With the everchanging and fast-paced times that we live in, it has become even more important than ever to get our children interested in science at an early age. The concept of science might seem like a daunting subject area for most of us. We hear terms like ‘rocket science’ and we begin to think of all the formulas and concoctions put together to make that happen. What many don’t realise is that science might just be easier than we think. Find out we can turn everyday activities into fun learning experiences, with these fab tips.
It is important to begin to nurture an interest in science in your child from an early age. This is much easier than you think. We sometimes view science as being something quite mysterious. This does not have to be, as it is happening all around us. The great thing is you can use everyday things and real-life situations to encourage your child's interest and knowledge.
You may feel as a parent, that you can't help your children with science. But the truth of the matter is, you don't need to be a graduate in that discipline to teach young children science. All you need is the zeal and disposition to observe your surroundings as best as you can and cultivate the same level of passion and curiosity in your child.
Having a positive attitude towards science is a great starting point. From here you can begin by asking your child questions about the things they encounter every day. Challenging their sense of reasoning with questions such as: why do you think that happened? How do you think that works? Take an objective approach when listening to their response. This is important as it will help to boost their confidence and enable you determine the scope of your child’s knowledge in that area.
Science projects can be formed out of everyday activities. In fact, the less formal the activity, the better for you both – especially your child. The activities could be anything from gardening to cooking/baking, to observing. The questions just need to be adapted to suit the situation. E.g. why do cupcakes rise when baked? Why does porridge become thick when left to cool? You can then get experimental by asking: what if….?
In order to answer the question, you’d both have to carry out the experiment. This fun activity could be done without actually referring to it as an experiment.
Interests will vary for different children, so they will need different kinds of science projects. A shell/pebble collection may be of interest to your young daughter whereas your older son may need something a bit more engaging. Challenging as this might seem, it is actually quite easy to manage. It won’t be that hard to find enough fun projects to cater to all as long as you know your child’s interests.
Finding the right level of difficulty might be the initial challenge. If in doubt, always go for something less challenging, as the keyword should be fun. What you don’t want to do is discourage your child by making science too tricky. You can always tweak your efforts as you go along. Moreover, If a child is interested in a topic, he/she may be able to take part in activities meant for older children, while a child who does not show much interest in a particular topic might be better off being engaged at an easier level that is perhaps aimed at younger ages.
Reading science books is a great way to learn about different topics. There are a great many science books for children, which could help further boost your child’s interest in the subject. Read and discover together. Ask questions, come up with possible explanations, listen to each other’s version, and plan follow up activities. Include these books in your child’s reading collection, so they get to not just read fiction but also factual topics as well.
It always works better when your child has some say in the matter. Let your child help choose the project or activity. Discuss the options and have a few possibilities for the next project, from which your child can choose. When a child picks something they are interested in, they will enjoy it and learn a lot more from it.
As you can see, science can be fun as long as the emphasis is on the love of science and not on learning and perfecting every detail.
Try it and see for yourself how fun and easy it can be, to kickstart the interest of science in a child.
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