Does It Roll? Does It Slide?

Ian the Science Guy
Photo © 2006 Richard Masoner | more info (via: Wylio)

Many preschool teachers shy away from science lessons for fear that they might be too hard to comprehend, too complex to complete in a short amount of time, too messy, or too [fill in the blank]. In reality, preschool science lessons should simply introduce your students to the world around them and all it has to offer. Nothing complicated. Nothing too scientific. Just an appreciation for their surroundings, encouragement in creative thought, and encouragement to ask questions as well as explore for answers. Here are two great (very similar) science lessons to do with your kiddos when you're stuck inside this winter.

Philippa, mother and creator of the site House of Baby Piranha, suggests setting up a wooden ramp and inviting your youngsters to test the rolling capacity of objects from around the classroom. Add a math component by providing students with simple charts (like the one below) to record results. [NOTE: It might be nice to add a picture of the item to the chart also.] When finished, create a bar graph showing the number of objects that rolled in comparison to the number that did not. You might also consider having students make predictions before the objects are tested, keeping a classroom tally, then comparing the expected results to the actual results.

Does It Roll?

  • Toy Car
  • Plastic Animal
  • Roll of Tape
  • Plastic Egg
  • Crayon
  • Square Block
  • Cork
  • Ball

House of Baby Piranha: We Play - Does It Roll?

This lesson by Jenae of I Can Teach My Child will have your students exploring whether or not objects from the classroom will slide down a cookie sheet of ice. Perfect for winter, students will love collecting items and taking turns testing them. As with the experiment above, provide students with simple charts, inviting them to draw a picture of each item being tested, then record the results. Once again, consider having students make predictions before experimentation begins. At the conclusion of the experiment (or before!), Jenae recommends reading Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester - about a penguin who loves to slide on the ice!