Science for Kids: A Great Exploration

Understanding Science

Adults who give the gift of science for kids can broaden a child's world, produce awe and wonder, and teach how to think logically and creatively.

science for kids

Many of us have a limited understanding of what science really is. We help kids with the occasional science projects, but what is science really? And how do we help kids get good at it?

Science is the study of the world around us, and how it all works. True science begins with what kids have already mastered: asking questions. Why is water blue in the lake but clear in the cup? Do plants breathe? Why do things fall down but not up?

Finding Answers

Kids are great questioners, but the real fun starts when we try to find the answers. Generally, this begins with, "Wow, I never thought of that!" Then we want to figure it out. We generally do this in one of two ways:

  1. We give it some thought, test out our ideas and hypotheses by experimenting, and come up with an answer that seems reasonable.
  2. We look on the internet.

Ok, it's true; our kids are growing up in a world where answers can be found with the click of a button. When we don't know the answers, we just go to people who do.

Is Science Still Relevant?

Well, let's see...

  • Are there diseases that still need a cure?
  • Do your kids know how to solve problems logically?
  • Who is developing the new high-tech devices that come out every year? And how much money are they making?
  • Do your kids know where their food comes from?
  • What kinds of energy will your kids use when coal and oil become scarce?
  • What do doctors need to know to make informed decisions about our health?
  • Is hands-on learning any different from being told "the facts"?

You get my drift. Science for kids is crucially important (and for adults as well). It teaches them to think, fires their curiosity, and gives them tools for figuring out their world.

Helping Kids with Science

How do you feel when a child asks you a question you don't know the answer to? Embarrassed? Dumb? Let's get something straight. Kids ask really good questions. And you are not supposed to know it all.

Here are some easy ways to encourage science for kids:

  1. Encourage all kinds of questions. Ask questions. Be curious together. Curiosity is the heartbeat of science.
  2. Curiosity is the heartbeat of science.

  3. Notice things that you normally take for granted. Hey, that can opener is really ingenious! And isn't it amazing how a fly can stick sideways to a wall?
  4. Let kids help you with cooking, gardening, fixing things, or taking care of pets. These are natural openings for scientific questions.
  5. When solving a problem, talk through the steps for your kids. As you figure out what is wrong by process of elimination, you are modeling the scientific method for kids.
  6. Raise interesting critters and watch their life cycle. Kids love watching a caterpillar turn into butterfly, seeing a tadpole turn into a frog, or watching the antics in an ant farm. (You can even buy your pet bugs online at Insect Lore.)
  7. Encourage kids to find patterns and similarities in the things around you. How is the life of a tadpole like the life of a caterpillar? How are scissors like pliers?
  8. Science is full of change. When watching something change or develop, keep track of changes by drawing, measuring, writing things down, and so on.
  9. Find science experiments and activities that are easy enough for your child do on his own.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Scientific Method for Kids

Science Experiments for Kids


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“Education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself. ”
~John Dewey