Three Year Old Program Curriculum

Each month a different science/nature theme will be studied allowing the students the opportunity to explore, discover and create from the knowledge they gain.

September   Living/Nonliving- Students discover the characteristics of living things-they can move, eat and grow.  Through stories and observations the students compare living creatures, noting the similarities and differences. They gain a greater appreciation for living things and learn to respect and care for them.

October  Rocks- Students sort rocks by size, shape, color and texture.  They create their own rock collection on “collecting hikes” around The Outdoor Discovery Center.  Students take on the role of a geologist by performing various experiments on the rocks. They discover fossils and erupt volcano models.

November   Dinosaurs- Students gain an understanding of these fascinating creatures through stories, crafts and games. They become familiar with the terms herbivore, carnivore and omnivore as they discover how each dinosaur ate, protected itself and cared for its young. Digging in our own dinosaur pit, the students uncover the bones of a prehistoric creature and use the knowledge they gain to identify the dinosaur.

December  Animal’s Adaptations to Winter/Polar Animals- Students discover which animals remain active during the winter and which hibernate.  They follow tracks and observe scat to identify the animals that are active at the Outdoor Discovery Center during the winter.  Students compare arctic animals to those from our area and note similarities and the differences that enable them to survive the cold temperatures of the Polar Regions.

January Night and Day- Students learn about the powers of the sun as they experiment with melting, heating and cooking using solar power. The students observe the night time sky to learn about the phases of the moon and the abundance of stars. The students learn to identify which animals are diurnal and which are nocturnal.  They learn the special adaptations nocturnal animals have to help them maneuver in the dark.

February Shadows/Light and Color- Students build on the knowledge they learned about the sun as they discover shadows and experiment with light.  They learn to reflect light, block light and even split light to reveal the colors of the rainbow.  They create a living rainbow by searching for living things in each of the colors of the rainbow.

March Weather/Water Cycle- Students explore the world of the meteorologist as they experiment with wind and water.  They discover evaporation by experimenting with puddles and painting with water. They learn about wind speed and wind direction by blowing bubbles and flying kites.

April Animal Habitats- Students discover the importance of shelter as they observe various creatures and their habitats.  They build, create and explore bee hives, spider webs, holes in the ground, nests and caves.  Using natural materials they attempt to build their own animal homes and learn to appreciate these skillful builders.

May Growing up/Animal Babies and their Parents- Students compare their own family life to that of the animal kingdom.  They observe the transformation that take place as frog eggs turn to tadpoles and eventually into frogs.  They witness the birth of goslings and ducklings in the wetlands and see the forests and fields of the Outdoor Discovery Center come to life in the spring.

June Introduction to Insects- Students learn to appreciate the life of the small critters that inhabit the sky, grass and dirt around them.  They search for critters under stones and in rotting logs.  They learn to identify several common species by their body parts, sound and where they are found.