Preschool Science Interest Center

Preschool Science Interest Center

Preschool Science Interest Center, the Science Table, the Discovery Center and the Nature Center are all names for this interest learning center!

It is an interest learning center that is all about observing, questioning and problem solving through preschool science activities in a very real and hands-on way!  

Where should you set up your Preschool Science Interest Center?

It will depend on what you have at your center!  One thing to keep in mind is that this type of interest learning center is interactive and a place where children question and talk about what you have placed here!  So, with that in mind, it is best to have this center near other "louder" centers rather than near quieter centers, such as your library.

For more information on how and where to set up interest centers in your classroom, CLICK HERE for my Classroom Design article!

What do children learn at the Preschool Science Interest Center?

Activities in the Science Center help children:

Observe, question, problem solve, explore, and describe items from their environment.

They will also learn about the Scientific Method!  For example:

What will happen when we put flowers into colored water?

  1. Hypothesis: The flowers will change color.
  2. Procedure/Experiment: Place flowers in a several colors of water and observe over time.
  3. Data/Results: The flowers change to the color of the water they are in!
  4. Conclusion: The water is absorbed by the flowers. (The flowers drink the water!)

Scientific inquiry is part of who preschoolers are! They are curious and want to find out why!

How should I prepare for a Preschool Science Interest Center Activity?

Many activities can be introduced at Circle Time,  such as showing them how to use a balance scale and then place the scale in the interest center. You can also tell the children what they will find in the Science center and let them explore on their own.

Other than having the materials already at the interest center before the school day begins, there is no other preparation needed.

Many activities here will be in place for a week or more to allow ample time for the children to observe the items over time.

If you don't have space in your classroom for a full preschool science interest center, don't let that stop you! Go here to see my tips on providing daily preschool science even in limited spaces!

Materials for your Preschool Interest Learning Center

The materials to have on-hand are limited only by your imagination! Here are some basic items that are great to have around!

Traditional accessories:

  • balance scales
  • color paddles
  • prisms
  • dirt/soil
  • cookie sheets
  • muffin tins
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • magnets
  • magnet wands
  • magnifying glasses
  • spoons
  • plastic bottles of different sizes
  • funnels
  • a minute timer
  • craft sticks
  • paper cups
  • rocks
  • sand
  • sea shells
  • tweezers
  • tongs
  • pipettes
  • journals
  • broom
  • dustpan
  • cloths
  • water

Recommendation

One resource I simply could not do with out is The Creative Curriculum for Preschool, 4th edition by Diane Trister Dodge. I believe every classroom should have a copy of this book!

If your program does not have a copy, click the links above to check it out.  You might also be able to find it at your local library or bookstore. It is a wealth of information on interest centers and could not be more developmentally appropriate!

Activities for your Preschool Science Interest Center

You'll find several of my favorite preschool science activities here on this page!

You may also like the activities I have listed here under the Mad Preschool Science Theme!

Preschool Science Interest Center Summary

Setting up a preschool science interest center for your preschoolers is an awesome investment of your time! It provides a place to explore and investigate daily, which helps develop a myriad of preschool skills!

Below are some other preschool science articles and pages that I think you'll enjoy!


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