We are surrounded by the world that our Heavenly Father created for us. With the gift of man’s intelligence, we have learned to examine the smallest details of our universe. From subatomic particles to the mysteries of biology and chemistry, science is everywhere. Merriam-Webster defines science as “knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method.” How can parents help stimulate a child’s interest and make science fun when the definition is cold and clinical? Make it fun, messy, hands-on, and exciting! Here are some of our favorite ways to make science fun for children.
Keep in mind that age appropriateness is an important factor for any experiment you may choose to introduce to your child. The objective is for them to learn and have fun while doing so. Don’t select an experiment that you believe may be too detailed for them to follow, and of course, safety comes first.
Children of all ages love to play with water. Experiment with objects that sink and float! Ask your child for his observations and to make predictions about whether the next object will float or sink. Ask why.
Fill up 5 plastic cups with water and add different food colors to each one. Let them experiment by mixing colors. The experiments with water can become as sophisticated and simulate tidal pools, depending on the containers you use.
The properties of bubbles make for great fun and can be messy. Most children love playing with bubbles, and by introducing different wands to make different shapes and sizes, you demonstrate facts about surface tension, gravity, and chemistry.
Baking requires exact measurements and a perfect combination of ingredients to produce a delicious result. It’s a terrific learning opportunity. Kids as young as 3 can dump in cups of flour and sugar and even crack an egg. The recipes can increase in difficulty as your child grows. Introducing the chemical reactions that occur in the baking process is chemistry in its simplest form.
Take time out with the family, and visit your local science center for some great opportunities for hands-on exploration. Exhibits appeal to all ages and every aspect of science is there to study while having fun. If you’re looking for a more relaxing trip, take the kids to the beach and look for shells and other sea life along the shore. Have them separate the shells and then identify the type of sea creature that used it for a home. Not feeling like taking a day trip? Dig in your garden, and let your child investigate what soil is made of, icky bugs and all.
Children love to build things. From stacking pots and pans to building ramps with boxes and watching toys slide, children are drawn to seeing how tall, wide, and strong they can make their structures. Making a ramp is a great place to start. Your child can observe how to increase the speed downhill. Change the angles of the ramps, and have them make observations and predictions about how the movement will change. Build a birdhouse together, or go kite flying together. It’s a nice way to bond while fostering a love of science.
Science is more fun for kids when they aren’t asked to memorize formulas and facts. The more we allow them to explore and observe, the more they will appreciate how science impacts the beautiful world around them.
Our Orlando private school, located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, encourages parents to provide children with guidelines that help them succeed during the school year and beyond. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.