Guiding Curiosity is a blog for parents, grandparents, teachers or other caregivers who want to share in playful learning with young children (ages 3 – 8). Strategies for engaging wonder and easy to use, hands-on activities designed to maximize exploration and fun are described. Interactive learning experiences with children build positive and healthy relationships and life long curiosity.
Lessons of Winter: Snow and Ice
Consider exploring the world of frozen water. This time of year, your child can discover fascinating things about ice and snow (snow flakes) – especially if you live where winter brings this delight right to your doorstep. If not, then maybe some creative fun putting things into the refrigerator can work too. Snow, specifically individual snowflakes, is actually geometric arrangements of tiny particles of ice. They are typically not single crystals but complex geometric arrangements of many ice crystals [...]
The Magnificent Moon: Earth Science and Beyond
A man in the moon, cows jumping over the moon, the moon is made of cheese. Oh, the things children hear about the moon. The moon is the most apparent object in the night sky. It is easy for children to see, at least for part of the lunar cycle. And then it disappears, giving it an air of mystery. Exploring the moon is a great introduction to planetary science. Questions How come I can see the moon sometimes [...]
Wild Versus Domestic Animals: How Animals Live
Science related activities and school curriculums for young children commonly cover life science topics related to animals. Most children tend to be naturally fascinated by animals of all sorts and these lessons capitalize on their deep interest. Plus conversations about animals open up opportunities to explore several basic tenets of biology. The goal of lessons about animals is helping children understand the characteristics and structures of living things, how they live, and how things interact with each other (including [...]
Science Can Be Scary: Facing Those Fears
The activities on this blog are built on the assumption that you are monitoring your child’s interests and are prepared to jump in with follow-up questions and ideas for extending exploration. Recent posts on spiders, stinging insects, and pirates assume that your child has shown interest in and is comfortable with talking about, observing, and maybe even touching these animals or considering these things. At the very least, we assume you are not going to launch into these informal [...]
Splendiferous Spiders: Give This Activity a Spin!
Spiders! I know, not everyone’s favorite subject. For children, spiders are the stuff of legend. Think of Charlotte’s Web, the itsy-bitsy spider, Miss Spider’s Tea Party, The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider. Spiders are a great subject to spend some time talking about with children because these conversations can clear up a variety of misconceptions and lead to an understanding that is grounded in science. First, spiders are NOT insects. [...]
Elections and Exploring Voting Behavior
Children are acutely aware of news about mid-term and presidential elections. They hear the television coverage, campaign ads, and they listen to folks on the radio talking about the elections. They see news media images, bumper stickers, and t-shirts. They can feel the excitement of supporting a candidate, the apathy, the frustration, and the hate tied to the vitriol. Children cannot vote, but they are forming opinions about the race, the candidates, elections, and how democracy works (or doesn’t). [...]