Activities for Small Groups
small group activities, lesson plans that provide active learning experiences
for preschool children and enrich early childhood curriculum. You'll find
ideas for the Block Area too!
This arrow will take you back to the first page of Small Group Activities and the schoolhouse will take you to Activity Central.
Preschool Activities for Small GroupsScience: Sink or Float Experiment
During this early childhood education lesson plan preschool children will use the science skills of prediction and observation. Math, counting and graphing is encouraged as youngsters "record" their predictions and findings.
You will need:
Teachers, before the experiment begins divide a sheet of oaktag in half by drawing a line down the middle. At the top of one side write the word "Sink" and at the top of the other side the word "Float". Cover the entire sheet of oaktag with clear contact paper. Children will use this chart to "record" their predictions and findings by placing the items that float on one side and the items that sink on the other.
In the small group give each child several items and ask if the item will sink or float. After each child makes a prediction ask him/her to place the item in the appropriate column. Next, experiment with each item to discover if the predictions were correct and place them in the proper sink or float category.
During the experiment ask preschool children why they think the water holds some things up and not others. After observing what happens to the teacher selected items ask each child to find one item in the classroom that will float/sink and repeat the above experiment. If possible have a scale available for young children to weigh items and discover that objects differ in weight, and act differently in water.
Materials: Packing "peanuts" that are made out of cornstarch and water
Description: Test your packing peanuts first. If they are the kind made from cornstarch they will dissolve in water. Give the children the packing peanuts and a moistened paper towel. They can dip the peanuts onto the paper towel and then the peanuts will stick together. Preschoolers can make all kinds of sculptures and structures. Great for the imagination. Just remember, too much water and they dissolve. Don't send this project home in the rain!!
Comments: These peanuts
are colored and sold in bags, but recycled ones work just as well.
Paper Mache Banks
Materials: Glue, water, newspaper and a round balloon.
Description: Mix glue
and water to a thick consistency. Blow up a balloon,
and tear newspaper into
stripes. Ask each child to dip a strip into the glue
mixture. Once the strip is covered, gently pat it on the balloon.
Once it is hardened,
use a straight pin and pop the balloon inside.
Cheap Block Play
Description: Put boxes
in the block area where there is room for building and
Block Time Prop
put these containers in the block area or play area. The children can make
garages for cars or cages for animals. We have made a two room house with
them. Preschool children never get enough of these containers.
Materials: Several wooden blocks, paper, pencil, clear contact paper or laminator.
in advance, trace different sides of several blocks onto paper (i.e.: trace
the long sides and short sides of a rectangular block). Cover with
clear contact paper or laminate. Set the blocks and paper out. Let
the children match the blocks to the shapes. Encourage them to try
different blocks on the same tracing.
Materials: Carpet squares, corrugated cardboard, pie tins, egg cartons, baskets.
place materials in the block area. Show new
Long and Short
Materials: Brown construction paper, drinking straws, tape, hole punch, and scissors
Teachers make a template
of a dachshund / wiener dog and let the kiddies trace it on a piece of
construction paper, brown is best. If they have good scissors skills,
let them cut out their dog.
Materials: New or used file folders, pictures of animals or other objects, scissors, and clear contact paper.
the contact paper, attach a picture to the inside of
Have the pictures available
to the preschoolers. See if they can guess what the picture is of
by looking at the section revealed through the hole.
You will need:
"The following idea can be used for preschool art or math (or maybe even science!). Take the flat side panel of a plain brown grocery bag, or the inside of one with advertising. Fold it in half from top to bottom, and cut it into two pieces. Each piece makes one spiral. Draw a spiral with lines about 1 1/2" apart. Mark 10? "X"s evenly spaced around the spiral to glue construction paper leaves on. Cut the spiral lines and store flat before decorating. Have students count the desired number of leaves (for math) and glue onto the "X"s.
This idea could also be used on blue construction paper with yellow stars glued to it for science or math. It makes a really nice classroom decoration, is easy and economical, too".
If you're looking for preschool math activities
go to the
Do you have an activity
or idea that you'd like to share...