Especially for Parents: Time to Investigate

When children are interested or intrigued by an object or an idea, they need to dig deep and explore.
– Judith Pack, Early Childhood Education Consultant

One of the most important characteristics we can foster in our children is that of curiosity. We have written before that children are naturally inclined to have inquisitive minds-it is how they begin to understand the world around them.

Following a child’s lead and asking open-ended questions are two ways to foster a child’s sense of curiosity. These interactions flow out of our conversations in a natural way, but we can also create opportunities for discovery through planned activities, such as science experiments. The field of science provides a method of investigation, hypothesis and trial and error that can spark (sometimes endless!) curiosity.

For those of us who are not particularly science-minded, there are many resources on the web that provide simple and fun ideas for science experiments with children. We’ve listed a few here and on this month’s blog. If you have ideas that you’ve tried in your family, we would love for you to share them in the Comments section of the blog!

Human Sundial Shadow Experiment
In this experiment, children record the size of their shadows throughout the day using sidewalk chalk. Through observations and questions, children can learn about the rotation of the earth and how time relates to the position of the earth relative to the sun. Get all the details on this activity here.

Filtering Water Experiment
Children filter dirty water through coffee filters, paper towels, colanders, etc. to see what gets left behind. Children compare and contrast the effectiveness of different filters and learn about liquids and solids. For more details, click here.

Balloon Rocket Experiment
Using string and balloons, children create a zipline from which they launch their balloon rockets. Children can learn about force, friction, angles, speed and more! For info on setting up your balloon rocket, click here.

Have fun with your investigations!



Angie Williams