“Science” takes many forms in the world around us, so at home we need to explore all sort of different things.
Some ideas to develop your child’s understanding of science at home –
- What do we use water for at home? Allow the children to do a “treasure hunt” to find different sources / uses of water at home. Provide opportunities for them to help you with water around the home e.g. cooking, cleaning.
- Where does water come from? Explore the environment and experience the weather. When given the opportunity to experience different weather outside – enjoy the sunshine, run through the rain, splash in muddy puddles. This can be extended by talking about the weather and the seasons throughout the year.
- Why does water change? Explore the properties of water through every day objects. Watch for steam rising from the kettle as you make a cup of tea. Enjoy an ice lolly and notice how it starts to drip and melt.
- Looking after our pets. Now that time is in abundance, it is a great opportunity to give the children more responsibility at home – feeding, washing, caring for pets we have.
- Looking after wild life. Begin in your own garden and go on a mini beast hunt. You could also look online for inspiration for bug hotels, bee boxes, bird houses, hedgehog hibernation pods, frog ponds etc. most of which can be created using items around the home.
- Looking after wildlife – further afield. Once out and about, talk about the wildlife all around, whether in the countryside, on a forest walk or down at rock pools at the beach. Explain to the children why it is important to take care of the environment, reducing litter and waste, so these animals have a happy home.
- Looking at life cycles. There are many examples of lifecycles available online for children to look at and talk about. Some people may also be lucky enough to have caterpillars or frogspawn in their garden.
People who help us
** First establish with the children how we must look after ourselves and our bodies. Set “house rules” for healthy eating and exercise habits for life. Set out “travel rules” for when your family are out and about; include sun safety, road safety and stranger danger.
- Doctors and nurses – Encourage the children to talk about themselves and their body parts, naming them and saying what they can do. This sets up the discussion about what we do when our bodies are unwell or not working properly. Engaging in role-play, listen to stories, rhymes and songs, talk with a friend or a relative about the job they do.
- Farmers – Using their senses children should explore foliage, fruit and vegetables for themselves.If possible plant some food to grow in your garden showing them, on a much smaller scale, the things a farmer would need to do to look after his crops. Investigate the plants at different stages of growth.
- Food prep e.g butchers, bakers, fishmongers, chef – Encourage children to become involved in food prep at home; manipulating malleable materials such as dough, becoming aware of how materials behave when heated e.g. pasta and observing what happens when colours are mixed e.g. making soups or sauces.
- Refuse collectors – Create interest using photographs, or videos available only, and make a point of watching during your weekly collection. Use magnets and magnifying glasses to investigate the different items that are destined for your red bin.
- Construction workers – Creating models of roads, bridges, buildings etc. Assemble, rearrange and build with a variety of sizes and shapes of blocks and other materials. Talk about why some models work and others don’t. Experiment the task of putting things together in a variety of ways, for example making models with natural and man-made materials, sticking, cutting, folding and, on occasion, taking things apart.