Force and Motion Kindergarten Science Lab: Driving Cars

What preschool or kindergartner doesn't love playing with cars?  Especially boys!  My 4 year old preschoolers LOVE driving our hot wheels All. Over. The. House.  So, I knew they would love doing this force and motion kindergarten science lab with me this week!  

This is a great science lab for teaching kids about cause and effect, force and motion, and helping them critically think about what they are doing!  Plus, this kindergarten OR preschool science experiment is the easiest prep...  I'm all about simple right now, so I bet you already have everything you need to do this lab right away!

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Materials & Prep

For this force and motion kindergarten science lab, you will need...

To prep this kindergarten OR preschool science experiment, you will need to tape the colored papers together in rainbow order as a race track.  I taped mine together on the short edge to make our track longer.

Science Lab Steps

First, we set out the rainbow race track.  My unicorn and rainbow-loving girl LOVED this part! :)

Next, we lined up a car.  I asked, "What do we need to do to race our car?"  

"PUSH IT!"  

I reinforced, "Yes, we have to push the car if we want it to move."  Then, I told one of them to move the car.  

We cheered for the car and then recorded how far our car traveled.

Then, I let the other twin have a turn.  And I asked her the same questions about how to move the car.  We cheered for the car and then recorded how far our car traveled.  (We used the same car for both kids so there would be no confusion that maybe one car is faster.)

Again, we cheered for the car and then recorded how far our car traveled that time.

Then, I asked, "Which car moved the farthest?  Why do you think it did?"  I was trying to get them to see that a bigger push moves the car farther.

Finally, I asked, "What can we do to make this car move even farther?"  We try one more time and record how far our car traveled!

Teaching Points

Once all of the races are finished, we talk together about why are cars moved, what made them move farther, not as far, etc.  

The main idea I'm trying to get my preschoolers or kindergarteners to understand is...

An object needs a force in order to move.  OR  An object cannot move without force.

In a kindergarten class, this force and motion science experiment can be done whole group, or you can start whole group and then have groups test out races with partners.  It's definitely a flexible science activity for kindergarten or preschool!

You can find this experiment and much more in this Force and Motion Kindergarten Science unit that is aligned with the Next Gen Science Standards!

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