Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


  • Students will be able to describe three different ways to measure themselves. 
  • Students will be able to measure objects or space using different units of measurement. 
  • Students will be able to share the data they collected.

Books : (In kit)
What Can You Do with a Toolbox? By Anthony Carrino and John Calareri
Old MacDonald had a Woodshop by Lisa Shulman
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy

Equipment:  (In kit)
5     White Boards (in a bag)
10   White Board Markers (in a bag)
1     Box of (10) White Board Erasers
1     Trundle Wheel
1     Pan Balance
8     Stopwatches
1     Binoculars
1     Scale
1     Large 100 foot tape measure
1     Graphing pocket chart and activity guide
12   Foot-long rulers (in a bag)
10   Thermometers (in a bag)
1     Microscope  

Great resource for ideas on the language one can use and questions one can ask children, especially for this particular kit. 



Students will be able to describe three different ways to measure themselves.
Students will be able to measure objects or space using different units of measurement.
Students will be able to share the data they collected.


Length – measures distances.  Can be measured in units of inches and feet, or centimeters and meters
Weight – measures the pull of gravity on an object.  Can be measured in pounds and ounces or in grams and kilograms. 
Temperature – measures how warm or cold something is.  Can be measured in Fahrenheit or Celsius 
Time – measures how long something takes.  Measured in seconds, minuteshours. 


Does anyone know how tall they are?  What tool would we use to find out?  (Ruler) Let’s look at a ruler (take out 12” ruler).  Is this big enough to measure yourself?  We will look at a number of rulers today. 

How much do you weigh?  How heavy are you?  How would we measure you to find out?  (Take out a scale.) 

Was it cold outside when you came to the library?  Or was it hot?  We can measure the cold or hot and find out the temperature.  The number will tell you if it is hot or cold, without even going outside. 

How fast can you run?  How do you think we can measure that?  Take out the stopwatches and show the children.  Let them try.

Today we are going to use all of these tools and find out how they all work! 


Read: What Can You Do with a Toolbox? By Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri.  This book is great to use with questions for each tool.  Before naming the tool, ask if anyone knows the name of the tool and what it might be used for?  Make sure you stress the “adults” and “safety” features of the story. 

Read and Sing:  Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop by Lisa Shulman.  This has a lot of crazy sounds that tools make.  (Make sure the kids make the sounds for phonological awareness.)  If you have an Old MacDonald Farm felt story, take it out and use the animals with the tool sounds.  (Or rob your felt stories to find all the animals.)  A finger puppet of a mouse might be a nice addition to this book, too. 

Read: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires.  Make a big deal about the fact that she has plans, measures, and uses tools.  The pictures may be small for a large crowd, but many children will be able to recognize some of the tools for the magnificent thing.  Can they guess what she is making? 

Read: Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy.  This is the book you will be using for your “stations.”  Take your time and discuss what is being measured and how.  Make sure everyone knows that they need to pay attention to see how to do all the experiments after this book. 

STATIONSYou will need parent helpers or teen volunteers.  Set up your room, or library area with the tools in the kit.  Break up your group into groups of 4 to 5 children – no more.  The parent or teen helpers will be explaining what to do at each station and writing down information.

  • Measuring Weight.  Have each child get on a scale and record their weight.  Use the white board to record their weight and the graph side to show the children compared to each other.  Show them another scale (the pan balance set) and see if they can estimate how many objects will equal another set of objects.  This they can do together. 
  • Measuring Length.  Use the tape measure to get the heights of the children.  Again, use the white board to record the number, and the graph side to compare.  Give them the rulers to measure their hands, feet, arms from wrist to elbow and let them suggest what to measure. 
  • Measure Speed.  Use the Trundle Wheel (let them do this with your help) for a measurement for a run (can be a hallway blocked off from others, the length of a room, or outdoor area).  Use the stopwatch to see how fast they can run.  Use the white board to record each person’s time, and the graph side to compare. 
  • Measure Temperature.  Set up a table with different jars of water.  There should be at least 5 or 6 jars so that kids can test the different temperatures of hot/warm water to icy cold.  (It can’t be frozen as the thermometers won’t go into the water.  Also, one of the thermometers should be measuring the temperature of the room and perhaps one can go outside.  (If it is hot or cold outside, the thermometers change temperature fairly fast.  If it is similar to the room temperature, there may not be a noticeable difference.)  Make sure you mention the two types of scales – Fahrenheit and Celsius. 
  • Scientific Tools: Microscope and Binoculars.  The microscope comes with two prepared slides of textiles and parts of a grasshopper.  I think these are interesting enough to have the children view these.  Discuss how microscopes allow scientists to see objects that are very small.  Binoculars let scientists see things that are far away and make them look closer. 
  • Pocket Chart Activity:  Xerox and cut up the pages that you want to learn about from the children.  You could measure how many have dogs or cats as pets.  Which is the favorite vegetable?  The pocket graph will help visualize what they are counting. 

Wrap-up:  Have the children regroup and discuss what they learned.  Ask questions about ways to measure.

Free-For-All!  As children get picked up, let them show parents and caregivers around the room.  It will help parents see all that the children learned and spend time with these hands-on activities.  It is even better if parents are in the program! 

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

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

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