# Colors of the Sun

Color is such an everyday phenomenon that we don’t usually give it a lot of thought. But colors can produce surprising effects, for example, in the way they mix together.

The science behind this offers several opportunities for exploration among young students. For this experiment, we created suns while combining colors.

Using red paint, yellow paint, and orange paint, we swirled around the different colors, seeing what would happen! This helped strengthened your little one’s analytical prediction making skills.

# Solar Geometry

For this activity, we used gold styrofoam cups and triangular blocks to create our very own suns.

Given the different shapes that these two items come in, they were the perfect tool for hands-on learning about basic math concepts: shape, size, area, geometry, measurement, and equivalencies.

While playing with the blocks, your child naturally began to sort them by a particular attribute, such as shape and size.

He may have noticed that the gold cups would make a perfect center, or that the triangular blocks would make the perfect sun rays. This exploration into the nature of shapes prepares your child for later geometric understanding.

# Pinwheel Pressure

Air may not seem like anything at all; in fact, we look right through it all the time, but during a windstorm, air really makes its presence known. Wind is able to lift roofs off buildings, blow down power lines and trees, and cause highway accidents as gusts push around cars and trucks.

Wind is moving air and is caused by differences in air pressure within our atmosphere. Air under high pressure moves toward areas of low pressure. The greater the difference in pressure, the faster the air flows. To help illustrate this concept, we created our very own pinwheels.

Students first painted small paper plates, and then spun them around a straw, watching as the pinwheel moved with the variations in air pressure (provided by them). This enabled your little one to understand the abstract concept of wind and air pressure.

# Triceratops Habitat

The triceratops lived during the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 67 million years ago. These giant lizards lived in North America, somewhere between Montana and South Dakota. Grazing on grass in herds, these dinosaurs roamed around together, residing in large family units.

For this activity, we used a variety of sensory materials to recreate its lush habitat.  With the help of green flower foam, toy triceratops, peat moss, and tiny trees, we made the perfect home for our dinosaur friends.

# T-Rex Puzzle Match

From toddlers to adults, people love to solve puzzles. Puzzles are intriguing, the goal is clear and when you solve them, you get that sense of accomplishment that makes you feel good about yourself. Preschoolers can play with puzzles without even realizing how many skills they are developing. This happens because, in order to solve a puzzle of any kind, your child needs to stop and think about how to go about reaching her goal.

When using a board puzzle, she develops a strategy on how she will try to place each piece in the correct space in order to make all of the pieces fit. She uses her problem-solving skills by developing solutions in order to accomplish completing her goal, just as she will use these skills during the course of her adult life. Puzzles can also help a preschooler develop important cognitive skills. For example, when your child will is asked to take step-by-step direction, puzzles help him develop the ability to accomplish goals one step at a time and to understand why certain tasks need to be done in this manner.

They can also help your preschooler develop visual spatial awareness because of the many colors, shapes and themes they come in. For this activity, we used a puzzle to learn more about the magnificent tyrannosaurus rex!  There were six pieces, so each time your little one attempted to put the pieces together, he had to make sure that they all matched before he proceeded to add the next one.

# Velociraptor Footprints

The velociraptor roamed the Earth around 70 million years ago. The word “velociraptor” is derived from the Latin words “velox” and “raptor”, which translated, mean “swift robber”. Despite its sleek appearance and small size, the velociraptor was a predator.  Relating more to birds than to reptiles, the velociraptor stood merely 2 feet tall, the size of a small turkey.

Some scientists believe that these creatures could at one time, fly. One thing is certain: the velociraptor loved to run. For this activity, we discussed the words “slow”, “swift”, and “carnivore”. To demonstrate the actions associated with these words, we used paint and toy raptors.

Dipping our dinosaurs into the paint, your little one made a series of footprints on a piece of butcher paper. They were first asked to create slow, deliberate footprints. Then they were asked to create regular footprints. Lastly, they were directed to create swift footprints. This activity strengthened hand-eye coordination and supported the acquisition of new vocabulary.

# Pterodactyl Puppet Provocation

Using puppetry in teaching makes for one of the most enjoyable forms of learning for children of all ages.

From simple sock puppets to the more sophisticated marionettes, puppetry as a teaching tool is important to language development and communication skills.

For this particular activity, we created pterodactyl puppets to learn new vocabulary. To begin with, we talked about a pterodactyl was and the food it preferred to eat.

We then discussed their habitat and physical characteristics. Secondly, we used markers to decorate pre-cut outlines of pterodactyls.

Following this, we created pterodactyl habitats. Lastly, we formed small groups to act out a few pre-written “scenes” with our puppets.

# T-Rex Diet Sort

Throughout the month of our dinosaur-themed activities, we talked about what herbivores and carnivores were. We talked about what they were and the dinosaurs associated with them.

In addition to this, we talked about the different kinds of teeth and anatomy required for each particular diet and coupled that with new vocabulary (stegosaurus, brontosaurus, velicoraptor). Using dinosaurs and pictures of meat and plants, we sorted each dinosaur according to what we thought they ate, meat or plant.

Each student cheered on their friends, and everyone was given a chance to participate. This activity helped us integrate our discussion of the dinosaur diet, names of other carnivores and extended previously relayed information by discussing anatomy and eating characteristics.