Koala Crate is our line of science kits for kids ages 3-4. Introducing science and math to preschoolers may seem early, but in fact, it is crucial to building a strong foundation in STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math. Our crates introduce young learners to concepts like physics — through the science of rainbows — and biology — through learning about animals like reptiles and marine life.
A nature journal is a great way to encourage kids to be creative and really pay attention to what’s going on around them. All you need is a blank journal (you can buy one or make your own) along with something to write with. Then just go outside and encourage your children to write or draw what they notice. This could include descriptions of animals they see, tracings of leaves, a drawing of a beautiful flower, etc. Encourage your kids to ask questions about what they observe (Why do birds need to build nests? Why is this flower so brightly colored?) and explain to them that scientists collect research by doing exactly what they’re doing now.
This celery science experiment is another classic science experiment that parents and teachers like because it’s easy to do and gives kids a great visual understanding of how transpiration works and how plants get water and nutrients. Just place celery stalks in cups of colored water, wait at least a day, and you’ll see the celery leaves take on the color of the water. This happens because celery stalks (like other plants) contain small capillaries that they use to transport water and nutrients throughout the plant.
Making a borax snowflake is a crystal-growing project that is safe and easy enough for kids. You can make shapes other than snowflakes, and you can color the crystals. As a side note, if you use these as Christmas decorations and store them, the borax is a natural insecticide and will help keep your long-term storage area pest-free. If they develop a white precipitant, you can lightly rinse them (don't dissolve too much crystal). Did I mention the snowflakes sparkle really nicely?
The Big Bag of Science is filled with all sorts of scientific ingredients and tools for your child to conduct his or her experiments. The bag also helps to teach observational techniques and skills like understanding measurements, experimentation, and analyzation. Note that there are some ingredients not included that can be found in the house (like soda).
Be careful: The water only has the power to make the sugar crystals “invisible” when it’s piping hot. After the water cools down and evaporates, the sugar turns back into a solid. And with a little help of your sugar-soaked string, the crystals will find a home to grow upon and become rock candy. Learn how to make your smart sweets with these instructions from the Exploratorium.
This solar energy science experiment will teach kids about solar energy and how different colors absorb different amounts of energy. In a sunny spot outside, place six colored pieces of paper next to each other, and place an ice cube in the middle of each paper. Then, observe how quickly each of the ice cubes melt. The ice cube on the black piece of paper will melt fastest since black absorbs the most light (all the light ray colors), while the ice cube on the white paper will melt slowest since white absorbs the least light (it instead reflects light). You can then explain why certain colors look the way they do. (Colors besides black and white absorb all light except for the one ray color they reflect; this is the color they appear to us.)