My son started science in school this year and had a course on materials this term. We looked for ideas to make learning fun and did a handful of activities at home. I’ve compiled a list of the most useful activities to teach children about materials.
For the sake of clarity, I’ve started with toddler activities and moved on to activities suited for older kids. Click here to jump to activities for older kids.
1. Sort objects according to materials
This is a cool idea for a young toddler all you need is a handful of objects made out of different materials (think cardboard books, fabric soft toys, rubber duckie) and some containers to sort the objects into.
2. Create a recycling bin for your toddler
Recycling is a great way to develop a sense of materials and of saving the earth. But most recycling bins should be out of reach for little hands. So make your own using some bins, paper and markers this is especially helpful if you intend to use many recycled items in kids crafts. The idea of recycling is driven home when kids get to choose any container or cardboard tubes from the bin themselves.
3. Peek-a-boo sensory board: Materials
This is one of my favourite kids crafts especially because it is reusable. Finished learning about materials? Remove the sheets and change the theme. Click here to learn how to make your own peek a boo board.
4. Test properties of materials
This is another project using found objects.
Put on your lab coat and setup a ‘testing lab’ on a table top with these objects, a small bucket of water and my material property testing cheatsheet (Check this space for the download link coming soon).
5. Test spagetti strength, anyone?
This STEM challenge from Frugal fun for boys has been in my to-do list for a long time. Get a pack of spagetti, some styrofoam and get started.
6. The three little pigs activity
If your kiddo loves to read classic stories, chances are, they would have read this story enough number of times to know the details by heart. How about taking the guidance of the little pig friends in learning about the right materials for building?
Science sparks has this amazing activity to help you actually get building.
7. Make a toy sailboat and test it
It’s time to use what they’ve learned using the activities listed above. Make a boat and let it float if it doesn’t work, change the materials used and try again. The goal is to use the right materials to make a working, floating model of a boat. Hint: think of the mast, sails and hull separately.
Did I miss out any amazing activity here?
Who can resist another fun activity? If you know any activity to make learning materials fun, let me know in the comments below.
Share with me if you’ve tried any activity recommended here.