Light Science Activities for Kids
Light and Color Fun...
Introduce light and color science activities for kids during the holiday season. Lights are everywhere and papers that glitter, sparkle and reflect are easily available.
First - Brainstorm with the kids and see how many light sources your students can think of. They may say: the sun, the moon, the stars, flashlights, light bulbs, fire, fireflies, rainbows, matches, fireworks, lamps, and lasers.
Second - Have the students make a book or poster about sources of light to record their thinking. Have the children draw and cut out sources of light or use the FREE LIGHT SOURCE TRACERS here.
Science activity for kids: make a "lights in the sky" picture
Show dark and light, day and night, and sources of light in the sky . Use stickers to make the moon, sun and stars. Add glitter to the light circle.
Light Color Vocabulary
Don't worry about your students memorizing vocabulary in kindergarten. Just use the words as you introduce science activities for kids and they will eventually remember and use the words.
- transparent - light passes through
- translucent - some light passes through
- opaque - no light passes through
- reflect, reflection - light bouncing off objects
- ray - a straight line of light
- prism - a specially shaped transparent object that is used to separate
- dull, matte
- shiny, glossy
Light and Color Concepts
Use the science activities for kids demonstrated below to introduce light and color concepts.
- We need light to see things
- Light seems to travel in a straight line
- Light goes through some things
- Some things reflect light
- You can block light to make shadows
- Light is made up of lots of colors
Materials to Gather
- Old shiny cds that reflect light
- a collection of papers- black construction, colored tissue - light and dark, transparent papers, cellophane paper in different colors, wax paper
- glittery christmas cards
- reflective ribbons
- metal mirrors
- concave and convex lens (plastic)
- plastic prisms
- optical illusions and blind spot pictures
- glitter and glitter paint
- shiny stickers with stars, circles, or light source shapes
Light science activities for kids
Make a peep box to show that we need light to see things
1. Cut a small hole in the front of a shoe box and a square hole that can open and shut on the top of the lid. Line the hole with brightly colored cellophane.
2. Cut up images from glittery christmas cards and stand them up inside with modeling clay to create a scene.
3. Have the children look inside with the square hole on the lid closed. Ask them what they can see. If the hole is shut securely on the lid they will probably say,"nothing". Open the hole in the lid and again ask them to describe what they can see. Let the children play with the box and try shining a flashlight through the top hole. Discuss the need for light to see things.
Show that light travels in a straight line
Bend 2 pieces of lightweight 8.5 x 11 poster board and cut a hole in exactly the same place in each one. Shine a flashlight through the holes to show how light travels in a straight line.
Make a picture to show that light goes through some things
This science activity for kids shows the difference between transparent paper, translucent paper and opaque paper.
Begin with cutting four square window holes in a piece of tag board (lightweight card).
The holes for the windows do not have to be perfect or the same size. Just bend the paper and snip with scissors. Make flaps if you want the children to be able to open and shut the windows.
Next have the children tape two pieces of different color transparent cellophane over 2 of the holes. Tape a piece of translucent paper (yellow tissue, wax or parchment) over another hole and a piece of opaque, light colored construction paper over the last hole.
Have them peek through the windows. The children can experiment with a flashlight light from the windows to see which papers the light will go through. Children can record their findings from this science activity in a light booklet or journal.
Kids love to make stained glass cookies and watch the light shine through them.
Make a collage to show that some things reflect light
Let the children play with flashlights and the collection of shiny, glittery, ribbon, papers, christmas cards, etc. mentioned above.
Great light science activities for kids include reflecting light off of juice lids (no sharp edges) and old cds and watching the light bounce off the ceiling and walls. A good science activity for kids is to have a pile of objects in the science center and let them test which things reflect light and which ones don't. Finish with a reflection collage where the children glue (use white liquid glue) bits of shiny materials onto a paper to create a picture.
Science activities for kids to create shadows
- Set up a bright flashlight near the table and turn the overhead light off above. Let the children play with shadow making.
- Have the children put their stuffed toys (or other objects) in front of the flashlight and trace the shadows with a thick felt pen on to large sheets of paper.
Science activity for kids: light is made up of lots of colors
Hang prisms in front of windows. Hopefully the sun will shine and create rainbows around the room.
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