Engage Children with Science
Science is an integral part of life and it’s extremely important to engage children in particular with science through everyday activities. Rather than visiting a zoo or museum, which may not always be possible, they can be exposed to the uses of science in our daily life. From building with blocks, star gazing to cooking, everything has a scientific aspect involved with it. Science in everyday life activities doesn’t necessarily need complicated equipment or experiments. More often than not, the simplest of activities stay with children the most. They can be engaged in science-based activities around the house or neighbourhood as science is present anywhere you look.
Count Objects Using Electricity
Children begin to comprehend the importance of electricity when they begin to notice how much a part of their lives it is. They can count all the items using electricity in the room and older children can also talk about Franklin’s discovery of electricity.
Play a Sport to Understand Motion and Physics
Not only do they get exercise by playing a sport, they get mental exercise by understanding the basics of motion and physics, like when they throw a ball. You can also talk with children about the different groups of muscles that are used while playing.
Parts of the Body.
Children can be taught the correct names of body parts which will eventually teach them about physiology and human anatomy. Instead of simply saying ‘arm,’ children will be able to correctly differentiate between the humerus, ulna and radius. During outdoor games, they can learn about how their muscles help them to run or throw a ball and how their nervous system works while doing their homework.
Dabble in Cooking
Most children enjoy cooking but few realise that it involves a scientific process. Measuring ingredients, following specific steps in a sequence and chemical reactions are all a part of cooking. As they cook an egg, they learn how cooking changes the form and textures of food and how foods taste differently as they change their state. Younger children can be involved in making simple recipes while older children can experiment with their own recipes with supervision.
Talk About the Digestive System
After children have eaten their food, you can talk about how our bodies get nutrients by breaking down food. Like cooking, food digestion also involves chemical reactions and begins with saliva in the mouth breaking down our food so that it can be absorbed by the body. Hydrochloric acid which is present in the stomach breaks it down further. You can lead the conversation into discussing how our bodies need a balanced diet and how it’s important to eat food containing carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins.
Observe Designs of Buildings and Houses
Drive around your neighbourhood or city so that children can observe different forms of architecture. You can explain to them why coastal homes need to take erosion and waves into account and skyscrapers need to be stronger to withstand strong winds. Older children can learn how maths and science play a vital role in designing buildings. Legos and other building blocks can be used to design their own buildings. It’s a simple and engaging way to learn about engineering. Children learn what is required for a structure to remain stable and how different angles can be used during construction. Younger children can build basic structures while older children can try to replicate buildings. It not only teaches them about everyday science, it also allows them to develop their fine motor skills and mathematical skills.
Plant a Garden
Planting a garden gives children firsthand experience of the different processes involved in biological processes. Children learn about photosynthesis, weather patterns and weather forecasting. Children learn to study the weather and can judge if their plants need watering or not and how the heat or cold could affect their plants.
A nature walk allows children to observe different types of plants, trees, insects and animals specific to their area and they can also visit other areas and compare the flora and fauna.
Study Medicines They Take
Whenever your child needs to visit a doctor to take medicine, spend some time talking about the reasons behind it. A fracture can spark a discussion on X-rays and why a cast is used to help bones heal. During vaccination time, talk about how the smallpox vaccination was created and how vaccinations help. Sometimes, it may generate an interest in a child to join the medical profession one day.
Children constantly wash their hands and don’t realise that soap is a product of chemical reactions. Soap is made by combining fat, an alkali and water which results in the saponification process. Not only do children learn about chemical processes, it also gives scope to talk about germs and bacteria.
Following the weather
Children can be asked to track weather patterns in their area and follow any global weather patterns that happen. They can learn how weather events influence one another and how weather travels while also learning a bit about geography. You can start a monthly calendar with them where they record the daily temperature and weather and any trends they might notice. They can also choose another location and compare the weather patterns of both places.
Children can be involved in activities where they learn about the planets, the stars and the moon. They can also learn about lunar phases and star constellations and as they grow older they learn about space exploration — its history and future. Children can observe celestial objects with their naked eye or a telescope for a better look..
Read Books on Science
Encourage your child to read books on scientific topics. Depending on your child’s interests you can give them books on how aeroplanes fly, why it rains, books on different animals and different kinds of forests.
Every aspect of your child’s educational development is built on some facet of science. The best way for children to learn about science is to include science in everyday life activities. Once they realise how often science is used in their daily lives, it will foster an interest in science and instil a lifelong love for science. They will develop an appreciation of the role science plays in the world around us. Do visit the EuroKids website for more information on the uses of science in our daily life.