Spring is an amazing season, don’t you agree? I love to get out and see all of the changes that are occurring in nature. This naturally lends itself to science activities, fresh air, and activity (gotta get those kiddos moving). With just a few materials you can use the great outdoors to investigate science topics. Great outdoors + kids + science= Success! Know that’s what I call a great formula.
Plants- Tulips are starting to bloom and will do so over the next several weeks. This flower has large parts inside of it and is one of the best plants to dissect for the reason. It is a perfect flower because it has both male and female parts. (I just learned that!) And, in case you need a reminder of where the parts are located and what are their names, here is a quick reference drawing courtesy of http://www.wikimedia.com
Here are some ideas for teaching. I have listed in parentheses other subject areas that are included besides science that are being studied as well.
- Have your budding 🙂 botanist draw the parts of the flower. (art)
- Label the parts of their flower. (language arts)
- Point to the various parts and describe them. (language arts)
- Color a picture and/or label the parts of a flower Superstarworksheets (art)
- Have your student teach you or other siblings about the flower. (language arts)
- If you don’t have a flower to study, DK Books has a close-up of a flower and simple explanations of the parts of a plant. Flower Parts for Kids
- If you have an older student you can go into greater detail by looking at this site: Biology for Kids: Flowering Plants
Nature Picture Show Take your phone with you on a walk and let your child take pictures of signs of spring. When you get home you can:
- Identify the plants and animals you saw. (language arts)
- Create a photo collage. (art, technology)
- Send pictures with a short narration to grandparents. (language arts)
- Create a PowerPoint with captions. (technology, language arts)
Shadows The other day I saw my neighbor sitting on her driveway with some plastic dinosaurs and I just had to ask her what she was doing (keeping 6′ away from her of course!). She was waiting for the sun to cast shadows on some paper that she had so she could trace them. What a lot of fun! You can do this with anything, including your own shadow and your son/ daughter’s shadow. Other things you can do with shadows:
- Measure each shadow. You can come out at different times of the day and see whether your shadow was longer or shorter than before. (math)
- Graph the measurement of the shadows. (math)
- Watch a video about shadows. If you have an older student they can take notes about the video. (language arts) Dr. Binocs
- If you are looking for some good books to read about shadows (both nonfiction and fiction), you can check out this website: Faith and Good Works
- Create a shadow puppet play. (art, language arts)
- Not sunny today? No problem! Make a puppet theater. Here are two options to get your creative juices flowing:
Blowing Bubbles is always a lot of fun, but did you ever think about making this into a science activity? Ask the question: If you have different shaped wands (made out of pipe cleaners or wire), will the bubbles come out in those shapes or will they be round? Create a hypothesis and go have some fun by checking to see if it is correct.
- Bubble formula- I found a formula without glycerin on kidsactivities.com since you can’t run to the store to get any right now. The amazing thing about this formula is that if you wear gloves the bubbles they won’t pop. The sugar makes them very strong and you can catch them and bounce them without breaking.
- 4 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp concentrated dish soap
- 2 Tbsp Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- Add the water to a small bowl and pour in the dish soap.
- Add the sugar and stir gently until the sugar is dissolved.
Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~