10 Ways to teach science to children in a fun way
How to teach science to children in a fun way
Is it possible to come up with great science teaching activities for kids? Teaching science to kids can be very challenging and yet fun especially if you know how to go about it. As with all other subjects and lessons, teaching science to kids normally requires activities that will stimulate their curiosity in order to drive the point home. it is good to come up with appropriate science teaching concepts that will keep the children entertained and informed while at the same time avoiding boredom or overwhelming them during the lesson.
Although there are different ways to teach specific subjects, there are some generally accepted methods which you can use to equip kids with the necessary science knowledge. This article will review some of these tips to help you as you start teaching science to the children under you and make them excel with every lesson.
Children science activities
If handled properly, science can be thrilling and intellectually meaningful to children. The right kids’ science activities can help: –
- Develop your kid’s natural sense of inquisitiveness and adventure
- Give the child confidence to become a determined problem solver
- Introduce the kid to critical elements of scientific way of thinking (Seeking for proof and testing predictions)
- Encourage the child to develop his or her own appreciation of the nature and the world in general.
To achieve this, you will need to understand the right methods to teach science to children. Below are some valuable tips to help you handle your teaching impeccably.
1) Don’t lecture or force it on kids
Children and especially if they are preschoolers have a weaker mental capacity that cannot easily contain different tasks especially those that require them to sit down for long and focus their attention on all the words you say. Research has shown that children’s interest and initiative is easily dampened if you try to teach them by saying, “this is how it goes.” Since you are teaching science to kids, it is always important to expose them to devices that aren’t in any way harmful to them and let them think critically and explore inquisitively rather than explaining how they should use the device. Always encourage unconstrained experimentation when teaching science to the kids.
2) Use hands-on approach to teach
Children learn better by doing as opposed to lecturing. When teaching science to children of different years, look for activities that lay emphasis on practical experiences with very minimal explanation from your side.
3) Build on your child’s knowledge
It is hard for anyone to learn something that is completely unfamiliar to them and this is not an exception for kids. However, teaching them something more on top of what they are familiar with makes the process easier and much enjoyable. Although your kids are still young, they already have some begun developing some concepts in different critical subject domains or areas. You can find a number of science activities that contribute to the knowledge they already have or what is generally called “learning paths and these include.”
- Cause and outcome cycles relating to everyday objects such as ice melting under the sun.
- Composition and function. You can take an example of let’s say the texture of different types of soils and their appropriate usage.
- Difference and classification showing that different organisms or objects have unique properties such as fish having scales and birds having feathers.
- The process of change in non-living physical animals including a glass turning into a broken glass.
- The process of growth and change in living things
- How inanimate objects differ from living things in the inside.
- How people and animals think
- How different living things move.
There is too much that you can teach children using these learning paths and make your lessons more interesting each and every day.
Learn about Gravity and Math w/ Isaac Netwon
4) Pick science activities which are ideally related to each other
Although you will be tempted to jump from one activity to the other, children might not find it easy to follow. However, children have a better concentration and understand things better if they get the opportunity to explore the same topic or activity over and over. Avoid the temptation or rushing through your concepts until you are sure that the information has sunk in fully.
To make your science lessons more enjoyable, you should consider choosing one or two key ideas and stick with them for a few weeks or months. You can choose concepts such as life cycles and biological changes as stick with them for as long as it takes. From the onset, you might feel as though you are being limited but the main ideas are broad and offer themselves to broad children’s science activities. A case in point, in case you pick “life cycles and biological changes” you might take your time exploring the following:
- The lifecycle of different animals such as butterflies, pets or even birds among others.
- Seeds and plants including how the seeds grown into plants and the entire process or cycle. Children can also enjoy eating things such as carrots and enjoy seeing them grow from simple seeds to the end product they are consuming.
- They can also explore matters of health and illness.
5) Encourage special interests in the children
Mostly, all kids are familiar with most of the above learning paths. The best thing with these learning paths is that they are closely associated with core areas of knowledge that are can be learned with relative ease by a great percentage of kids.
However, it is good to note that there are many other learning paths that are of great importance. Children have different interests and you are likely to spot a special interest in some of those under your care. For example, you might find one child having more interest in animal behavior than let’s say soil or one having a strong interest in automobile as opposed to rocks. In such cases, you should pay a little bit more attention to such interests and find other activities that are of interest to kids that can help build on them.
6) Stick to age-appropriate activities
Be careful not to adapt science activities that are too high for the kids that you are dealing with. Different science activities are designed for children within different age brackets and therefore you will be well pleased and find it fun if you pick the appropriate activities for your class or child. For example, if you are dealing with preschoolers, engaging them in the science of light waves might not make sense at all. However, they will find it fun if you gave them colors to mix and do some painting.
7) Avoid “simplifying” the terminologies
When dealing with a child, it is good to know that their minds easily grasp new concepts and relate them with the terminologies or language used. This is true when it comes to new science concepts as their minds have a tendency to store the information thus easily connecting the idea with the words used. In this way, ideas and words are closely connected. It is therefore very important to avoid what we call, “dumbing down” of the words whenever you introduce the new information to your child. Call the concept by its name without hoping that you will change it to the more appropriate name in the future. For example, in case you are dealing with respiration, do not use any other name but introduce the idea to the child along with this very name.
8) Always use science tools in your teaching
Teaching science to kids can be fun when you use science tools such as balance scales, magnifying glasses and binoculars. Once you introduce these tools to your child, always make sure they are available when dealing with the topics under which they are used. Do not just avail these tools during the science activities but let them be available all the time to help arouse the children’s curiosity and inquisitiveness.
9) Let the children learn scientific methods through the science activities
Kids can explore independently when learning different science activities especially if you do not make them aware of the scientific process. Such activities are important plus they help kids to enjoy better structured activities that clearly teach the scientific procedures. You can introduce terms such as observe, check or predict to the kids when introducing the concepts to them. Let them observe to see what happens but let them do this on their own.
10) Use appropriate charts and notebooks
In addition to the practical objects, children have a good way of learning through charts and diagrams. You should also encourage the use of science notebooks which allows the child to take note of what they learn without being too much restricted to the usual style of doing things. They can draw and write whatever they learn in these notebooks.
Teaching science to children is fun and you too can enjoy it. If you are a new science teacher, the best approach is to always prepare yourself early enough before you start with the lessons. Additionally, you will enjoy even more if you are able to use different approaches even when teaching the same concept. Always make sure you have the right supplies to help you drive the lessons home without boring your kids. This is important for both you and your kids’ enjoyment.
To learn science in a fun way for your kids, you might be interested in Kiddo Science Puchong in Bandar Puteri. Enjoy a 50% discount on the checkout price by using promo code “aone50”. T&C applied.
Photo Credit: Kiddo Science Puchong