Preschool Pumpkin Pulley for STEM
Did you know that PUSHING and PULLING objects is excellent practice for toddlers and preschoolers?
According to the book, Loose Parts 2, "In the process of pushing and pulling, infants and toddlers learn that there are specific forces that cause them to move, change directions, stop, and start. They also gain understanding of their body's capacity to exert force."
There is also a push in education for STEM activities. These are Science, Technology, Engineering and Math practices: Education for Global Leadership.
Try this Fall, STEM activity to help your preschooler gain a better understanding of how to recognize their own abilities and the concept of weight.
Begin by filling up a wheel barrow with different weighted pumpkins. In our case, we also added a little brother.
Have your preschooler push and pull the wagon to your pulley.
We added a pulley to our sky saucer that we purchased at KSO. Here we are not using it to swing, but are using it to begin understanding force and how to adjust body weight to pull the pumkins overhead.
We began by asking Grey to grab the lightest pumpkin. We used questions such as:
- Which pumpkin looks the lightest?
- Which pumpkin looks the easiest to lift?
We then asked our preschooler to grab the next heaviest pumpkin. We allowed him to explore how he can transport the pumpkin and lift the pumpkin.
Now, our preschooler began to think about force and how he needed to move his body to raise the pumpkin.
Lastly, my preschooler went to grab the largest pumpkin, and clearly needed some reinforcements. This allowed us to begin the discussion on needing more force to lift heavier objects.
Watch and observe how your preschooler pulled the different pumpkin weights. Allow your preschooler to make comments, adjustments, and observations along the way. They will begin to recognize force and how to gain an understanding of their body's capacity to move objects.