As parents, we want the best for our kids. Part of that includes making sure they fulfil their potential in school and find a career that excites them. The early groundwork for a love of learning and critical-thinking first develops when children are very young and can help them find direction and make the most of their opportunities in the future. The trick is supporting their learning without making learning seem like a chore. Here are ways to help to provide inspiration and fun to the wee ones in your life.
There is something about dinosaurs that captures the imagination of children. Perhaps it’s because they are massive, a little mysterious, and more ferocious than the monsters under the bed. It could be because they are extinct and no longer able to scare us in person. Regardless of why, dinosaurs are a great way to start children on the path of learning and science. Dinosaur soft toys and children’s books featuring dinosaurs can be a good way to introduce kids to dinosaurs and, from there, other areas of science. Kids can go on to learn more about palaeontology, how scientists look for dinosaur bones, and the different geographic regions where dinosaur remains have been found. They might even fancy a trip to the museum!
Walks in the park can be a great way to get kids interested in nature. You can teach them about the different plants and animals you see along the way. Collecting leaves and pressing flowers can be a fun hobby for children that can lead to them learning more about these plants and nature in general. If you live near the ocean, a walk along the beach can be a chance to collect shells and talk about different types of sea life. Children can wonder at the waves and discover what causes them.
At home, children can start their own garden to learn about osmosis and the life cycle of plants while they have hands-on fun playing in the dirt. Even if you don’t have a yard, any open spot indoors with enough light can be a good place to start a herb garden. Then children can have the fun of eating what they grow, as well.
Chemistry kits can still be a fun way for children to experiment and develop science skills. In addition to understanding how the chemicals work together, kids learn how to follow directions and measure items accurately. This attention to detail can pay off elsewhere in school, while experimentation can help make learning more exciting than just reading from a book.
People don’t always realise it but baking is based on chemical reactions. Careful measuring and an understanding of how the components in the recipe work together are crucial for a developing baker. From learning about yeast to understanding how baking powder impacts the final product, there are many science lessons to be learned from baking. Learning how to bake also has the added benefit of giving children a chance to practise a skill that pays off in the form of delicious treats they can share with others (should you happen to have one of those generous types of child).
Zoos have come a long way. The small cages of the past have been replaced in modern zoos with more complex habitats and extensive information about the various species, their lifecycles and habits, and how they fit into the ecosystem. Kids can start out simply having fun watching the animals (ever meet a child that wasn’t fascinated by animals?) and then learn to observe the differences in behaviour and development. This can lead to an understanding of the environment and broader issues like climate change. Kids can also learn the joy related to caring for other creatures and finding out more about their behaviour. In addition, a day wandering around a zoo can be a good way to get kids away from the television and video games for a while and encourage them to be more active.
Helping to nurture the natural inquisitiveness that all children have really does make for a wonderful way to pass the time with your loved ones.
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