For our May open day we have focused on a theme that really grabs children attention and has endless learning opportunities; Science. If you are a parent of a preschool aged child or work in a preschool room you will know just how inquisitive and open young children’s minds are. These traits are perfect for budding young scientists. Through exciting experiments and new discoveries children can really learn so much and ask so many interesting questions that will really get their brains ticking over!
Why is Science important in early years?
This extract from Steve Spangler Science explains the importance of Science in early years education.
“For young learners, science is just an extension of their everyday world. We don’t have to teach young children how to wonder, discover, and explore through play because they do it naturally.
The myth is that we have to convince children that science is fun. Are you kidding? Science has always been fun for children… if it’s presented in the right way.
When people say they don’t like science, it’s most likely because of a bad experience they had as a child. It was the EXPERIENCE that shaped their negative opinion. That’s why it’s so important to focus on working with early childhood educators to learn how to create amazing experiences that encourage discovery through play, asking questions, exploration and using creativity to solve simple problems. It’s next to impossible to erase bad experiences. On the flip side, amazing experiences turn into unforgettable learning experiences that can inspire and motivate children to want to learn and explore more on their own.
When it comes to teaching science, early childhood educators have tremendous impact and influence on shaping the thoughts and opinions of children. Research shows that most children have formed an opinion (either positive or negative) about science by the time they reach the age of 7. That puts a tremendous about of responsibility on early childhood professionals. Teaching science is not an option for the early childhood educator… it’s a MUST! We as teachers have the opportunity to create amazing experiences that will have a lasting impact on our students throughout their entire school experience.”
Is Science in the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)?
Science doesn’t formally appear in the EYFS as an area of learning, however aspects of science are included in the area “Understanding The World”. It is this area of learning that allows nursery practitioners to introduce scientific activities and technology to the children’s learning and day to day activities. Activities such as using magnets, floating and sinking in water play or using torches or the sun to create shadows all promote science in early years education.
What Can I Do At Home?
Listed below are some of our favourite science activities that you can do at home.
Give these a try and then if you would like to do more head on over to Pinterest which has a massive variety of activity ideas to try out!
- Plastic Cup
- 3-4 Tbsp Bicarbonate Soda
- 1 Tsp Washing Up Liquid
- Food Colouring
- 1 Cup of Vinegar
- Find a spot in the garden or if you prefer to be indoors grab a large baking tray with a lip to catch the eruption. (Be aware that food colouring may stain surfaces)
- Fill the plastic cup about 2/3 full with the water.
- Add the bicarbonate soda, dish soap and food colouring and give it a good mix.
- Place the cup into position and then pour in the vinegar and watch the eruption happen!
Seed Jar Science
- 1 Large Glass Jar
- Kitchen Roll
- Seeds (Sunflower, Pea or Green Beans work best)
- Wet the paper towels and then push them down into the jar (not too compact) until it is about half full.
- Push the seeds down into the paper towels around the edges of the jar so you can see them as they begin to grow.
- Watch and Wait!!
- Keep the paper towels moist but don’t over water to keep them growing.
Colour Changing Cabbage
- 4 Jars or Small Cups
- 4 Different Colours of Food Colouring
- Cabbage Leaves (Also can be done with flowers such as white carnations)
- Pour water into the jars filling about 2/3 full.
- Mix the food colouring into the different jars (A different colour in each one).
- Sand the cabbage leaves in the water.
- Watch over the next day or two as the leaves begin to absorb the water and change colour.
All of the activities above have fantastic learning outcomes for children such as how water is absorbed, the life cycle of a plant and mixing materials. It is important to talk about these changes and explain what you are doing as you go along so that your child gets the full benefit and understanding of what is happening and why!
If you want to find out more on different science experiments that you can do at home then why not visit one of our wonderful nurseries on our Open Day on Saturday 12th May 2018. We will have a range of experiments, activities and our fantastic practitioners on hand to teach you and your little one all things scientific. Find out more by contacting us here.