Punch a hole near the top of one colored circle shape and attach it to an end of a 6-inch length of yarn. Tie the other end to the bottom of a wire hanger. Hang remaining planets like this, taking care that yarn lengths are all different so planets hang in a varied pattern.
Textured Shapes Activity
Cut six shapes from heavy card stock for this activity. Choose basic shapes like circle, square, rectangle and triangle for younger preschoolers. Introduce or reinforce more complicated shapes like hexagon and octagon for older children. Add different textures to shape cards. Cover one with fluffy cotton. Wrap another in aluminum foil. Glue lentils or small dry beans to one of the shapes to create a bumpy texture. Foam pieces add a squishy feel. Sand is rough to the touch. Use what you have in the classroom supplies to create other interesting textures on the shapes. Make a chart of class observations about the texture of each shape.
Shape Walk Activity
Take the class for an outside walk to look for shapes in the environment. If possible, equip each child with a clipboard and pencil for data collection. Children too young to write words can still draw pictures of shapes they see. Point out both naturally-occurring and man-made shapes that the class encounters on the walk. Take along a camera and snap pictures of shapes. When you return from the walk, list shapes the class observed and discuss whether they were natural or man-made.
- Photo Credit coloured shapes image by Leslie Batchelder from Fotolia.com
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