It is important to nurture an interest in science at an early age. Science activities for infants encourage children’s natural curiosity, and brain games for toddlers teach them to think critically about what they learn. Learning activities for infants and toddlers are fun additions to the classroom that lay a strong foundation for scientific thinking.
Apple Star (for Infants and Young Toddlers)
- Pique children’s curiosity about apples and natural patterns
- Strengthen observational skills
- 2 apples
- 1 knife
- 1 tray
- Tell a story about a child who looked for a star in the center of an apple (“The Apple Star” by Sharon MacDonald is a good example, or you can make one up).
- While telling the story, cut one of the apples vertically down the middle. Show the children how the seeds look.
- At the end of the story, cut the other apple horizontally down the middle to reveal the star-shaped seed pattern. Show the pattern to the group.
- Cut the apples into small pieces for the children to eat.
How Many Crayons Make a Line? (Toddlers)
- Teaches patterns and counting
- Develops cooperation and team work
- Two large boxes of crayons
- An approximately one foot long piece of paper
- A marker
- Have three children each draw a line on the paper with the marker
- Break the children into three groups and give them each a line
- Have the groups line crayons length-wise along their lines to measure them
- Go to each group and ask how long their line is (e.g. “Our line is four crayons long”)
Peanut Weighing (Preschoolers)
- Develops comparison skills
- Encourages scientific curiosity and hypothesizing
- Teaches scale and balance concepts
- A balance scale
- Shelled peanuts (or other small objects)
- Fill one side of the balance with peanuts (if peanuts cannot be used, use other materials like beads or rocks)
- Have the children guess how many peanuts it will take to balance the scale
- Add peanuts to the other side of the scale one at a time, counting as you go
- Compare the answer to the guesses