Support for PBS Parents provided by:

  • Cat in the Hat
  • Curious George
  • Nature Cat
  • Daniel Tiger
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Odd Squad
  • Peg + Cat
  • Bob the Builder
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Super Why!
  • Wild Kratts
  • WordGirl
  • Thomas & Friends
  • Arthur
  • Martha Speaks
  • Sesame Street
  • The Electric Company
  • Cyberchase
  • Between the Lions
  • Mama Mirabelle
  • Caillou
  • Chuck Vanderchuck
  • Oh Noah
  • Fetch!
  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab
  • Maya & Miguel
  • Mister Rogers
  • Postcards from Buster
  • Clifford
  • SciGirls
  • Wilson & Ditch
  • WordWorld
  • DragonFly TV
  • ZOOM



Science on the Playground: Preschoolers and Kindergarten

playgroundSwings, slides and climbing structures are loads of fun. And they offer first hand experiences with pendulums, ramps, and levers, not to mention forces such as gravity and friction. Just paying some attention to how things move provides children with important early experiences in physics. Turn your local play area into a science playground with these simple activities.

Balancing: Many children enjoy the challenge of walking along a balance beam, seeing how long they can continue to stay on. They also appreciate being able to show you their success in doing so. Encourage your child to talk about what she is feeling as she tries to keep her balance – what is she doing with her arms in order to keep her balance? What about her feet? The rest of her body? Asking her to think about what she is doing will help her begin to focus on how certain kinds of movements seem to help balance while others do not.

Floating in the air: The playground offers high perches where you and your child can investigate how different things fall to the ground. Find a safe space that is high off the ground. Bring various materials to drop such as balls, feathers, pieces of paper, etc. Do they all fall to the ground the same way? Does a 4” x 8” piece of paper fall the same when it is dropped as an open sheet as it does when crumpled into a ball? How about when folded as a paper airplane?

Back to Science Activities

  • Jessica Jacquet

    My wolf cut-out likes “Barney and Friends”. My coyote/Dalmatian cut-out will like “Barney and Friends” someday. My wolf/Dalmatian cut-out likes “Barney and Friends”. I am a twenty-six-year-old woman. My wolf cut-out likes Kindergarten math. He also likes first grade math. My wolf/Dalmatian cut-out is ten days old. She likes “Sesame Street”. She also likes “Baby First TV”. My coyote/Dalmatian cut-out is three days old. My wolf cut-out is seven months old.

What's this?

Sign up for free newsletters.

Connect with Us

PBS Parents Picks

  1. Play Learn App

    PBS Parents Play & Learn App

    Get new seasonal backgrounds and fun fall stickers. Plus, more parent tips!

  2. Irrational Behavior image

    What to Keep in Mind About Irrational Behavior

    These incidents can be important opportunities to teach children how to manage emotions. Here's how.

  3. Science Birthday Party image

    Reading Food Labels: A Cheat Sheet

    When food shopping for young children, you only need to pay attention to a few things.