Your toddler or teen may or might not grow up to be a scientist. Even so, developing scientific thinking skills at a young age will help them with early learning, later in school, and eventually in whatever profession they choose! You can help your child think like a scientist in super simple, everyday ways.
When you’re taking a walk around the neighborhood or looking at the sky, ask questions and make observations about what you’re seeing and encourage your kids to do the same. Not only is there science all around us to learn from, it’s super interesting! Watching changing leaves, cloud formations and constellations are all fascinating ways to show kids that science is fun.
Explore how things work
Flashlight not working? Take it apart and try to fix it rather than just tossing it out. Even if you’re unsuccessful, kids will enjoy seeing the inner workings of household items, and they’ll get the message that it’s worth a try! Examine items with a magnifying glass or microscope to get up close and see small details. Look up diagrams or videos online that show how things work. (Of course, parental pre-screening of online videos is always suggested.)
There are scientific relationships all around us. Just talking about them with your children will develop their ability to think about cause and effect and how things relate. There are lots of simple concepts that you can observe and then take a step further to discuss, in whatever level of detail fits your child’s age:
Science is everywhere you look, and opportunities for scientific thinking are plentiful. Encouraging your kids to think in this way doesn’t require any preparation or planning, it can easily become a natural, beneficial part of the conversation in your home.