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Toys as Science Tools

Toys as Science Tools

Do you want to help the children you care for explore science but don’t feel they are developmentally ready for microscopes, test tubes and dissecting kits? You don’t need expensive equipment to explore science concepts. Young children can explore science concepts with toys you already have around the house!

Mirrors as Science Tools
Concept: Playing with mirrors to reflect light and wondering how our image is reflected gives children an introduction to the properties of light.

Supporting learning:

  • Have your child look behind themselves using a hand mirror.

  • “Catch” some sunshine and reflect it to another surface.

  • Have your child draw a self-portrait using a mirror to examine their face. Encourage them to focus on specific things to avoid drawing from memory, i.e. “Do you see holes in your nose?” “How many holes do you see?” “Does your hair touch your shoulder?”

Balls as Science Tools
Concept: Explore how mass (what we feel as weight) affects the motion of an object as well as the concept of gravity.

Supporting learning:

  • Find balls of the same size that are different weights (ping-pong and golf for example) “Which ball will roll farther if we give it a push? The heavier or lighter one?”

  • Try bouncing, rolling, or kicking balls of the same size that have different weights to compare how far they will go.

Source: www.families.naeyc.org

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