There are lots of ways to work a little science into your hamster unit.
What Do Hamsters Eat?
Teach your students a little about a hamster's diet. Hamsters usually eat a food mix that contains a variety of dried nuts and seeds like corn, sunflower seeds, peanuts, millet and dried peas, but they will eat almost anything. As a treat hamsters may enjoy small pieces of fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, broccoli and parsley. Bring in sunflower seeds, peanuts, apples slices, baby carrots or other hamster favorites and let the children have a special "hamster snack." Be sure to check for food allergies, especially if you decide to serve peanuts.
Observe a Hamster
Arrange to have a pet hamster visit your classroom for a few days. When it arrives, talk to the class about what things the hamster needs. Point out the exercise wheel, water bottle, food and other items in the cage. Discuss why each one is important for the hamster.
Place the hamster in an area where the children can observe him. Provide them with paper and crayons so that they draw pictures of what they see. This is a fun activity for a science center.
Hamsters are rodents. Rodents have long, front teeth, soft fur whiskers and round eyes. Other animals in the rodent family are guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbils and chinchillas. Show the children pictures of different types of animals and decide whether or not they are rodents. You can place the pictures in a math or science center for center for sorting practice.