Science – what to have

When I first began preschool, I received the comforting words from my director – “I wasn’t very good at setting up a science area when I first began.  I would put out a plant and call it good.”  That let me know that it was alright to start out slow.

As the years have gone by, I’ve realized that everything you will do connects to science.  Exploring, comparing, cooking, experimenting (we experiment a lot) – it’s all science!  I was blessed to receive some grant money to purchase science supplies, but here is a bare-bones list of what to have when you begin, followed by the cool ‘extras’.


  • A set of children’s encyclopedias. 
  • 4 – 6 magnifying glasses
  • 4 -6 clipboards
  • some sort of scale – your choice
  • some jars – glass or plastic, depending on your comfort level
  • Some good magnets

That ought to get you through your first year.  Now, bear in mind that I believe in dual-purpose items.  When studying insects, our ‘bug catchers’ are our paper juice cups and a piece of paper.   Many of the items already in your room will be pulled into your study of science.

Things to think of adding:

  • Several kinds of color-mixing items.  Translucent items to be looked through or used with your light table/projector.
  • A small, unbreakable microscope
  • Flashlights
  • A creature that is easily taken care of.  (See the Stories category for some animal ‘don’t’s.
  • a classroom set of clipboards
  • a good globe
  • plastic sets of x-rays – human and animal  (these are awesome!)


science area


science baskets

I recommend browsing through teacher supply catalogs.  Dream big!  However, you don’t have to buy every kit they have.  Look at them closely.  Are there some items you can get that would do double-duty with another center? 

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