In celebration of our Learning Through Play philosophy, Tree Frog Daycare is pleased to share with you an opportunity to have a childcare experience at home. As adults we often forget how much learning happens through play. Children learn by exploring their world and organizing the information they gather in a meaningful way for themselves. To us this looks like play- to them it much more.
The curiosity and desire to learn that comes with early childhood makes it an ideal time to foster their interests and build on their emerging skills. Science exploration comes very naturally to young children and is an easy interest to encourage. On Salt Spring the most obvious area of focus is nature, with the wealth of opportunities to explore as a routine part of life. Other science topics to consider exploring in everyday observation and conversation are: matter and energy (gravity, magnetism, sound,) the universe (stars, space, moon phases) and living things (human body, life cycles, seasons.)
Science discovery can be reinforced by discussing these topics, reading books or trying out basic experiments like the one we have included for you to try at home. Science exploration helps to build on a child's developing skills such as problem solving, cause & effect thinking, predicting, observing and comparing. It also allows children to discover how things work and strengthens their understanding of the world around them. Early learning through science can not only satisfy a great many questions a child has about the world, but is also a lot of fun. There's a great deal of enjoyment in watching a child discover how and why things work the way they do.
Try out simple ideas like “sink and float” in the bath, or adding dye to the water with white flowers. For bigger excitement try this:
Surround an empty baby food jar with playdough formed to look like a mountain. Put a drop of red food coloring and a tablespoon of baking soda in the jar. Add vinegar to make it erupt.
Previously published in the Gulf Islands Driftwood, May 2008