How to Encourage a Child's Natural Curiosity Through Science

Young children are naturally curious and passionate about learning. They are investigators by nature who want to learn about everything they see around them. When you support your children's natural desire to explore the world in which they live, you are helping them develop a scientific mind.


Encouraging your children to be curious about the natural world around them, at an early age, might lead them to science-related hobbies and perhaps even jobs, as they grow up. Here are some fun ways to support your child's interest and foster educational discovery via the world of science.

Steps

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    Look for animal footprints and signs. Wherever you live there will be animals making their homes nearby or going for a walk. If you take a closer look at the ground, you might detect their footprints.
    • Take your child for an animal hunt. How many signs of animal life can he find? What kinds of animals are living near you? Can you hear animal sounds? Can you tell what animal the footprints or marks belongs to?
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    Build on their curiosity about animals. While visiting a zoo or a farm, notice special qualities animals have. Can you differentiate a rhinoceros from a hippopotamus? How does the giraffe use its very long neck and what does the elephant use his big trunk for? Seek the cooperation of a zoo keeper or a farmer for questions your children may have that you can’t answer.
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    Watch a plant grow. Children enjoy planting seeds and see them grow. It’s like magic for them. But it can be frustrating at times because you don't see anything right away.
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    Look beyond the surface with an underwater viewer. When you look into the water what you see is usually blurred off by light reflections. But there is a fascinating world down under waiting to be discovered. You can make a viewer to help you see through the underwater world. Follow these instructions on how to make a viewer: you need a small plastic bucket, a plastic wrap and an elastic band.
    1. Begin by cutting a big circle at the bottom of the bucket.
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    2. Cut a piece of plastic wrap large enough to cover the top of the bucket. Secure the plastic in place with the elastic band.
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    3. Submerge the top of the bucket (plastic-wrapped end) into the water. Look through the hole in the other end of the bucket to see what's happening under the water. The deeper you go the more view is magnified, but don't put the top of the viewer into water or it will be filled with water. The viewer works best in clear water.
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    Start a nature collection. Now, that you have your child marveling about the natural world, you can keep them interested with a nature collection.
    • Let your child decide what to collect.You could make a general collection of the natural objects you have found, such as shells, feathers, rocks, fossils or bones. Or you may have a themed collection, sea pods or shells, for instance. This is a great way to compare the different shapes, sizes, colors and other characteristics of natural objects.
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    • This can begin your child's capability to identify and classify species. Help your child learn about the world through observations, investigations and explorations. These science-related activities will help build foundations for your child's future scientific endeavors.
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    Seek information online. There are some excellent sites geared for young children, which deliver easy to learn and remember information about animals, the planets, plants and much more.

Sources & Citations

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Categories: Parent Educational Resources