Ready to Learn

Science Resources and Activities for Ages 4-8

Apr 27, 2020

Scientific Inquiry

Does your child always ask the question why? Why is the sky blue? How do I make my little car go faster? Where did my ice cube go? Your child is demonstrating their innate ability to ask questions and solve problems as a scientist. Scientific inquiry refers to the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence they have found. Try some of the following online games that focus on building your child’s ability to puzzle out what mixtures and properties are, what forces and motions do and how structures work.

Directions: Click on the subtopics below to access these online resources.

 

Bridges

This section features videos and interactives that support the Bridges backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Bridges

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Bridges

Thank you for your interest in this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That Ready to Learn backpack on how to build bridges.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Building Bridges

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Building Bridges

Join Nick, Sally, and the Cat in the Hat as they learn about bridges and what makes them work!

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That: How to Cross the Gap Teacher Guide

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That How to Cross the Gap Teacher Guide

Teach your students about what it takes to build a sucessful bridge using this teacher's guide from The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! 

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Bridge-a-Rama

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That: Bridge-a-Rama

Help the Dragon to get across Spansylvania to make it to a birthday party.

Ruff Ruffman: FETCH! What Gives

Ready to Learn Activity FETCH! What Gives

Can you build a bridge out of cardboard that won’t collapse under the weight of a pile of books? 

 

Bugs

This section features videos and interactives that support the Bugs backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Bugs

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Bugs

Thank you for your interest in this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That Ready to Learn backpack on bugs.

What are Insects? | Young Explorers

Iowa PBS Education What Are Insects

Abby teaches kids how to identify an insect. You’ll also learn how some insects are very helpful to humans!

Science Trek: Insects

Science Trek Insects

On this Science Trek, host Joan Cartan-Hansen and her guests answer students’ questions about insects.

Wild Kratts: Fireflies

Wild Kratts Fireflies

The Wild Kratts are all hyped about fireflies because they are having a firefly-themed picnic.

Curious George: Bug Catcher

Curious George Bug Catcher game

Use math skills to help George count the bugs to find out the answer!

Curious George: Bug Catcher

Spanish Curious George Bug Catcher

Spanish Use math skills to help George count the bugs to find out the answer!

Iowa PBS Education: Sight Word Bugs

Iowa PBS Education Sigh Word Bugs

Scatter the sight word bugs on the table. Read a word out loud and have your child “catch” the bug by swatting the word. 

Iowa PBS Education: Insect Match Cards

Insect Match Cards

Use the Insect Match cards to play Memory, matching the picture of the bug to its name.

Sesame Street: Caterpillar Shoes 

Sesame Street Caterpillar Shoes

Talk about how caterpillars have many legs and feet to hold up their very long bodies.

Sesame Street: Caterpillar Shoes Coloring Sheet

Sesame Street Caterpillar Shoes Coloring Sheet

Caterpillar Shoes Coloring Sheet

 

Force and Motion

This section features videos and interactives that support the Force and Motion backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Force and Motion

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Force and Motion

Thank you for your interest in this The Ruff Ruffman Show Ready to Learn backpack on Force and Motion.

Ruff Ruffman: A Plushie for Grandma

Ruff Ruffman A Plushie for Grandma

It's Grandma's Birthday and Ruff has decided to give her an "Action-to-the-Maxion Skate-Pro Plushie" as a gift. 

Design Squad: Force and Energy

Design Squad Global

Hands-on challenges that focus on the engineering design process.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Fish Force

Ruff Ruffman Fish Force

Help rescue Ruff's toy from the penguins' ice rink! 

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Ups and Downs

The Ruff Ruffman Show Ups and Downs

Grab a grown-up and some friends for this building activity. Can you make a ramp that will roll a ball right to the target?

Ruff Ruffman Show: Bottle Cap Hockey

Ruff Ruffman Show Bottle Cap Hockey

Grab a grown-up and some friends for Ruff’s take on table hockey! How many points can you score?

 

Magnets

This section features videos and interactives that support the Magnets backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Magnets

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Magnets

Thank you for your interest in this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That Ready to Learn backpack on Magnets.

Nature Cat: Marvelous Magnets

Nature Cat Marvelous Magnets

It's Magnet Mania! A day when the gang spends the whole day playing with magnets!

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Magnet Trick

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That Magnet Trick

Sing along with Cat as he sings a fun song about what a magnet can and can't stick to.

Nature Cat: Magnet Fishing

Nature Cat Magnet Fishing

In this simple science activity, your child will explore the science of magnets.

 

Measurement.

This section features videos and interactives that support the Measurement backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Measurement

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Measurement

Thank you for your interest in this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That Ready to Learn backpack on Measurement.

PBS KIDS: Measure Up! App.

PBS KIDS Measure Up! App

Go on measuring adventures with your favorite PBS KIDS characters. 

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That:  Measuring This and That

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That:  Measuring This and That

Make the Cat’s hat and a Measuring Snail to measure and compare all sorts of things. 

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Chocolate Mug Cake

The Ruff Ruffman Show Chocolate Mug Cake

Grab a grown-up to make a chocolate mug cake in less than five minutes. You’ll only need a few ingredients and a microwave — no oven needed!

Sesame Street: Measuring

Educator Guide Measuring

Use this resource to help children investigate how measurement can be used todescribe, compare, and sort materials.

Curious George: Measure with Curious George

Family Activity Measure with Curious George

Curious George is using markers to measure his desk.

 

Mixtures and Properties

This section features videos and interactives that support the Mixtures and Properties backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Mixtures and Properties

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Mixtures and Properties

Thank you for your interest in thisThe Ruff Ruffman Show Ready to Learn backpack on Mixtures and Properties.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Mixes It up

Ruff Ruffman Mixes It Up

Explore kitchen chemistry as Ruff Ruffman learns that mixing the right ingredients is important.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Ruff ‘s Cookie Creator

Ruff Ruffman Ruff's Cookie Creator

Help Ruff make, decorate, and serve cookies to his family! 

Fizzy's Lunch Lab: Food

Fizzy's Lunch Lab

Learn about healthy foods and snacks with Fizzy's Lunch Lab.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Chocolate Mug Cake

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Chocolate Mug Cake

Grab a grown-up to make a chocolate mug cake in less than five minutes. You’ll only need a few ingredients and a microwave — no oven needed!

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Rainbow Popsicles

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Rainbow Popsicles

Grab a grown-up to make a rainbow popsicle. This recipe is pretty cool!

The Ruff Ruffman Show: My Playdough Recipe

The Ruff Ruffman Show: My Playdough Recipe

Use this activity sheet to describe your Playdough Recipe.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Properties Table

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Properties Table

Use this activity sheet to describe the playdough you made.

 

Ramp and Roll

This section features videos and interactives that support the Ramp and Roll backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Ramp and Roll

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Ramp and Roll

Thank you for your interest in this Play and Learn​ Ready to Learn backpack on Ramp and Roll.

Sesame Street: Tube Ramp

Sesame Street Tube Ramp

Abby and Elmo learn that a ramp is a tool that helps objects go from high to low and low to high.

Curious George: Ramp n’ Roll

Curious George Ramp and Roll

George must figure out how to build a ramp so that Hundley, a little dachshund, can get out of a basement window.

PEEP and the Big Wide World: The Watchamacallit

PEEP and the Big Wide World: The Watchamacallit

Peep, Chirp, and Quack discover the thrill of zipping down a slide.

PBS Parents: Play and Learn Science App.

PBS KIDS Play and Learn Science App

Play with shadows; control the weather; and send objects down a ramp.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: FETCH! Thrill Ride

The Ruff Ruffman Show: FETCH! Thrill Ride

Design a crazy roller coaster ride for a marble—but make sure it doesn’t fl y off the track!

 

Shadow Play

This section features videos and interactives that support the Shadow Play backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Shadow Play

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter: Shadow Play

Thank you for your interest in this Play and Learn​ Ready to Learn backpack on Shadow Play.

PEEP and the Big Wide World: Shadow and Shapes

PEEP and the Big Wide World: Shadow and Shapes

Explore the shadows made by objects in Chirp's collection.

PEEP and the Big Wide World: Night Light

PEEP and the Big Wide World: Night Light

Quack and Peep find a flashlight and have fun making shadows.

PBS Parents: Play and Learn Science App.

PBS KIDS Play and Learn Science App

Play with shadows; control the weather; and send objects down a ramp.

Family and Community Learning: Shadow Matching Cards

Family and Community Learning: Shadow Matching Cards

Can you match the PBS KIDS character with his or her shadow? 

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: Stick Puppet Shadow Play

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: Stick Puppet Shadow Play

Join the fun! Explore shadow science with The Cat in the Hat stick puppets, a flashlight, and your own imagination.

 

Shapes and Balls

This section features videos and interactives that support the Shapes and Balls backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Shapes and Balls

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter: Shapes and  Balls

Thank you for your interest in this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That​ Ready to Learn backpack on Shapes and Balls.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Play Ball

The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That: Play Ball

Join Nick, Sally, and the Cat in the Hat as they learn about what makes a ball bounce!

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Bouncy Ball

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Bouncy Ball

Spark great conversations about the science behind elasticity with this chemistry and craft project rolled into one. 

Iowa PBS Education: Alphabet Pattern Blocks

Iowa PBS Education Alphabet Pattern Blocks

Use the pattern shapes to make pictures. Can the same design be made using different shapes (replace an octagon with two trapezoids). 

 

 

Simple Machines

This section features videos and interactives that support the Simple Machines backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Simple Machines

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter: Simple Machines

Thank you for your interest in this The Ruff Ruffman Show Ready to Learn backpack on Simple Machines.

Get Up & Go Play!: Simple Machines | Young Explorers

Get Up & Go Play!: Simple Machines

Abby Brown visits a playground with a group of kids. Together they discover that their park is full of simple machines!

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Pulling Together

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: Pulling Together

Join Nick, Sally, and the Cat in the Hat as they learn about simple machines and how they can make our work easier!

Interactive: Simple machines

KET Simple Machines Interactive

Simple machines have few working parts. They make our work easier and help us move things.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: FETCH! Target Practice

The Ruff Ruffman Show: FETCH! Target Practice

Build a catapult using a lever, and power it with a rubber band. Then, use what you’ve learned to build your own design, and send a marshmallow flying through the air!

The Ruff Ruffman Show: FETCH! Pinball Wizard

The Ruff Ruffman Show: FETCH! Pinball Wizard

Make a pinball machine that can shoot a marble and send it zigzagging down an obstacle course.

 

Sink or Float

This section features videos and interactives that support the Sink or Float backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Sink or Float

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter: Sink or Float

Thank you for your interest in this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That​ Ready to Learn backpack on Sink or Float.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Whatever Floats Your Boat

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: Whatever Floats Your Boat

Join Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat as they learn about why certain objects float and others sink! 

Read Good Books!: Foil Boats | Young Explorers

Read Good Books!: Foil Boats

Kids create the right type of structure to carry as many pennies as possible in water.

PBS Parents: Play and Learn Science App.

PBS KIDS Play and Learn Science App

Play with shadows; control the weather; and send objects down a ramp.

Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: What Floats Your Boat?

Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: What Floats Your Boat?

What do you think will float? Test out your predictions using items from around the house and the printable Table. 

 

 

Sorting

This section features videos and interactives that support the Sorting backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Sorting

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Sorting

Thank you for your interest in this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That​ Ready to Learn backpack on Sorting.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: All Sorts of Things

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: All Sorts of Things

Join Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat as they visit Toborrowland and learn all about sorting! 

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Sorta - Ma - Gogo

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: Sorta - Ma - Gogo

Visit Toborrowland with Nick and Sally, and help them pick up and sort items to put back into the borrow truck!

Iowa PBS Education: Venn Diagram

Iowa PBS Education Venn Diagram

Use the following Venn diagram with your child to sort items at home or school. 

 

 

Sounds.

This section features videos and interactives that support the Sounds backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Sounds

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Sounds

Thank you for your interest in this The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That​ Ready to Learn backpack on Sounds.

What Is Sound | Young Explorers

What is Sound?

Abby Brown teaches kids about sound. Whether used for entertainment or communication, all sounds are created the same way, with tiny vibrations.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Going Going Gong

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: Going Going Gone

Join Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat as they travel to Gongolia to find the missing note to Sally's song!

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That: Sounda - pa - looza

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: Sounda - pa - looza

Help Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat in Gongolia make some sounda - pa - looza's for the concert.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: FETCH! What's the Buzz?

The Ruff Ruffman Show: FETCH! What's the Buzz?

Make an instrument that anyone can play—a kazoo—and get the buzz on sound vibrations!

 

Structures

This section features videos and interactives that support the Structures backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Structures

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter: Structures

Thank you for your interest in thisThe Ruff Ruffman Show Ready to Learn backpack on Structures.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Building is a Breeze

Ruff Ruffman: Building is a Breeze

Ruff Ruffman uses his new service, called “Ask Ruff First” or “ARF, to help kids looking for a way to keep their mini-golf tower from tipping over in the wind.

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Tower Time

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Tower Time

Grab a grown-up and some friends for this building game. Can you stack a tall, stable tower?

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Build it Up, Knock it Down

The Ruff Ruffman Show: Build it Up, Knock it Down

Grab a grown-up and some friends for a building contest! Each team will build a structure without using tape and then try to knock down the other team’s structure using only paper. The last one standing wins! 

 

Weather and Gear

This section features videos and interactives that support the Weather and Gear backpack’s family activities.

Backpack Letter: Weather and Gear

Ready to Learn Backpack Letter Weather Gear

Thank you for your interest in this Play and Learn​ Ready to Learn backpack on Weather Gear.

PBS Parents: Play and Learn Science App.

PBS KIDS Play and Learn Science App

Play with shadows; control the weather; and send objects down a ramp.

Sid the Science Kid: Temperature Investigation

Sid the Science Kid: Temperature Investigation

In this video from Sid the Science Kid, students measure the temperature of hot and cold items and make predictions.

What is the Weather? | Young Explorers

What is the Weather? | Young Explorers:

Abby teaches kids about weather. Kids learn to observe the air and and sky as well as a thermometer in order to evaluate the weather.

Sid the Science Kid: Snowflake Match

Sid the Science Kid: Snowflake Match

Help Gerald match snowflakes! 

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: Pinwheel Activity

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That: Pinwheel Activity

See the wind at work! Make a pinwheel and explore the wind’s wind-erful power!

Odd Squad: Make a Bottle Thermometer

Odd Squad: Make a Bottle Thermometer

In this activity, your child will build a thermometer to show when the temperature is warmer or cooler.

Family and Community Learning: Water Matching Cards

Family and Community Learning: Water Matching Cards

Play memory with the water matching cards.

The contents of this document were developed under a cooperative agreement #PRU295A150003, from the U.S. Department of Education. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.