Science in early childhood is all about prediction, exploring, and discovering answers through questions.
Children learn scientific investigation skills through hands-on exploration and play. Here are five simple ways to help facilitate scientific learning in early years:
1. Take them outside
Measure, pour, transfer water, and get dirty. Science is all about hands-on learning, and the best place to get your hands messy is outside!
2. Encourage children to ask questions
Begin the processes of prediction, planning, collecting, and data recording. Keep this simple and your children will ask more and more. If certain questions can be extended, incorporate other aspects of your play with their interests.
3. Ask them lots of questions too!
Asking children "why", "what if", and "how" questions as they play will get them thinking critically about their actions and about the objects around them.
4. Grow something
Plant seeds and allow children to experience hands-on scientific learning. Discuss water, light, sunshine, and all the things that plants need to grow, or experiment with these elements to see how different amounts of each affect the plant growth.
5. Watch butterflies grow up and set them free!
Every spring at Scholar's Choice we bring in Painted Lady caterpillars that anyone can take to their home or to school and watch them grow. It is so exciting watching the tiny caterpillars grow and make their chrysalises, then releasing them to the wild.