Guiding Curiosity Activities
Do you have 5 minutes? Select from the following a topic your child has shown interest in. Here are ideas for starting conversations, extending purposeful play, capitalizing on curiosity, and having fun in day-to-day interactions. Don’t try everything in these lists at once. Follow your child’s lead, building on that inquisitiveness incrementally, revisiting a topic with new suggestions for an observation, a comparison, measurement, or experiment. Repetition and practice promote learning. These ideas should help you to stay one-step-ahead in helping to grow wonder and understanding. For more information, please also read the “What is Guiding Curiosity” page, or the our book for sale titled “Guiding Curiosity: Nurturing the Young Scientist.” We hope you enjoy sharing these activities with your child.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
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). [...]
In previous posts, we invited you to explore with your child what things are made of. Exploring materials and their properties is fun, but also a basic step in understanding the world around us. The following activity focuses on wood as a material that things are made of, particularly things in our homes. Here are some informal learning opportunities you can do inside during the coming winter months. Wood is one of our most important natural resources. It is [...]