Incorporating scientific concepts and nature into play is an art form our teachers are very skilled in. These experiences set up the foundation for learning more complex concepts as our children get older, those “coat hooks” we’ve written about in past blogs. Science, discovery, and exploration are fun at Kids’ Co-op.
What do children learn in a play-based science activity? Through exploring plants, animals, and other hands-on science-related experiences, children learn:
- new vocabulary.
- concepts of texture, color, weight, size, and characteristic.
- to group objects into categories.
- to observe likeness and differences.
- to appreciate nature.
From the website for Peep and the Big Wide World here are some very useful tips on interacting with your preschooler about science and nature concepts.
Four Great Tips!
- When you give your kids the opportunity to explore, wonder and ask questions, they will pick up information, expand their experiences, and draw new conclusions.
- Don’t try to give explanations or teach facts, concepts and vocabulary. Although discussions are great and incredibly valuable, parents should follow the kids’ lead. Let them stay absorbed in the play if they are not ready to talk about what they are doing.
- Keep your own mind open to new ideas especially when things don’t turn out the way you expect them to. Explore and learn with your kids rather than teach them.
- A huge part of science is awe, wonder and delight in the natural world, and an appreciation of the beauty, order, and complexity of all its forms (be these snakes, rocks, insects, water or whatever). If this is what you give your kids through participating in these activities, you will have done more than enough.
Here are some ways our children explore scientific concepts through play:
To learn more about incorporating science into your everyday lives through play and discovery check out: