Fun Winter Activities

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School's Out - ChristmasThe holiday break is upon us and some of you might be looking for some fun activities to do with your little ones while they’re not in school for the next couple of weeks! With that in mind, I’m sharing some activities with you. The activities below help to make science fun and exciting for your children as the children participate in these activities and make predictions about what will happen next.

 Freezing Science Funhand with ice

  • Fill small paper cups with water and explain to the children that you are going to freeze the cups overnight. (Ask the children to predict what will happen. Write down the predictions that they make.)
  • The next morning, the children peel the paper off of the ice and put it in a bowl to observe. (Review the predictions and see how accurate they were. If they were not completely correct, it’s okay!! Often the initial prediction is not correct, and that’s why scientists and researchers do experiments and conduct studies! You and your child are conducting research together!)
  • Explain that you are going to use an eye-dropper (or food color droppers) to put colored water (or food coloring) on the ice. Have the children predict what will happen, then put the color on the ice and discuss the reaction and the prediction.
  • Next, explain that you are going to sprinkle some salt on the ice. Have the children again make predictions and then discuss the results.
  • Continue to observe the ice and make predictions throughout the day as the ice melts. Be creative with the colors, predictions, and discussion.

Cyrogenics (The study of effects of freezing temperatures on different materials)

  • Place four different substances (for example: water, liquid soap, vanilla pudding, & honey) into small cups. Explain that you are going to freeze the substances and see what happens. Have the children make predictions. Write down their predictions.
  • After they are frozen, take them out to observe what effect the freezing had on the various substances. Discuss the predictions, including any surprises that occurred. Again, it’s okay if the initial prediction wasn’t exactly correct! Discuss, observe, and have fun!

Ramp and Pipe Pathways

  • Have the children use long boards, pieces of cardboard, paper towel tubes, wrapping paper tubes and other items to make ramps, pathways, and pipes. Explain that you are going to drop ice cubes into the pathways they have constructed. Have the children make predictions about what will happen.
  • Let them have fun creating and recreating the pathways, making predictions along the way as to what will happen with the modifications that they make.

 The ideas above were borrowed and adapted from Janis Matthys, a partner of mine on the Disabilities Team for the Region 10 Preschool Department. She puts together a periodic newsletter for the department that features some great research-based information as well as some fun activities for your preschoolers. The December/January newsletter is not posted yet; however, you can click on the following link to access previous editions of the newsletter. http://www.region10.org/preschool-services/early-head-start1/head-start-early-head-start-disabilities/.  This link contains information and updates from the preschool department as well as the newsletters, so please keep checking the link frequently for the next editions of the newsletter as well as other updates!

Additional ideas for preschoolers can be found at the following links: www.prekinders.com,  www.preschoolexpress.com, and http://www.educationworld.com/a_earlychildhood/archives/activity.shtml

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season!!

Kelley Estes-Jones

Kelley Estes-Jones

I am Kelley Estes-Jones, an educator with a special interest in helping young children with and without disabilities, their families, and their educational teams build a solid foundation for future learning and overall success. With a strong foundation built upon developmentally appropriate practices, each child has the opportunity rise to a highly successful future within an inclusive environment. As a consultant on the Preschool Services Team at Region 10 Education Service Center, I am realizing my dream of keeping an eye on preschool and helping children, educators, and families build our future.

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