It’s important to teach science to children at a young age for multiple reasons. Firstly, kids are naturally inquisitive, which lends itself to an informal line of scientific inquiry. What is science if it’s not asking questions and testing theories about what will happen? Then there’s the element of surprise. As adults, we can forget that even a mundane thing such as a plant growing is a miracle in the eyes of a child. They have a sense of wonder in relation to the world that needs to be nourished. Scientific ‘experiments’ or activities can do exactly that. They allow children to explore the natural world with room for awe, questions and answers, surprises, and learning. Not all learning is rote learning. Some children need activities and experiential opportunities to learn. Below are two simple and easy activities that can help teach scientific principles to young kids.
This is such a simple idea, but it’s very effective at encouraging children to learn about science! Get together a box, a plastic tub, some small terracotta pots and some potting mix and seeds. Guide the children to plant the seeds and then you can watch them grow. But to make this more of an experiment, there needs to be an observation element. A great little exercise is to ask the kids to draw the seedlings at different stages of growth. The seedling shapes, sizes and colours will all be documented. Children will learn about the factors that help plants to grow, including sunlight, water and soil.
This is another gardening inspired experiment to teach children about science that’s very easy to set up. Just get a few plates and some newspaper. Put the newspaper on the plates and soak it with water, then put your pieces of carrot tops onto the papers. In a few days, you’ll have roots growing from the carrot tops. After this, you can transfer the carrot tops to soil pots. Just be sure to explain to the children that you’re not trying to grow new carrots − you’re just growing the green part of the plant!
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