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Kindergarten and Preschool Science
Physical Science - the study of non-living things

Kindergarten and preschool science activities need to be experienced and based on observation. Talking about science, looking at videos and reading books about science is not the same as experiencing science. Young children begin with observing the characteristics of objects and materials and noting similarities and differences.

The following items are useful resources for young learners to actively explore, think and reason about physical science phenomenon. Ideas for using the items are included.

Science center materials:
Page 1 -Earth Science Resources
This page - Physical Science Resources
Page 3 - Life Science Resources

Toys for teaching physical science...

Physical science is the study of the physical world. It includes acoustics, chemistry, electricity, magnetism, matter, mechanics, nuclear science, and optics. Click on the links to purchase kindergarten and preschool science equipment from Amazon or check out your local second hand stores or garage sales if you have the time.



Ideas for use


Horseshoe Magnets


Kindergarten and preschool science students sort items that stick to magnets and items that don't. Children record their observations about the forces of magnetism.


2 Magnetic Wands & metal ringed chips

Magnet Wands and metal ringed chips

Use the 3/4 inch metal ringed chips for games or experiments. The magnetic wands quickly collect the chips after play. Test how many chips one wand will pick up, count and record.


6 inch bar magnets

Bar magnets

Have at least 2 bar magnets in your center. Children love to experience the how bar magnets repel and attract each other.

Magnetic Construction Kits

Kids science activities

Children can build all kinds of geometric objects and also high rises, towers, bridges and arches. My students love these. I also use them for teaching numbers (what designs can you build with only 6 magnets?)
In kindergarten and preschool science centers, use these with the felt fabric and cookie sheet below.



Cookie sheets with a layer of acrylic craft felt on top

This craft felt is good for keeping the noise down with math activities also.

Felt fabric to line cookie sheets for quiet

Lining cookie sheets (the kind with edges) with felt fabric keeps magnets and other science toys from rolling on the floor and keeps the centers quiet.

Magnetic Boards

Kids science activities

Individual magnetic boards are great for sorting items that will and won't stick to a magnetic surface. They are easy to use on a table and the children can record their observations or results in a Science book at the same time.


Transparent color paddles

Color light paddles

Help children understand the principles of color mixing.

Old glasses with a variety of lenses

Old eye glasses

Collect old glasses to put in the science center for a light unit. For safety reasons, children use these while sitting down at the center.


Lite Brite

Children sort pegs by color and observe how light travels through the transparent plastic pegs.


Check that the flashlights are narrow enough for kids to hold and that the button is easy to push on and off.


Set up a large cardboard box area (to make it dark) for children to experiment with flashlights and transparent and opaque colored plastic or paper squares.

Children sort results.
See Light and Color Theme.



Strips of colored transparent and opaque plastic, transparent ribbons, holographic gift bags and papers (dollar store type), old goggles, samples of colored cellophane.


Let kids experiment with flashlights to see which of the items on the left allow light to travel through them and which items reflect light.



Bucket Balance

Balance Bucket

Besides getting an introduction to the principles of weighing and comparing both solids and liquids, children have opportunities to make observations and predictions with these toys.


Incline planes or ramps

Friction Ramp

Make with blocks and sturdy mat board for lots of experimentation fun. Read more...


Balance Toys

Balance Toys

There are many commercial toys that provide opportunities for children to experiment with balance.

Construction Toys

Construction Toys Tinker toys

Construction toys help children learn to find a placement for objects and experiment with balance.

Children learn the basic knowledge of physics and architecture.


Tuning Fork & Striker

Tuning Fork

Place in the science center and allow children to test how sounds from the tuning fork vary with different tapping with the striker.


Primary Science Set

Primary Science Kit

Science tools that are designed for little hands support hands-on early science investigations and introduce measurement markings. This set includes activity cards to help cover preschool science process skills, living and nonliving things, physical science, senses and more.

More kindergarten and preschool science resources - Life Sciences...


Earth Science materials and equipment
Physical Science materials and equipment
Life Science materials and equipment
Science magazines for kids

Social studies play items

Circle time divider rugs
Hopscotch carpets

Road and street type rugs
Interlocking foam mats
Geography map carpets

Great magazines for kids
Early childhood picture books
More excellent picture books
Picture book videos (DVDs)

Preschool and kindergarten software
Great board games for kids
Kindergarten online activities and games

Best art supplies for kids
Art Education books
Art Education magazines
Books for teaching art history
Teach basic forms and play products
Modeling Clay Products

Get your free copy of Making Friends One Day at a Time student pages!
Go to Kindergarten-Lessons News to get your FREE printable student book, "Making Friends One Day at a Time".

The above magnet set includes 100 magnetic chips, 100 magnetic paper clips, 10 marbles, 7 magnetic wands, 2 metal ring magnets, 2 mini metal horseshoe magnets, 1-5" plastic horseshoe magnet and 2 metal bar magnets. Activity guide and durable storage box included. ...........................

This translucent marble set is made of colored clear plastic so the kids can see the marbles go down the maze. A set consists of 48 pieces and 16 silver plastic marbles and is very durable.


Learning Resources - Lights and Action Building Set

This is the next step for kids who have mastered the Basic Building Set
Pieces snap together easily and pull apart so kids can build anything they can imagine--there's no wrong way to build


Thames & Kosmos Optical Science (2012 Edition)

Investigate light and color, learn about eyes and lenses, view amazing optical illusions For ages 8+ years