NATURE

START WITH SCIENCE KITS

Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5

Objectives

  • To introduce children to the natural world.
  • To introduce children to observing the natural world.
  • To encourage the use of magnifying glasses.
  • To introduce the use of a microscope.

Books : (In kit)

Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre

Caterpillar and Bean by Martin Jenkins; Illustrated by Hannah Tolson

From Tadpole to Frog by Kathleen Weidner Zoefeld

Jo MacDonald Had a Garden by Mary Quattlebum; Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant

My Forest is Green by Darren Lebeuf; Illustrated by Ashley Barron

Seeds Grow by Robin Page

The Nature Girls by Aki

Water is Water by Miranda Paul; Illustrated by Jason Chin

We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey

Equipment: (In kit)

2     Microscope Kits, slides included, batteries are included. Please remember to remove the batteries when you send back the kit.

3     Soft toys to demonstrate metamorphosis: 2 frog/tadpoles; 1 caterpillar/butterfly

3     Bug Magnifiers

1    “Just Bugs” Domino Game

3     Microscope Viewers

18   Magnifying Glasses

19   Trowels

1     Package (16 count) rubber earthworms

3     “Test tube” set (18 tubes)

1    Bag of seed packages: corn, lettuce, pumpkin,, beans, pepper, carrots, peas.  Please put seeds back into each package they come from.

1     Reproducible Sheet for Parents

1     Reproducible Sheet for Observation Scavenger Hunt

1     Reproducible Sheet for Leaf Identification

Consumables: (To be supplied by you)

Crayons (some without paper)Paper – plain, colored, textured

Markers

Leaves for rubbings

Resources:

Identification Books from Library Collection – leaves, trees, birdsBeginning JNF books about backyard nature

Reproducible Sheets can be found at:

Click to access 03NatureScavengerHunt_NWF.pdf


Click to access LeafHunt.pdf


https://www.readingrockets.org/article/outdoor-explorations   (Only page one.) 

Bookmarks: (In kit)

Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF copies are available here.

Program

Objectives:

To introduce children to the natural world.

To introduce children to observing the natural world.

To encourage the use of magnifying glasses.

To introduce the use of a microscope.

Introduction:

What is nature? Where do we find it? Can we touch it? You should get lots of answers!
(The words nature and natural are used for all the things that are normally NOT made by humans. Things like weather (the atmosphere), organisms (bugs, plants, animals), landforms (mountains, rivers, fields, oceans, lakes, etc.), celestial bodies (stars and planets) and much more are part of natureNature is often seen by humans as natural resources.)

Are things in nature good for us? Bad for us? Will they hurt us?

Program:

This includes many books.  Please feel free to pick and choose what will work for you. 

 Read: My Forest is Green by Darren Lebeuf.  Ask the children what they saw in the book that was “nature.”  Show the pictures again to your listeners and have them point out what they see on the pages. 

Read Seeds Grow by Robin Page.  You don’t have to read all the words (just the big bold text), depending on the attention span of your listeners.  However, you can give out some of the information in the smaller text.
Go right into Bloom Boom!
 by April Pulley Sayre. Gorgeous Pictures!

Gather some seeds from the kit to pass around; if you have recently opened a melon or tomato, you can get plenty of seeds to add to the kit’s collection.  You might want to put the smallest seeds in the “bug viewers” as they are hard to pass, or a small jar or plastic container.  If it is spring, you can find “helicopter” seeds just about anywhere.  Children can look at these in more depth after the program. 

“Let’s talk about water.”  Is that nature?  What do we know about water?  Let a few children give examples.  Read: Water is Water by Miranda Paul.  Start the book from the very first illustration.  See if they can tell you what is going to happen.  Also, when you start to read the book, see if they can guess what the “water word” will be on the next page.  The last page has some fun facts about water that you might like to share with the children.  Choose a few.  Finish up with the worm fact!  

Read: We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey.  Pass out the wiggly rubber worms and let the kids look at them.  Go back to the book for identifying the parts of a worm and see if the children can figure out which end is the front and back of the worm.  Gather up worms. 

OPTIONAL: 

Metamorphosis: Read: Caterpillar and Bean by Martin Jenkins and/or From Tadpole to Frog by Kathleen Weidner Zoefeld.  Bring out puppets of tadpole/frogs and caterpillar/butterfly to talk about metamorphosis.  Use the word and have them repeat it.  After program let them play with puppets. 

Finish with a song!  Read/Sing/or Chant: Jo MacDonald Had a Garden by Mary Quattlebaum.  In the back matter you will find some questions and ideas to use with this book – all optional. OR finish with The Nature Girls by Aki. It seems to hit everything you want to know about nature!

ACTIVITIES – Have the room set up with stations.  Ask for parent/caregiver volunteers or recruit teen volunteers. 

Make an art area with paper, crayons, markers, textured paper, etc. to let everyone make their own “green forest” as in the first book.  You could also put out some identification books to remind them of different birds and trees.   

Bring in lots of different leaves and have them do leaf rubbings.  Put a leaf or leaves under a piece of paper (nice to have the tables covered with paper), and old crayons that have the paper removed so they can use the crayons on their side.   

If you have trees on your library site, do some tree rubbings on the bark.  Notice the differences on different trees. 

If you have an area for digging, let the children take the trowels outside with cups and gather up some dirt.  (Volunteers needed.)  Bring inside and use the “test tubes” to examine the dirt, add water, use the magnifying glasses, and explore.  What else can the children find for the “test tubes?”  (Grass, insects, flowers, pine needles, acorns, rocks, etc.) 

Make up “dirt” cups for a snack.  Recipe follows at the end of Activities.  (Recipe includes milk and cookies  no good for lactose intolerant, can use soy or almond milk but those who have gluten allergies cannot eat the “dirt.”  Gummy worms can be eaten without the “dirt.”) 

Set out the microscopes for children to look at all kinds and types of material from nature from slides in the kits. 

Put out the bug domino game for children to play. 

Please make sure children go home with handouts for scavenger hunt, leaf hunt, and an article for parents. 

GENERAL 

Program will vary with the seasons. 

Almost any shovel-full of dirt will have some life in it to examine with a magnifying glass. 

If live insects/small animals become part of the program, please encourage respect for living things, including worms. 

Don’t forget to talk about all senses: smell, touch, taste, hearing, as well as seeing.  

“Dirt Cups” 

2 cups cold milk

1 package chocolate instant pudding 

1 8 oz. container of Cool Whip

1 package of chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed 

8-10 (7 oz) plastic cups gummy worms and frogs 

Pour milk into large bowl, add pudding.  Blend, let sit.  Stir in Cool Whip and half of the cookies.  Place 1 Tablespoon of cookies into cups.  Fill with mixture.  Poke in worms and frogs.  Top with remaining cookies.  Serve. 

Bookmark: (in kit)
Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF copies are available here.

Evaluation

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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