Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Science Storytime: Color Science

We are currently on a two week break from our regular morning storytimes, so I am taking the opportunity to throw in something a little different for this age group. My science storytimes were a big hit this summer, so I decided to bring this idea back as an evening program.

In case you aren't familiar with it, the basic idea of a science storytime is that the typical storytime elements are followed by science based centers for the preschoolers to explore. These centers are a hands on way for kids to explore the theme covered in storytime. They are both educational and a lot of fun.

This summer we covered movement, water, growth, construction, balloons and bubbles, so I figured a good topic for this evening storytime would be colors. I was definitely inspired by Amy Koester's post about her Color Science storytime on the ALSC blog and by Wonderworks Color Experiments post.

For the books, songs and activities done in the storytime portion of this program, head on over to Storytime with Ms. Kelly.

Here are the centers I used for this theme:

Color mixing: A simple process of mixing a two primary colors in a baggie.  I've done this before with my K-2nd grade group, and thought it would be a fun activity to include. It teaches about the process of combining colors and is a fun sensory experience.

Dinosaur color matching: I found some dinosaur color matching printables for the kids to practice matching. I figured kids love dinosaurs, and this would be a fun easy center to create. As the preschoolers match the dinosaurs, they learn the scientific skills of observation and sorting.

Pom Pom sorting: The object of this station was the sort the colored pom poms into the cups labeled with each color. It was a modified version of Abby the Librarian's Color Pom Pom Drop.

Color a Color Wheel: I made a color wheel template in Microsoft Word and had the kids use bingo daubers and crayons to color it. The idea behind this was to give them a little bit of an understanding about how the colors are related. Use of tools like bingo daubers is also a great for development of motor skills.

Watercolor painting: This added the "A for Art" to this STEAM program. It also helps kids understand the properties of water and color. Paintbrushes are also great for encouraging the development of writing skills, as this post by the wonderful Melissa Depper details.

Tips, Tricks and Reflection:

  • Doing this program in the evening did great things for our program attendance. The storytime room was packed! There were new kids able to come and regular attendees that came with parents I had never met. We do not typically do registration for preschool programs, but I definitely would consider changing this next time I offer a program like this. As much as I hate to set those kind of limits our storytime room is just not that large.
  • It seems to work well to keep the stations apart from the space where the storytime portion is presented. It prevents the kids from being distracted by all the fun stuff and allows them to pay attention to the book and songs.
  • Coffee filter art would be another great center to add. All you do is have the kids draw on coffee filters with markers and spray the filters with water to spread the color. The main reason I didn't do this is I had already included it in my water storytime over the summer.

We resume regular storytimes next week, and I am definitely glad I changed things up a bit during the break. As usual, I would love to hear any suggestions or ideas you may have!

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