Science For Kids: Making Science Fun for Children
From gravity to medicine, science has led to the discovery of – well, everything! OK, maybe not everything, but a whole lot more than we give it credit for. Science is based on curiosity; when children want to learn more about the world around them, it’s science that often holds the clues they need for a better understanding. Which is why the importance of teaching science in early childhood is paramount.
Children are naturally curious, so it’s a great idea to get them interested in science at an early age. This will have long-term benefits for young Messy fans as well as the wider world. And it also helps them acquire a wide range of useful skills that prepare them successfully for their future learning and eventual transition into adulthood. A 2012 study, focusing on the development of evidence evaluation, experimentation, and hypothesis generation in young children, found evidence supporting such positive outcomes.
Why Does Science Matter?
Whether it’s the food we eat or the ways we get around, science is everywhere, influencing all aspects of our lives. Helping your child learn science gives them the ability to communicate, remain organised and focused, and even lets them form their own opinions based on observation; they hone analytic, problem-solving and fine motor skills in the process too.
Because children are primed for learning, what they pick up while they’re young can impact their interests later in life; in fact, students begin to develop a passion for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) very early on. Actively cultivating knowledge in these subject areas provides the greatest opportunity for a well-rounded education.
What Can Parents Do to Help?
Why is the sky blue? How do seeds grow? What makes sound and music? Where do mountains come from? Young children ask hundreds of questions like these. Answering them, we use science to both enlighten and delight. All parents should do their utmost to ensure their child is prepared for a world vastly different from the one in which they grew up; young Messy fans will need science to cope with their rapidly changing environment. But even though parents may be eager to teach their children science-related topics, many admit that they lack the tools and confidence to do so.
Science doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be cool and fun and exciting, with the right know-how. The importance of learning through play cannot be overstated, and encouraging your child to think of science in a creative, practical way is certainly a good place to start. Whether going into the garden to observe a colony of ants or watching a storm roll in through the kitchen window, everyday scenarios are learning opportunities parents can take advantage of when it comes to jazzing up science for children.
More Tips to Help Children Learn Science
Explore, explore, explore! Encouraging your child to question their surroundings, and having a conversation afterwards, will instil the habit of critical thinking. If there’s something you’re unsure of, research and learn the answer together. You don’t need to memorise facts or force yourself to try and store all the information in your head; in fact, as a parent, it’s beneficial when you ask questions and model curiosity as well.
Remember, science is cumulative
Cumulative means that young children build their knowledge on what they already know. This means that you should start celebrating science in your home as early as possible! Try discussing science-based topics daily, whether that means heading out for a special family stargazing night or baking a cake together. There are so many everyday opportunities that allow you to talk about science with young Messy fans in a fun but meaningful way.
Take into account your child’s individual personality, interests, and social habits. As such, you’ll have more chance of coming up with ideas for engaging activities that make them feel excited yet comfortable. And keep in mind what your child wants to do, as this will heighten their ability to learn!
Invest in some equipment
If your child is interested in learning more about a specific area, it would be good to look for some (inexpensive) tools that let them investigate further! Games are also a great way for young children to learn things, while at the same time enhancing their motor and problem-solving skills. Be sure to think outside the box when it comes to helping your child learn science, as what works for someone else may not work for them. The reasons for teaching science to young children are manifold. It helps them not just in inspiring a sense of wonder and imagination for learning but also with their overall development!
Give the gift of an interest in all things scientific and help nurture that passion in young learners with OKIDO science magazine for kids.
OKIDO Science Workshops have been developed in collaboration with the British Science Association. Explore the free Steam Education resources here.