A science center is so much more than just a place to put science related materials in the classroom. A real science center is interesting, inviting, and offers children opportunities to explore, discover, and use their senses.
Science Center Set Up and Ideas for Preschool
But how do you make your science center a place that kids will want to visit? I’m so glad you asked! Here are some of my very best tips for setting-up and organizing an inviting and meaningful science center in your Preschool, Pre-K, or Kindergarten classroom.
Why is Having a Science Center Important?
First things first, why is having a science center in your classroom important? For preschoolers, daily life IS science. Research indicates that all children can learn science and should have the opportunity to participate in science learning as early as possible.
Effective science learning requires:
- hands-on contact with materials
- time to investigate and manipulate those materials
- time to contemplate the results
Hands On Science
In order for scientific learning to happen, children must be introduced to science in the classroom at an early age.
Many of us may remember science as a boring subject in school, involving lots of memorization. But science is really a way of thinking and trying to understand the world.
Current research shows that active, hands-on learning is the most meaningful and effective way for young children to learn.
Science Center Set-Up
The first step in having a successful science center is to label everything you put in the center. But creating labels doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming, I’ve done all the hard work for you with this editable set of classroom labels! Just print out your labels and attach them to each end of the tubs in your center as well as the shelf. This method of labeling things in each center makes clean-up time so much quicker and easier and also helps create a print-rich environment in your classroom.
Want to see pictures and get ideas for science center set-up? I’ve got your back! Check out the links below for my best science center set-up tips and tools. Having an organized, labeled, and well stocked science area is a must to keep your little learners engaged and on-task.
When it comes to science in the preschool classroom, having lots of books is a must! Science books are always available for students to read in the center. Children also enjoy looking at Zoobooks, Ranger Rick, and other science magazines for kids. Here are some of my favorite, kid-friendly science books for preschool classrooms:
Free Science Printables
Science should be fun! Here are some free science printables for you to use in the science center with your little learners.
Planting and Growing
Kids love to watch things grow in the classroom! Here are some of my most successful planting and growing activities for the preschool classroom.
DIY Science Tools
Science materials don’t have to be a strain on your wallet, here are some of my favorite DIY science tools you can make on the cheap for your classroom!
Science Center Materials
All good scientists need tools to do their jobs! Some of the tools you have in your science center may stay out all year because they are important for your little scientists to do their work. Things like goggles and magnifying glasses are examples of tools you might keep out all year. Other tools may change depending on what topic your kids are interested in or learning about.
The Teaching Tribe
Having a well stocked science center is awesome! But let’s face it, a science center can’t make you a better teacher. The best place to discuss teaching best practices and get the support you need is in the Teaching Tribe. We have many printable lessons and on-demand video trainings to help you become the best teacher you can be! If you want to get on the waiting list for the Teaching Tribe, do it soon so you don’t miss the next open enrollment period!