Science at HomeThe National Science Foundation says that parents are their kid’s first science teachers. They also point out that you don’t need to be an expert in the subject because science for kids is everywhere, including inside your home and out in your backyard. You need only point out the wonders of everyday science to your kids to keep them interested.
Remember, science is all about observing, exploring, and testing, and even the youngest children can be involved in these three tasks. Here are a few examples of everyday science-related activities you can enjoy with your child.
- Go for a walk and take along a magnifying glass. Stop to pick up some interesting natural objects along the way such as flowers, a few blades of grass, rocks or stones, and even insects. Look at them with the magnifying glass and allow your child to tell you what they see. This teaches them to be good observers. If you find an object or creature that really intrigues your child, look it up on the internet or in a book when you return home and gather more information. Or better yet, look at the object under a microscope.
- Let your child help you cook. All sorts of wonderful scientific processes happen at the stove! Talk about boiling water, melting butter, caramelization, or how mixtures change when they are baked. These things may be commonplace to you, but to a child, they’re fascinating!
- Track the phases of the moon. Look for the constellations that appear during various seasons. Viewing the sky is an easy way to introduce the study of astronomy. A simple, inexpensive telescope further enhances this type of science for kids.
- Does your child have a favorite sport or activity? If it’s baseball, talk about pitching and speed. If it’s cycling, skateboarding, or roller blading, explore how the wheels on their vehicle turn. If it’s football, find out why the ball is shaped that way. How about dancing? Dancers can learn about why stretching is important before dancing and about keeping their body conditioned. The possibilities are endless!- Build something! Science for kids should involve creativity. Consider making silly putty or play dough, build a periscope, construct a model of the solar system.
You don’t need to wait until the annual school science fair to have fun with science. Just a few spare minutes can keep your child interested for a lifetime.