When it comes to introducing the basics of science, it is never too early to start your child off on a lifetime of learning. Science skills for preschoolers are simply new ways to have fun and explore the world around them, something that comes naturally to children of all ages. Let’s jump right in and take a look at seven fun ways to introduce science to toddlers and preschoolers.
Seven Ways to Introduce Science Skills for Preschoolers
Will it Float or Sink? – Teaching the concept of floating and sinking offers lots of opportunities for splashing and having fun in the water. You can do this activity in a basin of water, in a paddling pool, or even in the bath. All you need are some simple things you will find around the home; try to find a good selection of items that will float and things that will sink. Ask the child to guess if the object will float or sink and then drop it into the water. As the game progresses, they will become better at guessing whether something will float or sink, without the need to explain any of the science behind it!
Weather Chart – Keeping a simple weather chart is a great way to teach your child about meteorology and to introduce important observational science skills for preschoolers. One of the simplest ways for you to do this is to get your toddler to paint pictures to represent different types of weather; a sun for sunny days, a rainy cloud for rainy days, etc. Each day, when you go out for a walk or look out through the window, let the child choose the corresponding picture and stick it up on the wall or the refrigerator door. This activity can be extended by making a rain gauge out of a plastic bottle or other container and checking just how much rain falls on those rainy days
Planting Seeds – Growing seeds is a great way to learn about the natural world. Learning science skills for preschoolers should be fun and educational, and this idea will delight young children. Using an empty eggshell, let children carefully draw a face on the outside, and then place some cotton wool inside. Dampen this with some water and sprinkle some edible cress seeds on top. Within days, the seeds will germinate, and because they are not covered with soil, children can see how the seeds change, and tiny shoots begin to emerge. As the cress grows, it looks like hair growing on the head the child has drawn. The cress can even be cut and eaten when your toddler wants to give their egg-head a haircut. During this activity, talk about what plants need to survive, and point out different types of plants you come across when outdoors.
Shadow Puppets – Teaching science skills for preschoolers doesn’t have to be complicated, even when you are dealing with complex topics such as the light. Let’s face it; shadow puppets are fun for everyone, adults included! You can make simple shadow puppets with your hands using a lamp or torch. However, a great extension of this idea is to cut out shapes to hold up in front of the light. This can really help to reinforce the idea that the shape of the shadow matches the shape of the object blocking the light. It might feel like you are just having fun making patterns on the walls and ceilings, but you are actually igniting curiosity in the young mind of your preschooler.
Musical Bottles – For a science experiment with a musical twist, fill a row of glasses, jars, or bottles with different amounts of water and let your young children use a spoon or pencil to tap them to make a range of different sounds. When they have played for a while, show them that taking out some water changes the sound. This fun activity develops both their sense of hearing, their musicality, and their interest in the science behind why different bottles make different sounds. This gives us an excellent opportunity to talk about our senses; how we use our ears to hear, see with our eyes, feel with our skin, and smell through our noses.
Making Bubbles – What child doesn’t love blowing bubbles? This simple, low-cost activity has been entertaining children for generations, but it can also provide a fun introduction to scientific concepts. Try making a giant bubble wand using sticks and a loop of string and dipping it into a large bowl of bubble mixture. Experiment with different ways of forming the bubbles; running along to catch air in the bubble wand or holding it in front of a fan. To make lots of foamy bubbles, place a sock over a plastic bottle with the end cut off. Dip the taut sock into the bubble mixture and then blow through the neck of the bottle to create lots of tiny bubbles. Talk to the child about how the holes in the sock are small and so create little bubbles, whereas the string bubble wand makes giant bubbles.
Nature Walk – One of the best and easiest ways to encourage a love of learning and science is to give your child a love of nature. There are many different ways that you can do a nature walk. You can create a scavenger hunt by drawing pictures of things your child has to spot or collect (for example, a flower, a pebble, a seashell, etc.) or by choosing a color for the day and finding all the natural things of that color. Finding connections between different things is a really important scientific skill; comparing and contrasting different natural objects and materials is a foundation of scientific observation skills.
Whatever way you decide to introduce scientific ideas to your young child, science skills for toddlers are more than educational. They are a chance to share learning experiences together so that your child associates learning new things with fun, rewarding, and bonding experiences. This will set them up with a positive attitude towards learning. You can read the review on the study: Learning Through Play.