It's Earth Sciences Week! It can be difficult to think about how to teach science to young children, but science is based on curiosity, and when children aim to learn more about the world around them, it's science that holds the clues to a better understanding. Introducing kids to science at a young age will shape their development, teach them to ask questions, make predictions, and experiment with the world around them. These are critical science skills that help our little ones become better learners.
Science doesn’t only have to be taught in the classroom, there are many learning opportunities parents can take advantage of to challenge their child's interest. What children learn while they’re young has a significant impact on their interests later in life. Making science fun can be pretty simple, as science is all around us in our everyday lives.
Explore, Explore, Explore!
Encourage your child to question their surroundings. The earth we live in is jam-packed with science, all you have to do is open your front door! Explore the outdoors and let them interact with their environment. By providing plenty of opportunities for your child to explore the world, you will increase their curiosity and soon everything they come across will become an important science investigation! Children are already hands-on learners, so they will love discovering new things about their world through exploring. Your own backyard is a great place to start!
Think like a Scientist
Children love exploring things that are new and exciting to them. When they are exploring the world, encourage questions about their findings. Let them design investigations and interpret the information they gathered. Engage them in conversation about their investigation, and give them the chance to communicate and defend their findings. Don’t always answer their questions - let their curious little minds think like a scientist and see if they can come up with an answer. It's not about being correct or incorrect, it's about sparking interest, curiosity, and investigation!
Our little ones’ wonder is limitless! They love asking questions, and that lets us know that they are thinking about how the world works. Even if you don't have all the answers, you can respond in ways that encourage their scientific thinking. Enjoy discussing the questions your child asks, and encourage them to share their perspective and observations. You don’t always have to try to answer all your child’s questions, but rather respond with your own questions like: “What do you think?” or “I don’t know, but we can find out together!” These can stimulate more thoughts and additional questions from your child.
Who doesn’t love hearing “Whoa!” and “Wow!” from their children while they observe something scientifically amazing? You can help spark curiosity by conducting some at-home experiments with everyday objects you have in your home. Ask questions like, “What will sink and what will float?” or “What will happen when I mix soap and water together?” These questions to spark your child’s interest and gets them wondering! You and your little one can create some amazing science experiments that will make you both say "Whoa!" and "Wow"!
The 'Beginnings' Collection
Books play an important role in a child's life. Time spent with your child snuggled on your lap, reading a book together, is a part of most families days. This is an important way to lay the groundwork for later literacy. If you choose the right books, this will also set the stage for scientific curiosity. It's never to early to start introducing young children to reading and science!
Exposure to animals and their environments—more and more frequently, through the pages of a book—is often at the root of a child’s interest in science. Our 'Beginnings' Collection is a fantastic resource for parents to begin conversations about the animal world and how it relates to human nurturing and development.
Young Jane Goodall loved to observe the wildlife near her home, a passion that inspired her groundbreaking chimpanzee research. Charles Turner, pioneering entomologist, spent hours reading about ants and other insects in the pages of his father’s books. Rachel Carson began writing stories about squirrels when she was eight. Spark curiosity in a child and watch them develop a lifelong enthusiasm for learning!