British Science Week offers children the perfect opportunity to learn new vocabulary about the wonderful world of science. After all, science education contains a lot of new and exciting words that expand a child’s vocabulary and can be applied to daily life. Below are ten examples of EYFS science activities that also improve students’ communication and language skills.
Why do we celebrate British Science Week in Early Years?
British Science Week is a perfect topic for younger children. By introducing British Science Week-related activities in your classroom, you not only encourage children to question and explore but also support children in many areas of EYFS learning and promote language and communication development.
What is British Science Week?
British Science Week is organised by the British Science Association and is a ten-day celebration of all things science. It celebrates all scientific sectors, ranging from engineering to palaeontology.
When is British Science Week?
British Science Week will take place between 11 and 20 March 2022. This year’s theme is “Growth.” Children are therefore encouraged to explore growth activities. These can include buildings and changing landscapes, animals, space, environmentally friendly practices, and even the potential to grow plants on other planets.
EYFS science ideas and activities for communication and language development
In addition to learning about science topics and stimulating children’s curiosity, British Science Week is excellent for teaching new vocabulary and rehearsing spoken language. The following early years resources are intended to help increase scientific knowledge, engage children and promote language development.
Below are a few suggested activities you could try with your class.
Guessing Game – Items in a bag
Hide some items in a bag. Some may have started their lives on trees or as part of trees, and some didn’t. Ask the children to take things out of the bag, and guess if they came from a tree or not. Take photographs of the items, and then describe what the children think and why. E.g. Leaves come from trees, while coins don’t come from trees.
Float or sink
It’s safe to say this is one of the most popular EYFS science experiments. Bring out several items (e.g. vitamin tablets, food colouring, rice, oil and sugar) and have the children guess whether it will float or sink.
Use a transparent plastic box to allow students to see what is happening. Take photos and use Chatta to describe which objects floated, sank or dissolved. E.g. The vitamin tablet dissolved in water, and rice does not float in water.
For British Science Week, take the time to get outside and explore. Become plant detectives. Ask: “Where do the plants grow?”, “Are they in the nooks and crannies?”, “do they all need soil?” and “why are some tall and some small?” Take photographs and describe what you see using Chatta. E.g. We noticed some plants as we climbed up the steps.
How Plants Grow
British Science Week is a great time to explain how plants grow, how they begin, and what conditions they need to grow and thrive. Describe the steps with Chatta and use photos.
You can even prepare instructions on how to plant a seed that will grow into a plant. E.g. Plant a seed in some soil, in a pot. Place it near a window where it can be warm and have light.
This experiment is super fun, as it gives a very visual reaction that children will love. It can also be done with even very young children.
Line up some paper cups, each with a few drops of food colouring (red, yellow, green, blue and purple) and arrange them in the right order. Then add a spoonful of baking soda and a few drops of vinegar to each cup. The mixture will start to fizz, and before you know it, there will be a wonderful, colourful eruption.
Take photos of the whole process and describe each step using a Chatta board. E.g. The vinegar changed its texture when we mixed it with baking soda.
Parts of a tree
As you explore outside, notice the trees and their branches, roots and leaves. Make a Chatta board explaining what each part of the tree is. It’s a good chance to introduce the exact vocabulary the little ones will need to learn and use to describe the trees they see. E.g. This is a tree trunk. Trees have branches.
Magic dancing milk experiment
The magic dancing milk science experiment is an engaging introduction to chemistry and basic chemistry vocabulary. Use a shallow dish, food colouring, full-fat milk, washing up liquid and cotton buds.
Pour the milk into the dish and add a few drops of food colouring. Then, dab with a cotton bud dipped in washing up liquid. Use a Chatta board to describe the process and the results. E.g. We used the cotton bud to transfer the washing up liquid to the milk.
Use your outdoor area and the school grounds to explore and collect leaves. If they are on the ground, you could take them back into the classroom. You can also look at them with a magnifying glass or microscope.
Take photographs to describe their shape, colour and features. It’s a great EYFS science activity that you can transfer to Chatta. It helps develop analytical skills by encouraging children to explain and describe what they’re looking at. E.g. These leaves are pointy and spikey.
Compare and contrast – Bigger than/Smaller than
Learning about growth is a big part of science. For British Science Week, ask the children to measure themselves using a piece of string. Then, find things around the classroom and outside in the natural world which are bigger than, smaller than, and the same size as them.
Take photos of different things and use Chatta to describe different sizes. It’s a great way to learn about growth and compare items by size. E.g. I am bigger than a chair. I am smaller than a whiteboard.
Lifecycle of a butterfly
The life cycle of butterflies is an excellent way to explain growth. Sequencing and new vocabulary teach the little ones all about growth. Use photographs, and Chatta will help with your descriptions. E.g. Butterflies start their lives as eggs on a leaf. They hatch and become caterpillars.