Parents are fortunate to know that science is a natural part of young children’s development. Your toddler is constantly engaging in experiments. Dropping objects, rolling a ball and taking a bath are just a few of the many ways they explore and learn about the world. Even if your child has been away from science for some time, you can still help them to make new discoveries. These are just a few ways that you can support your child as a scientist.
Your child can lead
Find out what your child is interested in naturally. They will attempt to solve the problem on their own. For example, they might try different ways to fit a piece of puzzle. Allow them to solve the problem on their own, but always be there to help them if they are stuck. It is crucial to help if they are unable to solve the problem.
It’s time to talk it out
Talk with your child about what happens when they play and experiment. You could, for example, use bath time to see which objects sink and float. Ask your child questions to help them understand the world better. “Why did that toy stay on top of the water while the other fell down?”
There’s so much outdoors to see! Talk to your child about the animals and weather, and discuss what plants you find. Talk about your experiences by gently touching leaves and rocks. Ask your child why leaves and flowers are different. Talk about the weather outside with your child.
Give your child different objects, such as shells, rocks, leaves, or soft fabrics. Encourage them to touch and explore each object. Discuss what makes them different. This will encourage curiosity and help your child explore the concepts shape, size, and texture. This could be done with food too: “Is the taste sweet or sour?” and “Is the texture soft or crunchy?”
Participate in the learning
It is important to not have all the answers but to partner with your child in finding them. You can see the results of mixing different colours together and which ball bounces higher. Write down any questions your child asks. Science is about asking questions and exploring – not just for your toddler. As you explore your scientific discoveries together, enjoy learning.