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Science is my favourite subject to teach! It provides so many opportunities to explore and learn through play. Today I’d like to share some easy activities and ideas for exploring materials and their properties!

When I begin a new investigation or unit of work, I like to begin with an investigation table. This gives students the opportunity to explore the topic freely and at their own pace. I collected a range of objects made from different materials. Some of the objects were made of several different types of materials which provides a great opportunity for discussion! I also added some material posters from my new science unit – click here to see more of the Materials and their Properties unit.

Investigation table for exploring materials and their properties |Exploring materials and their properties | Foundation science unit | Prep, Kindergarten, Year 1 Unit of Work | Hands-on learning ideas and printables for the classroom | Objects can be made of different materials | Materials have different properties |

Students can then begin to explore the different materials that everyday objects can be made from. You could encourage your students to go on a hunt around the classroom or school yard to find different objects and then talk about what they’re made of.

Ask your students to bring in a favourite toy. Use hula hoops to sort the toys into different hoops depending on what material they have been made from. Can your students find any toys that are made from multiple materials? For example, a toy car might be made of plastic but have metal wheels!

Science exploration - comparing materials of favourite toys | Exploring materials and their properties | Foundation science unit | Prep, Kindergarten, Year 1 Unit of Work | Hands-on learning ideas and printables for the classroom | Objects can be made of different materials | Materials have different properties |

Next you can use my FREE objects and their materials sight word books! I’ve included three different versions of the book so that you can differentiate the activity to the needs of your students.

The first book is a basic sight word book for building scientific vocabulary. The second (pictured below) has gaps for your students to fill in the missing materials. The final book has gaps for students to fill in the missing object made from particular materials. These are a fantastic way to assess which of your students have grasped the key concepts of objects and their materials! You can grab your own set of these free science sight word books over on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Science freebie for exploring objects and thier materials | Exploring materials and their properties | Foundation science unit | Prep, Kindergarten, Year 1 Unit of Work | Hands-on learning ideas and printables for the classroom | Objects can be made of different materials |

I’ve included ideas for hands-on learning (such as the ones included in this blog post). Each activity also includes printables to match so that you can easily assess student understanding. You’ll also find loads of  printable signs and labels!

Designing units that relate to the curriculum standards is my passion! I want to save you a bunch of time by providing you with everything you need to implement a science curriculum your Little Learners will love!

Science mystery bags - what object is hidden inside? Property cards for materials and their properties unit | Prep, Kindergarten, Year 1 Unit of Work | Hands-on learning ideas and printables for the classroom | Objects can be made of different materials | Materials have different properties |

If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, I know you’ll absolutely love my new unit – Materials and their Properties. It’s available on Teachers Pay Teachers or in my own website store here.

An amazing resource that aligns with prep curriculum. Thank you for making my planning quick and effortless. A great resource that is easy to use and engaging for students.

About the author

Casey is a former teacher and now homeschooling mum of three who's all about infusing fun and learning into playtime! Her mission is to help families weave connection, play and education seamlessly into their daily lives. Whether it's through her playful, easy-to-use resources inside her Little Play Club membership or her inspiring daily tips on Instagram, Casey is your go to guide for creating a play-filled home. 

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  1. I’m going to teach reduce, reuse and recycle unit. I like the display of signs illustrating objects to recycle as plastic, glass or metal. Can you please share with me the link to print them to set up my science center?

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