Introduce children to life cycles, a key part of KS1 science curriculum, while encouraging them to explore and enjoy the world around them. This blog post is based on the Look and Wonder series from Wayland – read on for fun activities and a chance to win a set of four books from the series!
The Great Big Water Cycle Adventure
Did you know that the same water has been falling as raindrops for billions of years? This water is stored in oceans, ice caps, underground and in the atmosphere. The never-ending journey it takes is called the water cycle.
Dive into the water cycle story with these fun activities!
- Use watercolours to paint your own water-cycle picture! Add arrows to show how water travels around and around – rising as vapour, then falling as rain and returning back to the sea through rivers, streams and groundwater.
- Encourage children to observe how the water cycle works. Leave a tray outside and watch as rain fills it and then the sun’s heat makes the water evaporate.
- Hold a drama session in which children pretend to be a water droplet travelling through all the stages of the water cycle
- Introduce the idea of water conservation – can children guess how much water is wasted from a dripping tap? Ask them to carry out an experiment to find out, by measuring how much water is collected in a cup in one hour
The Amazing Life Cycle of Butterflies
If you’re outside exploring in the warmer months, butterflies are often a common sight, but do your children know that this is just one stage of a butterfly’s incredible life cycle?
Explore the amazing butterfly life cycle with these fun activities:
- A butterfly’s wings are covered with millions of tiny coloured scales, which make up different patterns – some to help them hide, some to attract mates and others to scare off predators. Make your own butterfly collage using tiny pieces of coloured paper or tissue to decorate the wings
- Why not decorate a paper plate to show the different stages of a butterfly’s life? Then spin the plate to show the life cycle, from butterfly egg to caterpillar, then chrysalis and butterfly.
- There are thousands of species of butterfly in the world and more are being discovered all the time. Ask children to paint a picture of their own brand-new butterfly and name it.
The Amazing Life Cycle of Plants
Plants are all around us, but how do they grow? A plant starts life as a seed; when the conditions are right the seed grows into a seedling. When a plant is fully grown, flowers appear. Flowers attract insects and help to spread pollen between the plants, helping to make seeds. Seeds can be spread by the wind or by animals that eat fruit; if the seeds land where the conditions are right, a new plant will start to grow!
Dig deep and find out more about the amazing plant life cycle:
- Collect as many different seeds as you can and stick them onto a wall chart. Remember to label each one!
- Suggest that children keep a plant diary. They could plant sunflower seeds or a bean plant seed, then draw or take photos of the plants every day to see how they change and grow.
- Make a collage of a plant’s life cycle using seeds and cuttings from the plant itself.
A Stroll Through the Seasons
Did you know that our planet is tilted? This means that sometimes we are closer to the Sun and sometimes we are further away. This is why we have spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Here are some activities to encourage children to think about how the world around them changes depending on the season:
- Draw the same scene in spring, summer, autumn and winter to show how things change throughout the year
- Take a stroll through the seasons! How many things can children find outdoors that have something to do with the current season? Look for bright flowers in summer and crispy leaves in autumn.
- Write a poem about one of the seasons!
Further reading from Franklin Watts and Wayland
- Look and Wonder: The Great Big Water Cycle Adventure (97807502995)
- Look and Wonder: The Amazing Plant Life Cycle Story (9780750299572)
- Look and Wonder: The Incredible Life Cycle of a Butterfly (9780750299558)
- Look and Wonder: A Stroll Through the Seasons (9780750299596)
- I am Josephine (and I am a Living Thing) (9781445152240)
- Fact Cat: Seasons (9780750296960)
- Fact Cat: Weather (9781526306029)
- Nature Detective: British Butterflies (9781526301574)
- The Great Nature Hunt: Wild Flowers (9781445145341)
Win a set of the Look and Wonder books featured in this blog post! Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered into the prize draw.
This guest post was provided by Felicity Highet of Hachette Children’s. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCBG.