Early Science Exploration
It is never too early to introduce your child to the wonders of nature. Even very young children can grasp basic scientific concepts. Early science activities enable children to explore and experience the world around them, test new ideas, develop new skills and build their knowledge base.
Early science exploration relies on an inquiry-based approach:
- Let children’s curiosity be the guide.
- Always keep the activities at an appropriate skill level so that science is fun.
- Hands-on experiences will encourage children to observe and explore scientific phenomena.
- Look for activities that will develop observation, comparison, measurement, classification, and communication skills.
One easy way to begin developing your child’s science literacy is to incorporate basic science lessons into other areas of learning or play. Here are some activities that will help to develop the skills associated with early science learning:
- Observation: When outdoors ask your child how we can tell if something is alive. Remember that plants are a good example of how something can be alive even if it doesn’t move, make noise, or eat in a way that we can see. Discuss the ways that things in nature grow and change.
- Comparison: Have your child place items of various sizes and colors in order from smallest to largest or from darkest to lightest. Take a walk and look for the tallest tree and the shortest tree, the biggest leaf and the smallest leaf, the heaviest stone and the lightest stone, etc.
- Measurement: Make a growth chart to monitor your child’s growth. Show him/her how to measure the height of different things to find out how tall they are. Weigh your child and explain how scales measure how heavy something is.
- Classification: Using paper cut-outs or small toys, ask your child to group animals, insects and plants or to separate the different kinds of animals (i.e. animals that swim, animals that fly).
- Communication: Ask your child questions about things around you to encourage them to consider how things work –Why does it snow in winter, what does a caterpillar turn into, what colors do leaves turn in the fall? Always answer your child’s questions and if you do not know the answer try to find out the answer together.
Reprinted with the permission of the Parent-Child Home Program, Inc.
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