Push & Pull Activities for Kindergarten

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At the end of a push and pull unit, kindergartners should understand that a force, such as pushing or pulling, can move an object. To teach students this concept, provide them with a variety of activities that allow them to practice pushing and pulling objects and share examples of objects in real life that are pushed or pulled.

1 On the Playground

Take students to a playground to learn about the concept of pushing. Students can take turns pushing each other on the swings or down the slide and pulling up on monkey bars or climbing up a jungle gym. Point out other ways that students push and pull, such as opening or closing a gate at the playground. Or involve students in a game of tug-of-war to make the concepts even clearer.

2 Push and Pull Card

Students can create a card to demonstrate the concepts of push and pull. Take a piece of paper and fold it in half horizontally, then fold it in half again. Cut two shapes out of thin cardboard, one a capital "T" and the other, a lowercase "l." Punch a hole in the center of the "T." Cut a slot in one end of the "l" and slide the large end of the "T" into it so that it sits perpendicular to the "l." Cut a slit and poke a hole near the top of the sheet of paper. Place the skinny end of the "T" through the slit. Line up the hole in the "T" with the hole in the paper and attach them with a brass fastener. Students can now push and pull on their card to make it move.

3 Push and Pull Venn Diagram

Create a giant Venn diagram, or two intersecting circles, on chart paper. Label one circle "push," the other circle "pull" and the area where the circles intersect "both." Provide children with pictures of objects that are traditionally pushed or pulled. Allow students to take turns taping the pictures in the appropriate area of the Venn diagram.

4 Push to Move

Explain to students that pushing an object can help it move and the force of the push can change how fast and how far the object moves. Practice pushing toy cars across the floor. Ask children to push a toy car softly and see how far it moves. Then push the car with more force and note that it moves farther. Set up a ramp using a piece of wood or cardboard and show students that a car needs less of a push to move down the ramp at high speeds.

5 What Moved It?

Help students understand that humans are not the only forces that can cause things to move. Provide students with pictures of a sailboat, a horse and buggy, a water wheel and a train and ask them to guess what makes it move. Create a class chart labeling the objects with the forces that move them.

Stacy Zeiger began writing in 2000 for "Suburban News Publication" in Ohio and has expanded to teaching writing as an eighth grade English teacher. Zeiger completed creative writing course work at Miami University and holds a B.A. in English and a M.Ed. in secondary education from Ohio State.