Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5



  • To introduce children to insects.
  • To introduce children to plant life.
  • To encourage use of magnifying glasses.
  • To introduce the use of a microscope.

Books : (In kit)

  • Ducklings and Polliwogs by Anne Rockwell
  • Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole
  • Inchworm and a Half by Elinor J. Pinczes

Equipment : (In kit)

  • 1 Bug bottle
  • 3 Bug magnifying viewers
  • Bugs (bag of plastic insects and identification key)
  • Four leaf clovers (assorted and mixed)
  • 18 Magnifying glasses
    Nature fingerplays (2 cards)
  • 4 Pocket microscopes (back-up bulbs included)
  • Puppets:
    • 1 green corduroy caterpillar turns into butterfly
    • 1 ladybug
    • 3 butterflies; black, blue, yellow and sound enhanced
    • 2 dragonflies; blue and yellow
    • 2 lily pads
  • 19 Trowels
  • Just Bugs Dominoes
  • 1 Audio tape – Banana Slug String Band
  • 1 Plastic viewer (red, 2” high, 3 lenses; gives compound vision images)
  • 1 Projection light (cast images of your favorite insects)
  • 1 Butterfly metamorphosis puppet
  • 2 Frog metamorphosis puppet
  • 2 Bug viewer (plastic cup with magnifying glass attached)

Consumables : (To be supplied by you)

  • Back-up batteries for pocket microscope (2 AA)
  • Seasonal nature items

Resource Book : (Contact your local library to borrow)

  • Bowden, Marcia. Nature for the very young: a handbook of indoor and outdoor activities.
    Wiley, 1989.

Bookmarks : (In kit)

  • Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF and JPEG copies are available here.
    • PDF – 4 bookmarks per page. Ready to print in color.
    • JPG – single high quality jpeg image.


  • Objectives
    • To introduce children to insects.
    • To introduce children to plant life.
    • To encourage use of magnifying glasses.
    • To introduce the use of a microscope.
  • Introduction
    • What is nature? Where do we find it? Can we touch it?
    • Are things in nature good for us? Bad for us? Will they hurt us?
  • Program
    • Read either book, depending on the focus of your program at the time. JACK’S GARDEN by Henry Cole is great in the garden growing months when many of the insects and flowers are available for examination. DUCKLINGS AND POLLIWOGS by Anne Rockwell is good for pond life and changing of the seasons.
    • The caterpillar/butterfly puppet can be used to illustrate how some things in nature change from early stage (caterpillar) to later stage (butterfly). What else does that? (polliwog to frog; egg to chick, etc.)
    • Note on ladybug and butterfly puppets the antennae and talk of their purpose.
    • Note the location and type of eyes. Pass around the red plastic viewer which shows the fragmented view as seen by insects.
    • Introduce magnifying glasses and explain how to use them, holding them closer to the object and not right up against your eye.
    • Show how to use a microscope and explain difference with the magnifying glass. Place the object to be examined on a flat surface. Turn on the light switch on the side. Place the microscope right on the object to observe and focus with the knob on the side. This is great for small and thin objects. The wings of an insect, grains of dirt, pieces of leaves, etc.
    • Show how to put bugs or other objects in blue bug magnifying boxes which allow you to see top and bottom side of object. Also good for live ones since they cannot crawl or fly away.
    • Encourage use of magnifying glasses, bug boxes, and microscopes for exploring the plastic bugs or whatever you have collected.
  • General
    • This program will vary with the seasons and your imagination. The kit includes some basics, but will be greatly enhanced by live and timely additions from nature.
    • Shovels are included so children can dig up something to examine. Almost any shovel-full of dirt will have some life in it to examine with a magnifying glass.
    • If live insects/pond life/small animals, etc. are to be part of the program, please encourage respect for living things, including worms.
    • Depending on what is being examined, remember to use other senses rather than just eyes. Smell, touch, taste and hearing are all important senses for examining nature.
    • Expand details and explanations for whatever is being highlighted by you at the time.
    • Various fingerplays are included for use as you see fit.


Please print this evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.

Topics | About the Kits | Lending Policy

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