Parents, if you are looking for ways to teach science to your young children, the good news is that children learn science naturally.
Young children are always experimenting: when they drop things on the floor, splash water in the bathtub, or roll a ball, they explore and learn about the world around them.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), even if you’ve been away from science for a while, there are many ways to guide your children to new discoveries. Here are some of the ideas UNICEF has provided to help young scientists.
let them drive
Notice what naturally interests them. They will try to solve problems on their own, for example, trying to solve a puzzle in different ways. Give them space to find solutions, but watch out for them to get stuck. Of course, if at any point the situation becomes unsafe, it is important to step in to help them.
Make them think
Invite them to think about what happens when they play and do experiments. For example, you can take advantage of bath time to see which things float and which ones sink. Ask them questions to encourage them to deepen their understanding: “Why do you think the game stayed on the surface and the other sank?”
Spending time with them outdoors
Abroad there are many things to discover. Take a walk with your children and talk about the animals they see, the weather, and the plants that are blooming. They can also gently touch leaves and stones, listen to the sounds of animals and describe the sensations that these experiences evoke in them.
Ask them why they think leaves and flowers have different colors and scents. You can also try talking to them about the weather: “Is it sunny or cloudy?” This will help them take care of the natural environment.
encourage their curiosity
Show your children different things, such as leaves, seashells, stones or soft fabrics. Invite them to feel and explore it. Explain how they are the same or different. This will spark their curiosity and encourage them to explore concepts such as shape, size and texture. You can also try doing the same with food: “Is it sweet or sour?” “Is it soft or crunchy?”
Learn with them
The most important thing is not to get all the answers, but to accompany them in learning. Note together what happens if you mix different colors or see which ball bounces higher. If you don’t know the answer to a question, make a note to try to answer it later.
Remember: Science is about exploring and asking questions, and it’s not just about kids. Enjoy learning with them about the scientific discoveries you are making together.
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