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Pull & push science activities

Updated February 21, 2017

Science is one of the important content areas in a school's curriculum. Through science instruction, students learn to investigate, make observations and predictions and gain an understanding of the world around them. Force--how objects move--is an important scientific phenomenon that children should have an understanding of. Teach children about force with activities and lessons that centre on pushing and pulling.

Moving Magnets

Magnets naturally push and pull things. Allow children to experience the force created by magnets with this activity. Set out a pile of magnets. Explain to students that magnets have both positive and negative poles. Tell them that when a positive and negative side are placed next to each other, they will pull together and that when two positive sides or two negative sides are placed next to one another, the magnets will push away from one another. Let children manipulate the magnets, trying to get them to pull toward or push away from one another, experiencing natural forces of movement at work.

How it Moves

Students test how different objects move--either by pushing or pulling--in this "How Does It Move?" activity. Bring your class outside to your school's playground, where there is different equipment that can be pushed or pulled--or both--for instance, swings and see-saws. In addition to the playground equipment, set out different objects that can be pushed, pulled or both--such as balls, bikes and wheelbarrows. Tell students that they are going to experiment with each of the objects, to decide which type of force will move each of the objects.

Push or Pull

Present students with this enjoyable game that tests their knowledge of pushing and pulling. From Clip Art, print out a variety of pictures that display objects that need to be pushed or pulled--or both--to be moved. Some examples include kites, sleds, balls, wheelbarrows and wagons. Tell players you are going to show them pictures of objects that can be moved by either being pushed or pulled, or both pushed and pulled. If the player thinks he knows the force that is needed to move the object, he raises his hand and states the force. If he is correct, he earns a point. The player to earn the most points wins the game.

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About the Author

Lily Mae began freelance writing in 2008. She is a certified elementary and literacy educator who has been working in education since 2003. Mae is also an avid gardener, decorator and craft maker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in literacy education from Long Island University.