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Early Childhood Resources for Math and Science

Exploration Kits  |  Curriculum Planning  |  Online Resources

Exploration Kits

Exploration Kits assist children in learning math and science concepts in early childhood.  They are conveniently packaged in a tub that contains picture books, an activity guide, and hands-on items for use in activities with children, including simple tools.

For more information about each kit, search the CU Catalog.  To reserve an Exploration Kit, use our Online Teacher Request Form, or call Children's Services at 217-367-4069.  See below for a list of themes:

All About Me
Beginning Measurement
Earth and Environment
Five Senses
Food and Nutrition
Growing Things
Health and Safety
Insects and Spiders
Life Cycles
Numbers and Counting
Nursery Rhymes
Sea Life
Seasons and Weather
Tools and Machines
Wild Animals

Curriculum Planning

Our Teacher Collection is full of resource books for curriculum planning.  It can be found on the west wall of Children's Services. Here is a sample of some math and science titles you will find:

Count on Math : Activities for Small Hands and Lively Minds
Pamela Byrne Schiller and Lynne Peterson
 J / 372.21 / SCH

Marshmallow Math: Early Math for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Primary School Children: a Fun and Novel Way to Teach Your Child the Fundamentals of Math
Trevor Schindeler
J / 372.21 / SCH

Math Activities A to Z
Joanne Matricardi and Jeanne McLarty
J / 372.21 / MAT

More Than Counting
Sally Moomaw and Brenda Hieronymus
J / 372.21 / MOO

More Than Magnets
Sally Moomaw and Brenda Hieronymus
J / 372.21 / MOO

Science through Children’s Literature
Carol M. and John Butzow
J / 372.21 / BUT

Online Resources

The Activity Idea Place : An Early Childhood Educator's Resource
Activities are organized into themes including animals, seasonal/holidays,
self-concepts, colors, food, themes by month, and new pages.

Recognized as one of the best web sites for teachers on the internet today, this features web casts, interactive learning activities, and resource lists for teachers. The Digital Library Learning Resources Collection provides lesson plans organized under the main topics of Earth and Space Sciences, Life Science, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and The Nature of Science. Although the lessons are assigned a grade level between kindergarten and twelfth grade, this is a great resource for creative ideas, images, and video clips.

Kids Chalkboard
Lots of math and science activities for preschoolers are included along with many other topics, on this website designed by teachers for teachers.

National Geographic Education
The Educator's Homepage provides links to Lesson Plans, Maps & Photos, Professional Development Opportunities, and Current Events. Lesson Plans are searchable by grade level and although the lowest level is designated K-2, they can be easily adapted for preschoolers. Topics include cultural geography, weather, space, animals and ecosystems.

PBS Teacher Source
You will find 3,000+ free lesson plans and activities searchable by grade level and subject. Math topics include data analysis/probability, geometry and spatial sense, measurement, numbers and operations, patterns and algebraic thinking. Science activities include atmosphere and space science, classification, design and invention, earth science, life science, physical science, and transportation.

Peep and the Big Wide World
Recognized by the National Science Foundation and based on the Discovery Channel TV show, Peep and the Big Wide World , this child oriented website provides interactive games, "Anywhere Science" activities, weekly educational videos, printable coloring sheets, three ready to use science units, and recommended book lists.

Preschool Express
Lesson themes are first organized by seasons and then by shapes, colors, transportation, community, and numbers. The lessons include a variety of activities incorporating math, science, art, dramatic play, and snacks.

Science Learning Network
Funded by Unisys and the National Science Foundation, this website combines the educational efforts of 12 worldwide science museums.

Smithsonian Education
The Smithsonian's lesson plans and websites are searchable by grade level and subject. The resources come from various museum departments so they vary in content, and many that are labeled as PreK-3 are actually meant for 2nd to 3rd graders. However, there are many ideas that could be easily modified to accommodate preschoolers' learning styles.

Funding for Math and Science Early Education was provided by a grant from the Illinois State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, using funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services the federal Library Services and Technology Act.

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