Science for Young Children

One thing I like to do with kids is to take things that are in their environment and that they are very familiar with and have them look at it with fresh eyes. One of the most interesting things to do with a young child is to have them watch a drip….just to see how water comes out of the tap and see how the drop gets longer and longer until it falls off. You can ask them questions like "what shape is the drop as it falls?"

Kids like bubbles, so blow bubbles and ask questions about the bubbles. Do they see colors in the bubbles? If you look very carefully at a bubble, you will see that right before it bursts that there are black specks in it. Most people don't see those things, but if you know what to look for, you can tell when the bubble is going to break because you see those black specks come into existence.

It's a great idea to train kids at a young age to really be observant, which will come in handy in all kinds of ways later in life. I've written a book called "I Face the Wind" and the idea that something invisible can push you is very interesting to a small child. So I would say to them, if you can't see it, how do you know that it's there? You have to see the wind by what it does to other things so it's an indirect form of measurement. If you give children a question about how many different ways can you know the wind is blowing, it sets off their imagination and they'll spend a half hour just looking outside.

You can catch air in a plastic shopping bag and have them twirl with it and hold it and they can close it and see that it will expand and float. They get so excited when they see this happening.