How to Teach Preschoolers About Night & Day

Preschoolers can have fun as they learn about day and night.
••• SerrNovik/iStock/Getty Images

Night and day are important concepts to teach preschoolers. Lessons about the sun can include information about how it affects light and darkness, as well as human and animal activity. Learning about nighttime and daytime works as a precursor to introducing preschoolers to calendars and other methods of tracking time. Use games, songs, books and science experiments to explore the differences between the different times of day and the sun and the moon.

    Find out what preschoolers currently know about day and night. Ask questions about what happens during the day and night, and what makes them different. Write down their ideas and have them draw pictures depicting day and night.

    Plant grass seeds in two small paper cups with soil. Have the preschooler water the seeds and place one cup in a window and the other in a dark place. Each day, have the child check the progress of the growth of the grass in each cup. Discuss the importance of the sun in helping the grass grow.

    Read a book about nocturnal animals, such as "Creatures of the Night" by Stephen Brooks or "Good Night Gorilla" by Peggy Rathmann. Any book about bats, raccoons, owls or foxes would also be appropriate. Print out or draw pictures of both nocturnal and diurnal animals animals. Create a chart with a column for day and one for night. Have preschoolers separate the animals based on when the animals are awake and active. Use Velcro circles to move the animals around on the chart.

    Have children make white marks on a piece of black paper to make stars. Using a yellow watercolor paint, have children brush paint over the paper. The white stars will stand out, as the crayon wax resists the paint. Discuss how the sky looks different at night than during the day. Read books about the moon including "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown.

    Create a scavenger hunt for preschoolers using items that are associated with morning routines and nighttime routines. Use empty boxes of cereal, a photo of a school bus, a sunrise and birds to represent morning. Hide new toothbrushes or photos, pictures of bathtubs or tub toys, pillows, and pictures of nocturnal animals to represent night.

    Things You'll Need

    • Age-appropriate books
    • Black construction paper
    • White crayon
    • Paint
    • Paintbrush
    • Paper cup
    • Grass seeds
    • Soil

Related Articles

First Grade Science Lesson Plans on Animals
Animal Habitat Lessons for Kindergarten
About Chipmunks
Phases of the Moon Activities for Kids
Science Activities for Warm Blooded Vs. Cold Blooded
Creative Biome Art Project Ideas
Science Activities for 3- to 5-Year-Olds
Dragonfly Learning Activities for Preschool
Science Concepts for Kids
Where Do Lightning Bugs Go During the Day?
Animals That Live in the Tropical Forest That Are Omnivores
How to Make a Dolphin Habitat in a Shoe Box for School
How to Make a Desert Biome in a Shoe Box
Night & Day Science Projects
Adaptations of Deciduous Forest Owls
Predator Vs. Prey Games to Play With Kids
Animals in the Desert Ecosystem
What Are Tactile Materials?
What Animals Eat Worms?
How to Make a Constellation Project

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!