Kids are naturally curious about the world, and they express that curiosity through play. Trying to teach them through dry lessons isn’t going to get you very far: all you’ll achieve is pushing them away from the selected topic. What you need to do is find fun activities that allow kids to indulge their curiosity while also allowing you to teach specific points.
This is relatively easy to achieve in the science world! There are so many activities you can try that will keep kids hooked while taking them through the fundamentals of science. Let’s take a look at five in particular that always work well in our house.
Using educational craft projects
Kids love assembling things: being given parts and using glue, tape and scissors to put them together. This makes educational craft projects really effective. You can have them create items of practical use, or just build fun displays using informative materials: you can actually get subscription boxes for kids that include all the materials for covering one specific topic. One of the boxes from Sago Mini, for instance, is the Space Explorer box, which is a great place for kids to start learning about the solar system.
Playing with food (educationally)
Teaching kids not to waste food is absolutely worthwhile, but when you’re using food to learn science, you’re not wasting it — and there are so many lessons that can be imparted through kitchen science. Use different condiments to teach about alkalinity, or bake bread to show how yeast affects dough. The options are almost endless!
Creating fruit or vegetable batteries
This isn’t something you’d necessarily want to do in a kitchen, but it’s a great garage project. Learning the fundamentals of electricity is very useful, and if kids might not be interested in regular batteries, you can show them how it’s possible to make a battery from certain fruits (like apples) or vegetables (like potatoes).
Displaying safe chemical reactions
Doesn’t everyone like seeing beakers fizzing up? You obviously need to be careful when displaying visually-impactful chemical reactions because some of them can be dangerous, but there are plenty of reactions that look very impressive while being completely harmless. If you can get some attention with a reaction, you can take the opportunity to explain what’s happening, and perhaps display some alternatives (what happens, or doesn’t happen, if you swap out the components). Science kits can be great for this if you don’t fancy trying your own.
Building and testing bridges
Building metaphorical bridges is a useful skill, but building literal bridges (on a very small scale, of course) is a fun and engaging way to learn how structures and materials work. If you’re teaching multiple kids simultaneously, give them assorted materials (cardboard, paper, tape, etc.) and challenge them to create competing bridges. Aim for stable length, perhaps, or strength determined by how much weight they can hold.
As noted earlier, there are so many great science activities you can use to teach kids the basics, and these ones in particular should yield some great results. Give them a try!