Science is an incredibly important subject to teach children. Experiments and activities that can be carried out by children can lead to amazing and unforgettable learning experiences that can inspire and motivate children to want to learn and explore more on their own.
Research shows that most children have formed an opinion (either positive or negative) about science by the time they reach the age of 7. This means that within nurseries, the impact of early learning activities instigated by nursery practitioners that encourage children to learn about science is phenomenal.
Children learn best when they’re involved in the learning so they have the opportunity to ask questions and let their interests guide planning.
By giving children hands-on science activities to take part in, it lets them engage multiple senses. Hands-on science encourages the children to DO something – observe, ask questions, touch, smell, experiment. They’ll be more likely to remember a learning experience if it’s just that…a real experience.
Critical thinking skills are enhanced during such science activities. Children can ask the WHY, HOW, and WHAT questions. Even better, they can help answer the questions themselves.
All Tops Day Nurseries settings take part in science activities regularly, and these are usually always child-led. Some nurseries have specific science areas for the children to play freely and explore different equipment such as magnifying glasses and tubes.
During the summer holidays, some of our older children attending the holiday club have shown an interest in witchcraft and wizardry, leading some of the plans to be themed around the popular ‘Harry Potter’ books and films. One science based activity that has proven to be a favourite by not only the holiday club children, but Pre-school too, is making magic potions.
Washing up liquid
Small plastic containers
- Fill the jar halfway with vinegar, then add a few drops of one colour of food colouring and some glitter. Squeeze in some washing up liquid, stir, and place the jar on a tray.
- Ask your child to add a heaped teaspoon of baking soda, stir again, and watch the foaming begin! The soap makes it foam rather than fizz.
- To keep the reaction going continue adding baking soda and vinegar when the foam starts to slow. To make it change colours, add a tablespoon of vinegar mixed with one colour of food colouring every so often. Make sure to pour the coloured vinegar into the centre of the foam.
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