Support for PBS Parents provided by:

  • Arthur
  • Cat in the Hat
  • Curious George
  • Daniel Tiger
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Let's Go Luna
  • Nature Cat
  • Odd Squad
  • Peg + Cat
  • Pinkalicous and Peterriffic
  • Ready Jet Go
  • Splash and Bubbles
  • Super Why!
  • Wild Kratts
  • Sesame Street
  • Ruff Ruffman Show
  • Mister Rogers
  • Cyberchase
  • SciGirls
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Martha Speaks
  • The Electric Company
  • WordGirl
  • Caillou
  • Oh Noah
  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab
  • Maya & Miguel
  • Postcards from Buster
  • Clifford
  • WordWorld
  • DragonFly TV
  • ZOOM
Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

Summer Science Activities For Preschoolers

Summer is in full swing and with it brings new opportunities. Both the boys are out of school and we recently returned from a family trip. Now the rest of the summer stretches before us, full of endless possibilities.
I am challenging myself to think of science as I plan our summer. Here is a list of things I would like to try with the boys over the next few months–some big and some small. Mostly, I want to keep it inexpensive, fun, and full of opportunities for science learning and language development.
I want us to plant something and watch it grow. I am thinking about planting strawberries or an easy flower from seed. It seems crazy that we’ve never done this before, but it’s true. I like the idea of having something to check on daily, chart progress, and even teach a little about jobs and responsibility.
We can also learn about the creatures in the garden. We have lots of snails. Henry sometimes wants to step on them while Leo is repelled and fascinated at the same time. They are really, really slimy. I see lots of investigation potential involving trips to the library, Internet research, and hands-on investigations. High yuck factor here!
I have to admit that we haven’t spent a lot of time at museums with our preschoolers. But I think I may be missing out on some learning opportunities. For example, Henry said last week as he gazed at the mountains, “When I grow up I want to be the guy who jumps into caves and measures how deep they are.” How cool is that? We started talking about geology, paleontology, and archaeology. So, I think we should explore those three professions through museums. Many libraries offer free passes and many museums have free days each month. My bank even has agreements with some museums for free and discounted admission. It’s time we start taking advantage of that!
The Kitchen and the Farmer’s Market
I will teach the boys to prepare a 5-course meal. Just kidding. But I think I’ve been babying them too much. Cups still have lids around here. I am so ashamed. Henry made his own sandwich last week and was so proud. Leo wants to get his own cereal. It’s time for me let them try more food preparation on their own. I want to raise men who know their way around a stove and know how to feed themselves and their families.
Nutrition is still foremost on my mind. I am planning to hit the Farmer’s Markets in the area with the boys. I want to talk with the growers and have the boys ask questions. In addition to purchasing familiar foods, I want us to pick out something new and unfamiliar every week. We can then research how to prepare the new food and have some fun. Leo chose kumquats last week and we had a blast. Everyone keeps telling that when kids participate in meal prep they are more likely to eat new foods. I am all in!
Nature Centers
In our area, there are many state parks, national parks, wildlife refuges, and ocean labs. Although my boys might not be ready for daylong hikes, camping in the wilderness, or three-hour whale watching tours; they are ready for the nature center and activities that can be found there. Many centers are free and offer great programming for small children. As you learn about nature and the science of the area, children can cultivate an interest and desire to move onto the bigger stuff. Every state has somewhere you can go!
The Beach
The beach, the beach, the beach! There is almost too much for me to say about the ocean. (Feel free to substitute whatever body of water you travel to in the summer time.) I feel like I am seeing the beach with a whole new science filter! We can talk about tides, dunes, erosion, and surfing! I have no idea what is involved in surfing, but I bet there’s a fair amount of physics and fitness involved. Another research topic! We can collect ocean creatures in buckets, observe them, draw pictures, and put them back. I want to paint beach rocks and make sand castles. (Engineering anyone?) I am excited to just BE with Henry and Leo and make summer beach memories.
As I keep saying in this blog…it is all about creating opportunities to bring science into your life. Our preschoolers are natural scientists and they can’t wait to get out there and explore. What kind of adventures will you have this summer?

Produced by: Funding is provided by:
Jim Hensen Corporation logo CPB ViNCi MetLife The Rosehills Foundation S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation logo The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations logo

What's this?

PBS Parents Picks

  1. Wild Kratts image

    Wild Kratts App Teaches Young Children How to Care for Animals

    In this app, kids are charge of feeding, washing, and playing with baby animals.

  2. Curious Kids image

    How (And Why) To Encourage Curiosity

    "...when people are curious about something, they learn more, and better."

  3. Gardening Benefits image

    The Benefits of Gardening With Kids

    Don’t let the idea overwhelm you. A few containers and soil in a sunny spot will do.

PBS Parents Newsletter

Find activities, parenting tips, games from your child's favorite PBS KIDS programs and more.