Tips and Tricks from NAEYC 2007


I had the honor of presenting a science workshop at the annual NAEYC conference (National Association for the Education of Young Children) in Chicago last week. I shared with the audience at the start of the session how exciting it was to see nearly 1,500 early childhood educators at a science workshop. I have a sneaking suspicion that the average K-12 teacher has no clue that early childhood teachers are doing real science in their classrooms. Gone are the days when early childhood teachers collected leaves in a plastic bag and called “that” hands-on science. It’s not science… that’s called putting leaves in a plastic bag! In general I’m finding that early childhood teachers are concerned about creating learning experiences for their children that give them the opportunity to count, compare, classify, observe and measure. To that list, I simply add this qualifier… the experience should prompt children to ask their own questions.

You’ll find links to several of the science activities presented at my NAEYC workshop below…

  1. Floating Beach Ball & Flying Toilet Paper
  2. Bouncing Bubbles
  3. Ghost Bubbles
  4. Color Mixing Trays
  5. Bubbling Liquids and Dry Ice Secrets
  6. How to Inflate the Giant Windbag
  7. Trash Can Smoke Rings

If you attended the workshop, please let me know how you’re using some of the activities in your classroom by posting a comment below.

9 replies
  1. Rhina Briceño
    Rhina Briceño says:

    Hi! I am from Honduras, Central America. I am a Steven Spangler°s fan , and I feel so sorry for not being in his presentation on Naeyc this fall. However, I enjoyed watching all the pictures and videos from the conference and let me let you I am not missing it next year.

  2. Helen Fierro
    Helen Fierro says:

    I really enjoyed seeing your show while attenting the Naeyc conference in Chicago…It was great!!!!!! you gave me so many ideas and have already been doing some of them with my preschoolers…Science was such a tough subject to do with preschooler but thanks to Steve it’s not anymore….Thanks

  3. Florence Liu
    Florence Liu says:

    I had the most fun in your workshop at the NAEYC conference than any other workshop. I also purchased a lot of your materials and I am getting ready to place an order for my six classrooms at CDI Head Start in Las Vegas. Thanks for making science fun again for the young children as well as the older ones.

  4. Jen Kaplan
    Jen Kaplan says:

    Steve–I was very impressed by your NAEYC show. What impressed me the most is that you sold the experiments–not your product! Kudos to you! I used the Instasnow with my preschoolers as well as my own children and they were amazed. We have tried freezing it and comparing and contrasting it to ooblick (another favorite :-). I have the grow an alligator and look forward to trying that next. I am also going to my son’s elementary school this week to do the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. Thanks so much for all your wonderful ideas–I think my next purchase will be a leaf blower!

  5. Stacy Barreira
    Stacy Barreira says:

    OMG! I was so impressed by Steve Spangler. I needed to boost myself in the science area for my students and I sure was able to feel confident enough to get the material and knowledge at the NAEYC conference. I am so excited to share so many of his projects with my students. Thank you! THank you! Thank you!

  6. Roshan Patel
    Roshan Patel says:

    Namaste! I am from India. this was my first exp at NAEYC. your presentatation was absolutelt enthralling. If it did what it did to me you can imagine what a ball our kids are having xperiencing these activities. Extending a warm invitation to India.

  7. Groa Kristjansdottir
    Groa Kristjansdottir says:

    Steve Spangler, I enjoued your show at NAYEC in Chicago very much. You gave me lot of ideas to work with my preeschool students in Iceland. It was nice to have the oppotunity to buy your materials, thank you very much for this time. Takk kærlega fyrir þetta allt saman 🙂

  8. Linsey Carlson
    Linsey Carlson says:

    Steve Spangler, OMG!!! Your show at the NAEYC was great, my collegues and I enjoyed every minute of it. You have wonderful ideas and we can’t wait to try them with our pre-schoolers. Thank you>>>

  9. Casey Rainer
    Casey Rainer says:

    Steve! I LOVED seeing you at NAEYC in Chicago! You inspired me to go back to the school where I teach and tell all my teachers about you and in turn they were ready to offer plenty of sciences “experiences”in their own classrooms. We just tried the bouncing bubble experiment and then added the dry ice. One of my boys said, “Ms. Casey, what if we put soap into the water with the dry ice….” (5 years old) The children could have played for days with the amount of bubbles they created, but that experience was something they brought to the dinner table! Hallelujah! I hope to see you again at the next NAEYC conference
    Casey Rainer


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