Children interact with their world in millions of ways.  They learn that if you drop something, it falls down, if you stand in the sun, it feels warm, if you bang on metal it sounds louder then banging on wood.  All day children experiment with the materials at hand and make their own conclusions.  The following posts share discover challenges where I provide specific material to explore a scientific concept and then let the kids imaginations run free - sometimes they discover exactly what I planned, and sometimes they discover something totally new, the experience is about wonder and not about me teaching a lesson.

For kids who are ready for the next step, you can use these same activities with a little more guidance.  Try eliciting 'I notice' and 'I wonder' statements.  "I notice that a flat bottom floats better." "I wonder what why rubber bands make sound when you pluck them."  If this is new, you will need to model  these statements.  Use these statements to get kids to engage in the scientific process.  Come up with a hypothesis, test it, and determine the outcome, make a new hypothesis, and try again.  These activities are about wonder, inquiry, and a whole lot of discovery!

Discover: Challenge 

Discover: Nature


Some more discovery Activities we've done:


We love worms.  They are good for the soil, they feed the birds, they wiggle, and they are so slimy to touch.  The last few days as we've been digging fence posts out of the ground - not the most interesting activity for 3 years olds - however, we've found large number of these wiggly little friends.

Spider Webs

Last week we did an outdoor hour challenge looking at the changing leaves, as well as one exploring spider webs.  I am really enjoying these challenges from over at the Handbook of Nature Study

A Little Fall Scavenger Hunt

I'm LOVING these beautiful fall days here in NY with the cold frosty mornings and sweater wearing afternoons.  Yesterday to get us all out of doors I made a very quick, super basic scavenger hunt.

Rain and the Water Cycle

Last week we decided to embrace the seemingly endless rain and talk about the water cycle.

More Discovery

Discover the properties of Ice

 By the end of the day Sunday we were HOT and frozen drinks and sprinklers just weren't cutting it.  This simple little activity kept us cool and was incredibly entertaining for Dave and I to watch.

Water Play 

Free water play is as simple as it gets.  With just a few left over containers and some random kitchen tools, Hadley and Finley spent a good part of an hour pouring, dumping, scooping, and transferring, all the while chatting away in their amazing twin way, about nothing at all.

Indoor Snow

 Oh my goodness, do we love the snow.  After an almost snow-free winter, we have been loving the 8 inches of snow we got last week.


Discover Outside Music

This weekend we spent some time together working on the children's garden space.  We had already created a banging wall several weeks ago, and decided to make a xylophone.

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