The science center is a world of wonder and discovery. It is in this center that children learn about the world around them in a concrete way. Being able to experience things in a hands on way is key for children’s learning. In the science center, there are many materials available for a variety of learning activities. Above is a great example of connecting books with a hands on material, such as these insects.
Even our young friends enjoy real nature items! Here is an example of how we are able to allow our toddlers to experience nature items in a safe way. Great conversations and questions are a result of these types of materials. Many of these items are things children only see as drawing or photos in books. In the science center they are able to explore their world in a fun and safe way.
Children learn to care and respect living things. All classrooms have both classroom pets and plants to care for. Pets range from hedgehogs, crabs, and fish. Teachers show the children what the pets need to live and be healthy. Children are able to learn to respect the animals needs as well as how to treat them kindly.
Our plants vary from indoor spider plants, aloe vera and succulents to outdoor gardens that grow zucchini, peppers and other foods we can enjoy. Children are able to watch, measure and enjoy these plants through hands on care.
Math is a big part of our science activities. Balances, measure tapes, rulers and materials to sort and pattern help children build math skills. Teachers build on these skills by asking questions and guiding children through activities, such as sorting animals by where they live (forest, ocean, farm, jungle).
At home you can continue this science activities! Add a small plant for your child to take care of. Go outside and observe the animals you see in your yard. Count and write down how many birds, squirrel, etc and compare them. Talk about which animal you saw more of.
What are ways you encourage science and math learning at home?