Every time children play in the rain, watch leaves fall from trees or inhale fragrances from flowers, they are experiencing the wonders of science. Young kids are filled with curiosity, and they are constantly developing theories about how the world works. Introducing science into the thing’s youngsters do each day is what encourages them to explore, experiment, observe, predict, reason and analyse the things around them.
Integrating science into familiar settings can bring the magic of science to life and encourage pre-schoolers to flex their scientific thinking skills. Here are some fun ways to introduce your mini-adventurer to science at the park!
- Bug Off
There’s no shortage of bugs in the world. Even though these creepy crawly critters can be annoying at times, each of them benefits the earth in some way. And young children get a kick out of watching bugs in action. Bug boxes are perfect for observing bugs because they have built in magnifying glasses that allow children to view insects in a contained area. So next time you visit the park let your child scour the ground for interesting bugs to put in his bug box and observe.
- Hunting We Will Go
A science scavenger hunt at the park is the perfect way to encourage youngsters to explore their environment. Create a list of things that are easily found outside such as birds, butterflies, grass, rocks, twigs, leaves, pinecones and ants. Not only does this encourage exploration, it can serve as a precursor to writing and promote reading and literacy in youngsters.
- A Closer Look
Take your children on a stroll around the park and let him use a small bag to collect interesting items such as blades of grass, twigs, dirt, and rocks. Take the bagged items over to a picnic table and dump them out. Have your child use a magnifying glass to take a closer look at the collection. What are some of the different textures, colours and shapes of the items?
- Put it on Paper
Your children can use a personalized journal to document his scientific findings – no writing necessary. He can simply keep tabs of his adventures by drawing pictures.
Kids are naturally enthusiastic about learning. And when science lessons are fun, interactive and integrated into kids’ everyday experiences, it reinforces their natural desire to learn and helps them gain a better understanding of what science is all about.