Learning science through everyday experiences
CHECK out below a few examples of the many everyday opportunities where you can encourage your child to observe, ask questions and explore.
Horticulture at your window
Plan a window garden with your child. Bean plants are easy and fun to plant. Give him a tiny clay pot. Get him to plant a few seeds in the pot, fill it with soil, level it to settle around the seeds. Use organic soil and avoid chemical fertilisers as much as possible. Teach him to care for the plant by watering daily and talking to it. Ask him to watch the plant grow, take photos and record its growth on a chart. Watch him beam with pride over his very own bean plant!
Meteorology at breakfast
Become a weather watcher. Begin your day by talking about the weather. Is it a sunny day? How hot is the sun? How does the sun's heat feel on our skin? How does rain feel? Why is rain important to plants? Keep a daily log of weather, with different symbols for sun, clouds, rain, lightning and thunder. Talk to them about clouds, cloud movements, cloud formation, and how rain clouds look alike.
Chemistry in the kitchen
Your kitchen can be a home science lab for measuring and cooking concoctions. Play with colours and ingredients. Let your child name them, sort them and add them to the mixing bowl. Ask questions about smell, texture of eggs, onions and tomatoes. Cut a fruit lengthwise and across to let them see the difference.
Astronomy at night
Explore the sky together. Take your child to the window or out to the beach and star gaze. Look for the constellations. Show them the various phases of the moon. Get a book on constellations and read about how each constellation got its name.
Physics in the playground
Your child's favourite playground is in fact a natural physics lab. The slide shows concepts of gravity, the swing illustrates the laws of motion and the seesaw relates to the principles of balance. Let your child run on different rams and ask them which one requires more energy.
Botany in the garden
Take your child to the park and collect leaves. Sort them by size, shape, leave pattern and colour. Expand their knowledge by talking about the origin of the leaf, why they are green and what happens when they dry up. Take them on a bug hunt. Discuss why some bugs are insects and others are not. This hones their observation skills. By discussion and thoughtful questioning, you would have an interested child.
Besides these examples, there are many other everyday science experiences. Just get playful and approach the world through your child's eyes. Playing with marbles? That's a great way to learn about mass and velocity. And if you run out of ideas, just ask your child what they would like to do, and there would be another science concept waiting to be introduced to them.
Article reproduced with permission: absolutelyparents.com