science games

Author: Kristof Van de Keere (Belgium)


Title of activity: The Swing Game
Science Content: Physical Science
Target Concepts/Skills: Physical properties related to the behaviour of a pendulum, e.g. periodic time of swing for a pendulum of different weight, length of string etc.The projection of a swing when oscillating can also be included.
Target Age group: 3-5 years old
Duration of activity: 45 minutes to carry out a selected inquiry investigation
Summary: Children in small groups start the activity with exploring the swing game (game with a swing and cones).  After this exploration phase, children are confronted with specific scientific problems concerning the swing game. For example: If you want to make a swing game, then you need a good swing. What is a good swing? And what can the rules for the game be? How can you make such a game of your own?

Different research questions can be part of the activity while children build their own swing! Which swing takes the longest time back and forward?
Which materials are the best to attach on the rope? What are the best objects for the swing to hit?
While the children are building, they are engaged in an inquiry activity. They want to build a swing which meets the expectations of the game they have in mind. In order to integrate the results of the inquiry into the game, children need to have the chance to do the research themselves. They need time and opportunity to test and compare materials and results.

Objective and learning outcomes: Children have the opportunity to explore and study the properties of a swing/pendulum.

By the end of the activity children would be able to:

·         Carry out with guidance, systematic observation, questioning, planning and recording to obtain evidence;

·         With guidance, plan and execute a simple experiment to test inquiry question;

·         Identify some principles of swings by executing experiments with the swing game: length of string make it swing slower, heavier bob has greater impact on hitting objects etc.

Resources: ·         Swing from which the length of the rope can be changed. (eg with duplo blocks)

·         Different weights that one can easily attach onto the swing (see worksheet in attachment)

·         Different materials that can be used for the swing to hit;

·         Worksheet that accompanies the inquiry process (see attachment)

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