science starts at home, as does every other early learning
experience. Here are some suggestions on developing basic science
skills at home.
Most kids have a lot of something, whether it's magnets, pens, toy cars,
or rocks. Encourage your child to view these things as a collection of items and
have them on display or kept in a box for easy show and tell. Your children will be
proud of their collections and will get a thrill out of finding more items to add to it
every day. Share your collections with your child also. Most people are natural
collectors of something, even if it is shoes!
Kids notice everything and ask a lot of questions. Your
child may one day say, "The paper carrier didn't come today." When you had
no idea she even knew you had a paper carrier. Teaching your child to
things will be easy. All you need to do is direct them towards something to observe.
The seasons of the year are a good start. If you live in warm climates watch
the news for signs of the seasons. Try to observe things that are around your home.
Observe the birds in your yard, the dog next door, a banana as it turns brown, or
even the routine of a parent.
How many potatoes will it take to fill up this bowl? How
many cups of water to fill up this pitcher? How many cookies are in the jar.
How many steps will it take to get to bed. These are some good examples of
estimating games. See if you can think of some more.
The kitchen is a great place to start learning measuring
skills. The more you involve your child in baking, the more she will learn.
Keep a record of your child's height and weight, this is a great ongoing project.
Putting the groceries away is a good sorting game for
children big enough to help. They can take the items out of the bags and put them
next to the refrigerator, freezer, and counter for you to put away. Laundry is a
good place to sort also. Your child can separate the clothes into piles of colors,
and into stacks of ownership when they are clean.
Talk about the sequence of events for the day with your child.
Chances are she will know the schedule better than you. You can arrange
pillows or stuffed toys from smallest to largest.
Making Data Tables and Graphs
This is a great way to make a difference in your child's
science education future, put it on paper. Make charts of anything you can
think of, like how many birthdays are in each month or how many glasses of juice you drink
a day. Anything you can put to paper is a step in the right direction.
It is wonderful to hear children give their bests guess as to what
something is, how something is done or why some things happen. Hide a part of a
picture and see if she knows what it is. Set out some kitchen gadgets and see what
she comes up with, or plant some different items and predict if they will sprout.
Try this with things that are unfamiliar to your child.
Establishing Cause and Effect
Ask your child a lot of "What will happen if..."
questions. What will happen if you drop an egg on the floor, on a pillow or on
a sponge. What will happen if you drop a crumpled piece of paper and a flat piece of
paper? Which will hit the ground first.
Involve your child in your everyday problem solving
activities. What is for dinner is a favorite of mine. What do we need to make
the meal? Have your child help you determine what cleans a stain the best, water,
vinegar, or soap.