If you look at the world around you, you will see that science is literally everywhere. Through exploring, questioning and wondering, kids learn and satisfy their natural curiosity, which is why kids ask so many questions! When a baby gets his first glimpse at the bright world, his senses are stimulated by the environment around him. Through touch, sight, taste, smell and sound, he is discovering how the world works.
Through play, we can look a little deeper at the science-filled world. By showing the playful side of physics or the cool part of chemistry, you are letting your child know just how exciting science can be and how exhilarating it is to learn outside the classroom.
From the small bugs in the ground to the big sun in the sky, take your child on a day of science adventure with these toys and play ideas:
Explain to kids how body temperature works: When temperatures are on the rise, kids are most likely to feel alert and awake; when they’re falling, they might feel drowsy. Invest in an outdoor weather thermometer for kids to check or keep up with the weather on the local news, radio station, app or website. Will this be a day dominated by outdoor play? Or will this be a day to stay inside?
Rain, rain, go away
On rainy days, turn the kitchen into a science lab–following recipes, measuring and tasting ingredients is like doing experiments. Kidstir cooking kits provide a participatory way for kids to engage with food, understand the basics of nutrition and build a positive relationship to the kitchen.
Summer and fall are best when the sun shines, so take advantage of it by exploring the city on the CTA. The trains are handicap accessible, but some stations are not. Visit transitchicago.com/accessibility together to plan your day. Trains are a major form of transportation and can teach kids about kinetic energy.
Have fun by cooling off with a water table! Water exploration with the Weplay Sand& Water Table can provide sensory stimulation along with science simulation like a sink or float activity.
Little Kids Inc. Fubbles Bubble Glitter Bug or ALEX Toys Bubbalooka can teach kids how wind works as they blow bubbles outside and watch where they fly.
Collect outdoor specimens like blades of grass and leaves and view them through a magnifying glass or check out other tools in the Educational Insights GeoSafari line to explore nature. Have kids sketch and draw their observations.
Don’t forget, science is all about asking questions, so as your kids are calming down for bedtime, make sure to ask them about what they’ve learned. Not only is this a great way to hear more about what they enjoyed, but answering these questions also reinforces the lessons learned while boosting memory and recall, language, imagination and relationships.