I’ll have to admit…learning about force, well that seems really boring. Honestly, it’s not anything I’d attempt to teach, that is without Mother Goose Time. Can you believe we had FUN learning about force?? We sure did!
Roll to the Shape
Roll to the Shape is a fun shape game that also involves using gross motor skills and logic.
I spread the rainbow shapes around the floor. One child rolled the cube and identified the shape that is on the top of the cube. The child then rolled the ball toward the matching shape on the floor. We talked about using the force from our arms to make the ball move. Depending on where the shape was, the child needs to adjust the amount of force he or she used to roll the ball to the shape.
- Objects don’t move unless they are moved by force.
- If you push harder, objects move faster or further.
- Every force creates an opposite force.
Push and Pull Basket
How can you move objects? Bring out a laundry basket and invite a child to sit in the basket (or cardboard box). No problem there, you’ll have lots of volunteers! Encourage the other children to problem solve how to push or pull the child. Take turns getting a ride in the basket. Encourage the children to work together.
This activity takes very little explanation but adding the conversation gives it more meaning.
It’s interesting to watch them play. One will push and one will pull. Well, that doesn’t work, you don’t get anywhere! Working together is important! One pushes and one pulls, and the job is easier.
The kids noticed on their own, that the different flooring surfaces made a big difference! The carpet was more difficult to move the basket. Getting over the edge of the rug was a slight challenge too. The basket slid much easier over the kitchen flooring because it’s smooth.
This activity blew me away. It was so cool! The kids loved it.
- Variety of Items
- Discuss: What do you think you can move with air?
- Explore: Give each child a straw and invite him to explore blowing various objects to see how strong his breath can be.
- Create: Encourage each child to use the glue to draw a design on the paper.
- Sprinkle some sand along the edges of the paper, then invite the child to blow the sand onto the glue.
- Optional: Set out other textures the child can blow onto his glue art (paper shreds, glitter, confetti, feathers)
I demonstrated this activity before handing over the straws so we could talk about what was happening. Our breath can move the sand. How much force do we need to use? Too much force and the sand blows too far, too fast. I like that this activity is also a lesson in self-regulation. See the cause and effect right before your eyes. Adjust the strength of your breath so it’s effective. Just great all around!
Watch the video to get a feel for the Blowing Sand physical science, fine motor, and visual art activity. Learning about force through art is a great idea!
Even with trays, be prepared for a little mess! It’s worth it! I just wiped the sand off the counter with a damp paper towel onto a tray. Then I washed the counter and vacuumed the floor with my Dyson cordless vacuum. Done!
I hope you’re inspired by these ideas for learning about force to try them with your kids!