Rolling & Sliding – Science Activities for Kids

Science activities for preschoolers about rolling and sliding and the effects of friction and gravity.Children & preschoolers discover how some things roll or slide easily while other objects do not.

Other objects roll or slide faster than others. You can use this idea to teach children why, all while learning about gravity, rolling, sliding & friction.

As a parent or educator, you can build on this simple science activity as much or as little as you feel is needed for the children. You can teach specifics about friction and the effects of gravity on different objects.

The ideas below are a good start to get the children learning and to start a discussion with the kids.

Preschool & Kindergarten Rolling & Sliding Activities About Friction:

An easy, rolling and sliding activity that is simple yet educational as it teaches preschoolers in simple ways about the effects of gravity and friction on different objects as the roll and slide down different inclines.

This Rolling & Sliding Activity Requires:

  • Large Wooden Block or Short Flat Board
  • Different Objects/toys from around the room etc.
  • Things that roll, like balls, (larger & smaller)
  • Things that slide (some heavier & some lighter)

How To Start the Activity:

Prop up the Large wooden block so it is on an angle.

Place objects on top and see if object rolls or slides down.

Document Results and Observations on Paper:

Have the children make a ‘guess’. You can make a chart with the different objects you are using to roll or slide and document which move faster or work better.

Document the ‘guess’-then see what happens and document the actual result of what happen when doing this science activity for kids.

Talk About Why Things Roll or Slide:

(ex.) Balls and things that are round don’t have any edges or sides and therefore they roll due to gravity pulling them to the earth with little resistance because of their roundness.

Objects with sides or edges can’t roll. When they move they slide with more resistance or friction because they DO NOT have roundness, instead they have edges and flat or jagged, uneven sides.