Thursday, October 15, 2015

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Bat Science Experiments: Echolocation Activities!

Echolocation can be tricky to teach because we don't experience it.  Today I'm sharing three echolocation science experiments and activities you can use to teach this fun science concept! They're great, interactive science projects the kids will love.

1- Sound Waves Tray

2- Blindfold Group "Echolocation"

3- Big Ball Echolocation

#1: Sound Waves Tray:  This tray lets your kids see how objects can interrupt waves, including sound waves!  Bats use echolocation by sending sounds out through their mouth and nose.  The sound waves hit objects and bounces back to their ears.  They can use the information from the sound waves to tell where objects are, even in complete darkness!

The Sound Waves Tray lets your children watch how objects can interrupt waves.  You can tell you children that sound waves travel through air the same way that the waves are traveling through the water.

To set up your Sound Waves Tray, simply fill a tray or bowl about half full of water.  Set a few floating objects on top of the water.  Yes we used wiggly is October, after all!  When the water is still, drop a sinking object (like a rock or coin) into the water and watch the waves spread.  Or, use your finger to "poke" the water.  Pay attention to what happens when a wave hits one of the floating objects!

#2:  Blindfold Group "Echolocation":  Let your kiddos practice interpreting where sounds are coming from with this group game!  You can even play it with just two people!  Assign one person to be the bat and the other person to be an insect the bat wants to eat.  Blindfold the "bat" and put him or her in the middle of the room.  We just used a beanie hat big enough to cover their eyes.  Let the "insects" make high-pitch squeaking sounds and let the bat find them!

3- Big Ball Echolocation:  Let your kiddos take turns being the bat again.  Blindfold the bat and give him or her a big ball.  Stand the bat about 10 feet away from a wall and have the bat throw the ball at the wall.  Someone will need to fetch the ball back for the bat.  If the bat thinks the wall is more than a step away, the bat should step closer to the wall.  The goal is to figure out where the wall is and get close enough to the wall to touch (without walking into it) it by throwing the ball at it!

Bats are a super fun, nocturnal animal to learn about!  I hope you enjoy these active experiments too!  We did them with our kiddos who were between preschool and 3rd grade, and everyone loved them!  They were a great full-body way to explore some of the antics of echolocation.  In the past, we've also talked about sound waves and used these experiments to help visualize them.  You can also use these activities in an ocean or dolphin unit!

I'd love to know if you use them!  Feel free to drop me an email, a comment, or stop by the PreschoolPowolPackets Facebook page and say Hi!

Amazon Affiliate Links:

We're sharing these bat echolocation science experiments as part of the 2nd Grade Blogging Team's Nocturnal Animals theme!  Be sure to check out these other nocturnal animals learning posts filled with science projects and activities:

Bat Science Experiments: Echolocation Activities from Preschool Powol Packets
  Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals Sorting Activity from Look! We're Learning!
  Creating Growing Patterns with Nocturnal Animals from Life Over C's
  Nocturnal Animal Report: Hedgehogs from Crafty Kids at Home
  Bats in a Cave Sight Word Game from Creative Family Fun
  Nocturnal Animals Writing Tray and Word List from Lemon Lime Adventures

I may share at any of these parties!

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