August 16, 2009

what science looks like at our house

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Some day-to-day events …

cooking together (you can see my posts about breadmaking or ice-cream in a bag), but there is also baking and everyday cooking

taking a bath with bubbles, containers for pouring and a water wheel

gardening (with dad or grandma) – potting, watering, mulching, raking and more

taking a walk or a drive and pointing out interesting things that we see

collecting and examining seeds

looking for birds and frogs

blowing bubbles

playing with a spinning top

building with blocks or our tool set

mixing together watercolour paints to see what colour is made

and some ways that I help my son follow up his interests, (lately that is in earth science – rocks, volcanoes and dinosaurs)

reading books on rocks, volcanoes and dinosaurs

making a bicarb soda and vinegar volcano

watching volcanoes erupting on YouTube

collecting, sorting and identifying rocks

What sort of scientific skills are developing here?

  • observing and describing
  • collecting information
  • learning scientific terminology
  • sorting and classifying
  • questioning, and imagining solutions

This is not rigorous scientific proof, but these activities are the first foundation of scientific knowledge and without the young child’s curiosity and questioning no-one would ever become a scientist.

What do I do if I don’t know the answers to my son’s questions?

With his help, I find out. We might be able to find out be observing more closely, conducting a simple experiment or by researching the information. What is important to me is that my son knows how to learn what he wants to know.

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