Early Childhood Science

Posted: December 12th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »


Can you snap your fingers?

Posted: July 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Children begin processing new skills at early ages.

Nothing to put your eye out here.

Posted: December 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: News, Susan's Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Unlike the Red Ryder BB gun in the classic A Christmas Story, the toys suggested by the folks at Not Just Cute will safely delight your child while teaching school readiness skills. But, shhh, don’t tell them they’re learning math,  reading and writing skills.  Just watch and enjoy.

Susan A. Vessels
Executive Director

Back to School Safety Tips

Posted: August 14th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Here are some simple reminders for drivers:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in the residential neighborhoods and school zones
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
  • Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving

Reminder for your kids:

  • They should cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
  • Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars
  • Make sure they always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them

Free on-line summer camp.

Posted: July 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News, Susan's Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Can’t beat that. The National Center for Family Literacy, the wonderful locally based organization that brings you Wonderopolis, is now bringing a Free on-line summer camp to you and your kids. If you haven’t signed up for Wonderopolis you are missing out on one of the most entertaining and educational experiences available. Oh, did I mention it is Free? Go to Camp What-A-Wonder for the details. 

Susan A. Vessels
Executive Director
Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C)


Posted: February 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, News, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Check out this newsletter from The Louisville Science Center on fun science activities to do together! 

Early Childhood Newsletter 3

Wonderful Worms

Posted: June 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Earthworms don’t have eyes, ears or noses, and instead of lungs, they breathe through their skin. But more than just learning some fascinating facts, bringing live earthworms into the classroom gives children an up close encounter with a gentle, harmless animal.

I recently brought earthworms to Yvonne Fisher’s classroom at Dawson Orman Education Center. After reading a story and practicing moving like earthworms during circle time, we spread out some newspaper and let them crawl across the table. The children squealed with delight as they watched the earthworms stretch and squeeze their bodies. Almost every child was willing to pet an earthworm, and most also picked one up and laughed as it tickled their hands.

Earthworms are everywhere and are very beneficial to plants. In one yard of earth, there can be thousands of earthworms!  Go for a walk and hunt for them. Try digging in the dirt or lifting up rocks and leaf litter. Look on the sidewalk after a heavy rain and model good stewardship by returning them to some dirt where they can dig back underground. Most of all, let children know that they don’t have to be afraid of something just because it moves!

 A word about earthworm care:

Remember that they breathe through their skin and need a damp environment; so keep a spray bottle handy, but avoid letting them “swim” in water. They can drown too! They eat dirt and decaying leaves, so if you plan on keeping them a few days, be sure to provide them with food.

 Literature connections:

  • Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser
  • Garden Wigglers by Nancy Loewen
  • An Earthworm’s Life by John Himmelman
  • Earthworms by Claire Llewellyn and Barrie Watts

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Posted: February 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Child Care Providers, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

The Great Backyard Bird Count begins this Friday. What a perfect way to observe nature with your kids and participate in a national science project. Just last week, I noticed a huge number of American Robins in my backyard. There were hundreds of them, many more than I usually see, so I researched online to find that many robins migrate. While some may stay in an area all winter long, most move in flocks place to place to find tree and shrub berries that ripen in late winter.

Science is that simple with children. I observed something in nature, had a question about it and looked for the answer. Answers can come from many different sources. Check a book out of the library or keep watching those birds to see if you can come up with your own answers. The important thing is to keep watching nature with your children and talking to them about what they see. With spring coming, the animals outside are all busy getting ready, and the plants are starting to awaken. I just saw my first flower yesterday!

How can I participate? All you have to do is identify and count the birds in your backyard over a 15 minute time period and log them into the website (www.birdsource.org/gbbc). Details, instructions and bird activity ideas can also be found on the website.

Why does it help scientists for us to count birds? Birds move over vast areas and can do so with great speed.  This makes tracking them difficult for a small group of scientists, but if they have help of people across the USA, they have more data to work with and can gain an understanding of our bird populations. This bird count is done every year, so data can be compared year to year to study the effects of weather, diseases, migration patterns and timing, as well as how populations in rural areas compare to suburban areas.

Clean Mud

Posted: September 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Clean Mud

  • 1 Roll of Toilet Paper
  • 1 Bar of Ivory Soap 
  • Vegetable Peeler 
  • Water 
  • Large Bowl

  1. Take the roll of toilet paper and tear the sheets in to small pieces.
  2. Place the pieces of paper in a large bowl.
  3. Use the vegetable peeler and shave about a quarter (1/4) of the bar of soap into the bowl filled with the paper.
  4. Add warm water to the mixture. Start out with just enough water to dampen the paper.
  5. Have the child mix the ingredients, working the “clean mud” in between her fingers.
  6. Slowly add more and more water to the mixture to create a slimier feeling.

 Less Mess: Place the mixture into a Ziploc bag and allow the child to feel the “clean mud” from the outside of the bag.

 More Mess: Mix small items (such as coins or small plastic beads) into the mixture and have the child find the hidden objects.

Karo Syrup Color Mixing

Posted: August 4th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: News, Science | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

At a recent training with teachers involved in the PNC Grow Up Great with Science grant, we explored the properties of liquids and some unconventional ways to experiment with color mixing. Karo syrup provides a unique experience, because the colors don’t mix immediately but instead slide over one another creating a variety of shades and patterns and sometimes allowing the primary colors to re-emerge. If you are looking for an activity that is mesmerizing, try this one out. Just look how transfixed these teachers are!

Materials: Karo Syrup, Food Coloring, Large Waxed Paper Plate


  • Put a large drop of Karo Syrup in the middle of a paper plate.
  • Add one drop of yellow, one of red, and one of blue food coloring on opposite edges of the syrup. 
  • As the child holds the plate vertically and lets the syrup run, the colors begin to mix and make other colors. 
  • Keep turning the plate so that the syrup does not drip off. 
  • What colors do you see? Can you make any new colors?
  • Turn it again. Do you see any of the colors you started with?

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