Explore Your World

Help you child notice things in his world by thinking, asking questions and talking about things!

For this Activity you will need:

  • A paper bag
  • Magnifying glass
  1. With your child, take a walk around your neighborhood, home or the mall. Encourage him to collect things in the bag that he finds interesting.
  2. When you return home, take the things out of the bag and talk about what you have collected. Ask your child: "What did you find on our walk? What do the items look like? What do they feel like? What do they smell like? Are they alike or different?"
  3. Next, have your child look at the items through the magnifying glass. Ask: "What do you see? Does it look different?"
  4. Ask your child to put the items into groups (sort). Ask your child, "How did you make your groups?" (If your child doesn’t answer, ask him about how he sorted his things. For example, you might ask, "Did you sort them by color?")
  5. Ask him to put the collection into different groups. (For example, you might want to ask your child to sort the items by size, shape, or color.

Next Steps/Follow-Up:
  • Go on a leaf hunt. Compare and sort the leaves by size, color, shape, and feel.
  • Go on a bug hunt. Look at bugs through the magnifying glass. Talk about how the bugs are alike and different.
  • On your next walk, bring some crayons and paper. When your child finds an object (such as a leaf), place the paper on top of the object and rub the crayon across the paper. Have your child look at the rubbing. Talk about the textures created. Now, let your child do his own rubbings of different objects.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt with your child. Ask him to find something big, something soft, something green, and something bumpy.

Background Information:

Scientific thinking involves:

  • Wondering about things.
  • Asking questions.
  • Making predictions (telling what might happen).
  • Looking, listening, touching, smelling, and tasting to get information.
  • Organizing information and talking about it.
  • Comparing things by talking about how they are alike and different.
  • Using words to explain why something happened.

When your child starts school, she will be more likely to do well if she is able to do these things.


You can help build your child’s scientific thinking skills by doing this activity.

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Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


We believe that every child in Maryland should have the foundational skills needed for success in school, career and life.

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