Ideas for Items in a Science Center
A science center, or "discovery center", contains items that foster discovery, hypothesis, observation, and using the 5 senses. It may include Earth Sciences (ie: physics, chemistry, rocks, space), Life Sciences (ie: plants, animals, parts of the body), or Social Sciences (ie: communities, maps, relationships). Some items may be seasonal such as leaves and pumpkins in the fall, plants and seeds in the spring. Keep the science center fresh by introducing new items regularly and by playing in the center modeling and questioning to spark interests.
Here is a list of various items that may be included or rotated in a science center:
|Themed Unit Boxes||Science Books||Geoboards|
|Tweezers / Tongs||Magnets||Squishy Balls (stress toys)|
|Tongue depressors||Pictures of various science items||Small Plastic Animals|
|View Masters||Color Paddles||Kelidoscopes|
|Magnifying glasses||Clip board||Pencils|
|Various Rocks||Coins / Coin rubbings||Crayons|
|Life Cycle sets||Pinecones||Pumpkins|
|Color boxes||Paint Samples for matching||MagnaDoodle|
|Cotton Balls||Feathers||Color Matching Games|
|Plastic Dinosaurs||Sorting Games||Matching Games|
|Leaves||Fishing Worms||Measuring Cups|
|Simple Machines- Pulley, ramp, etc.||Sensory Boxes (sand, water, rice)||Fishing weights|
|Unifix Cubes||Bug Specimens||Smell Boxes / bottles|
|Scratch and sniff sticker book||Texture Book||Oil / water Jar|
|Sound shakers||Aquarium||Water Bottles filled with items|
|Safety Goggles||Gloves||Plastic Test Tubes|
|Bug Magnifying Jar||Toothpicks||Maget Gyro Wheels|
|Sorting Mats||Graphing Mats||Rubix Cubes|
|Back Massager (Vibrates)||Globe||Maps|
|Ice||Hot water Bottle||Thermometers|
|Tornado||Feely Box||Seeds / Seed sorting|
|Fruits and Vegetables||Greenhouse||Plants|
|3-D Pin Toy||Stencils||2-D and 3-D Shapes|
|Buttons||Bells||Hand-held Electric fan|
|Science Posters||Lotions (Different scents)||Plastic Eggs with items inside|
|Magnet fishing poles kits||Computer||Lego Gears|
|Gear play sets||Circuit boards||Legos|
|Kinex sets||2 Cups connected with string||Flowers in different colored water|
|Science Experiment Kits||Box of Hay||Sample materials (wood, metal, plastic)|
|Picture card prompts||Questions / Questions sentences||Individual Science Journals|
LessonPix.com provides over 30,000 images and numerous materials you can use to create visuals and activities. LessonPix allows users to make picture cards to go with the items in the science center. Some examples include:
- Create lists of ingredients in an experiement using Picture Schedules.
- Use Picture Cards with activities for matching, labeling,scavenger hunts, and sorting.
- Label boxes or display a science word wall with Picture and Word Cards.
- Create Sorting Mats to sort small items by categories or attributes.
Click for Free Sample of mat "Does it roll or slide" (down a ramp)
- Graphing Sheets to graph and count items in a small tub or around the classroom.
Click for Free Sample of Graphing Sheet for goldfish-shaped crackers.