Kids start to learn well before they are introduced to formal education. Reading and math are often a focus of early years at home. A focus on science is sometimes left to the school environment. Children foster a natural curiosity for the world around them. Parents can lead the way to an interest in science. Every day experiences can bring science to life.
A simple walk around your neighborhood presents opportunities you may normally overlook. Look out for insects, plants, and weather changes. Take the time to explain the life cycle of butterflies, bees, and lizards. Collect some plant samples and look up their identity when you return home. Creatures like frogs and earthworms often prevail after a good rain. Point out the different types of clouds as you walk. Each day presents new opportunities.
Cook it Up
Your kitchen is overflowing with items for science experiments. Look online for suggestions that correlate to your child’s age. The baking soda and vinegar mixture is a staple in most early science classes. Mix oil and water to show density how density works. Mold can be grown on bread and observed under a microscope. You might be surprised how many items already in your pantry can be used for learning.
A home garden offers endless lessons on biology. Grow a variety of plants, including edible items. Print out images to show the details of how plants reproduce. Seeds from fresh fruit can be dried and germinated. A compost pile can benefit your garden and you can use it to show the decomposition of organic material. Dissect various parts of plants and view the cells under a microscope. A garden continues to offer different lessons throughout the many stages of growth.
Kids never seem to tire of animals. There is a lot to be learned from the family pet. The reliance of dogs on hearing and scent is a great way to teach about environmental adaptation. Dietary differences and sleep patterns may also interest older children. Small pets and reptiles present the chance to share information about the food chain and natural habitats. Tour a farm or visit a lake to observe different stages of animal life.
Most cities have a local science museum. Ongoing exhibits commonly include an introduction to astronomy, prehistoric animals, and scientific history. Check listings for special exhibits on more specific topics. Public television may seem like a relic of the past, however, educational shows are still shown quite often. Search listings for a kid’s science themed show. These shows have a way of presenting information in a way kids can understand well.
Science education starts by observing the world around you. Kids are great at noticing the details in their surroundings. It is easy to use every day experiences and household items to bring science to life. Plants, pets, and kitchen items are a great place to start if you are ready to prepare your budding scientist for a lifetime of learning.