“What happens to bones when they break?”
“Is there a man in space right now?”
“But Mum, what is grabity?” (gravity)
“How can planes fly?”
“Why does the heart pump blood all around our body?”
My 4.5 year old, like all children, is so full of wonder and questions.
Sometimes I ask him what he thinks, other times I ask where he thinks we could find the answer and we look. Other times questions spark a big discussion and more questions.
When kids are allowed the freedom to live and learn, they are natural scientists. From day dot, their minds are wired to search and question. Children spend much of their time exploring, tinkering, experimenting, prodding, making a mess, making mistakes, and repeat. That is, they practice capital S Science.
The simplest way to get started with helping your child explore their learning and making meaningful expressions of their learning is, in my opinion, with science.
When it comes to learning, science comes very naturally in this family. I think that by it’s very nature, it is something that can so easily be viewed away from a two dimensional piece of paper (in contrast to say History or Mathematics – which can too, of course, but is less translatable). You don’t have to look hard to find opportunities to explore science. Simply by being in the world, we are surrounded by examples of science. Each little experience, every idea, every question, is helping the child to understand and build their internal model of the world around them.
But so many elements of science ARE abstract. So having ways to explore those abstract ideas and make learning visible is so important.
Learning about the Earths layers (right: source)
So what do we do? We give them opportunities to discover and absorb the natural world. We explore hands on science together and discuss what it means to experiment. I help them classify the world around them and let them express that learning how they see fit.
All your child needs to facilitate the expression of learning is access to resources (magnifying glass, documentaries, microscope, camera, binoculars, books, figures), open-ended materials (Spielgaben, loose parts, recycled materials, creative materials), time and freedom.
We should not force children to memorise knowledge but let them construct their own knowledge through discovery and creativity.
Without coercion, I see Cameron showing me his learning through so many avenues. From imaginative role play to model making, drawing to small world play, and through his follow up questions. I see the gears turning in his mind and watch his comprehension unfold slowly and naturally.
Cam uses Spielgaben daily. I shared some of his recent science based explorations with Spielgaben in this post.
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To take advantage of this discount, simply send an email to [email protected] mentioning Racheous – Lovable Learning and Spielgaben will reply with a discount coupon.