Helping children engage in the world of science can be daunting. Many parents feel they dont know enough about science to help their children at all. Those who do know the world of science may be confused about how to help young children learn about complex concepts. A common question from adults is, How can I explain such a hard concept in a simple enough way for my child to understand?

" />
A E T N Logo
Support The Programs You Love DONATE NOW

Exploring Science with Kids

  • Posted by
  • on

Helping children engage in the world of science can be daunting. Many parents feel they dont know enough about science to help their children at all. Those who do know the world of science may be confused about how to help young children learn about complex concepts. A common question from adults is, How can I explain such a hard concept in a simple enough way for my child to understand?

" target="_blank" title="Pin it">

Helping children engage in the world of science can be daunting. Many parents feel they dont know enough about science to help their children at all. Those who do know the world of science may be confused about how to help young children learn about complex concepts. A common question from adults is, How can I explain such a hard concept in a simple enough way for my child to understand?

:http://www.aetn.org/educators/blog/exploring_science_with_kids" target="_blank" title="Email">

Science with Kids

Helping children engage in the world of science can be daunting. Many parents feel they don’t know enough about science to help their children at all. Those who do know the world of science may be confused about how to help young children learn about complex concepts. A common question from adults is, “How can I explain such a hard concept in a simple enough way for my child to understand?”

    

Explanations Do Not Always Help

Explanations, even simple ones, do not always help children (or adults, for that matter!) understand complex ideas. So what’s a parent to do? The simple answer is to worry less about explaining to your child, and spend more time modeling the fun of science: going on walks, mixing things, testing to see what will happen, observing carefully and wondering along with your child.

   

Science Is About Trying to Make Sense of the World

Science is not simply about knowing information—it is equally a way of trying to make sense of the world. Scientists must ask questions, design investigations, try to make sense of the information they have gathered during the investigations, and communicate and defend their thinking to others. They don’t always find the answers to their questions, and they don’t always agree.

   

Help Children Think Like Scientists

It is much more important for parents to help children develop the skills they need to think like scientists than to help them understand complex scientific concepts. Even the youngest children are quite capable of beginning to build these skills.

   

A Few Pointers

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you enjoy science alongside your child:

  • You don’t need to have answers for all of your child’s questions! Encourage your child to develop his own science thinking skills.
  •  
  • Listen carefully to your child. Engage her in conversation about what she thinks, and encourage her to explain why she thinks as she does by asking questions such as, “Why do you think the snail is eating that leaf?”
  •  
  • Don’t immediately correct your child. If your child says something scientifically incorrect, help her discover for herself what is correct rather than correcting her. For example, if she says “heavy things sink, you can ask her, “Which heavy things have you seen sink?” Or, “I wonder if we can find something heavy that can float?”
  •  
  • Model curiosity. Wonder aloud: “I wonder what will happen to this pudding mix when we put the water in?”
  •  
  • Children develop at different rates. Keep this in mind as you do science activities with your child, including those in this section. The activities suggested for various ages are intended to be followed generally, not strictly. Children develop at different rates, so not all will fit neatly into a specific age category.

Building Language at Different Stages of Development

Many of the activities for Infants and Toddlers will principally involve building language. As you describe and name interesting phenomena, your child will be exposed to a rich variety of new words. Your Preschooler/Kindergartner usually is developmentally capable to physically engage with things on his own, and has gained some facility with language to begin to describe and discuss his experiences. The First Grader/Reader-Writer is better able to record her experiences and make some predictions based on her extra years of experience. This is your chance to help your child explore the world of science by engaging in some exciting and fun investigations together!

This article is from the "Exploring Science with Kids" section of the PBS Parents website.

AETN ENGAGE BLOG

“Agri Arkansas” - June 2016
This month, join us to take a look at the Natural State’s global reach. What are the products that Arkansas farmers sell around the world, and how are we expected to fare in a declining export market? We’ll also have an update on a farm-to-fuel initiative in DeWitt and make a visit to the Olde Crow General Store at the junction of Highways 9 and 5 in the latest “Agri Arkansas” on Sunday, June 26, at 1 p.m.

CONTINUE READING

“A Deeper Look: The Poverty Divide in Arkansas” airs June 27
Arkansas is currently ranked fourth in the nation with most people in poverty: one of every five people lives below the poverty line. How does this affect our state and what resources are available to help anyone who is struggling? Find out as we further the conversation about poverty and opportunity in “A Deeper Look: The Poverty Divide in Arkansas” Monday, June 27, at 9 p.m.

CONTINUE READING

Turn Up the Heat With Sunday Night Drama
The weather isn’t the only thing heating up this summer! From “Vicious” and “Endeavour” to “Dancing on the Edge” and “The Tunnel,” get ready for new seasons, new series, a special series finale and more! Masterpiece PBS is ready for summer — with plenty of romance, mystery and even murder — and June is just the beginning.

CONTINUE READING

Win an “I Can Readathon!” Event Kit - Facebook Contest
Travel to new places, different times and even new worlds this summer by reading together! You can help the kids in your life fight the summer slump and win a Harper Collins “I Can Read” event kit by entering our I Can Readathon! Facebook Contest June 13-30. Learn how you can enter and host a summer reading party for 20!

CONTINUE READING

PBS KIDS ScratchJr Pine Bluff - Coding for Tomorrow
Through a grant from PBS and the Verizon Foundation, AETN Early Childhood Education has been proud to partner with Pine Bluff School District elementary schools to hold the PBS KIDS ScratchJr Camp. This camp, which directly addresses the Arkansas Department of Education’s goals to integrate computing concepts into the classroom, is revolutionary because it supports critical thought processing with computational thinking and problem solving. Learn five ways that Pine Bluff is laying the groundwork for students to achieve basic computer coding after the jump!

CONTINUE READING
MORE POSTS ]