Science class is full of opportunities to learn—but to many students, science class can seem like more of a chore than an enjoyable learning experience. If your child feels this way, they could be missing out on all the fun the sciences have to offer.
Science is a necessary part of the school curriculum but there is an opportunity to make it so much more by connecting it to life beyond the classroom. Learn how you can encourage your child to apply science outside the classroom and grow to love it!
Every Child Is A Scientist
The basis of any science is curiosity and children have that in abundance. Nurture that curiosity to encourage an interest in the sciences and take note of what your child gravitates toward. Do they like animals? Do they like mixing ingredients to see the result? Maybe they like building things or figuring out how they work? These interests could eventually lead them down high-demand career paths in the future.
Science is all around us whether we realize it or not. Physical reactions while cooking, the physics of building a house, why animals do the things they do—these are all examples of everyday science. Teaching your child to recognize the impact science has on their everyday life can make them appreciate it more.
Here are 14 ways you can nurture those interests and get your kids interested in science.
How To Encourage Interest & Help Your Kids With Science
- Interact With Animals
Domesticated animals have so much to teach your child about biology, evolution, and animal behaviour. For example, explore how your family dog evolved from wolves through centuries of domestication using internet resources like fun videos or articles.
- Explore The Outdoors
Even your backyard is a great place to explore how different parts of the ecosystem work together. For example, a squirrel and an oak tree. The squirrel relies on the oak tree for food and shelter while the oak tree relies on the squirrel’s help to spread its acorns for new oak trees to grow.
- Subscribe To Science Magazines
Reading science journals and magazines are a great way to learn about different areas of science. There are many publications that are either geared towards non-scientists or children that would be a great place to start. For example, Owl Magazine has a different publication for each age group and includes information on science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
- Get Cooking
Cooking is science! Observe physical reactions that come from heating food or chemical reactions between different ingredients. It’s also a lesson in biology! For example, yeast is actually a tiny living organism that helps to make bread rise or ferments things by feeding on simple sugars.
- Buy A Microscope
Study the microscopic world with an inexpensive USB microscope. This will allow your child to understand how things are constructed like the fibres that are woven together to make their clothing.
- Watch Movies
There are dozens of movies and documentaries out there that are educational and make science more appealing to kids. There have been many movies about space and our environment recently, try some of those. Use your discretion on what’s appropriate for your child’s age.
- Grow Something
If you have a garden, go digging! Plant easy-to-grow plants like beans and have your child study how they grow and what resources are needed for the plant to live.
- Try Science Experiments At Home
Go search for some experiments on the web. You’ll find dozens (if not hundreds) of ways you can do science experiments with your child.
- Play Science Video Games
We’re not saying to let your child play hours of mindless games but games that explore aspects of science. For example, Minecraft is a game based on real scientific principles—your child explores different environments, learns about resource management, and even applies simple physics and engineering.
- Explore Space
Start stargazing! There are many things you and your child can learn from the night sky. Work on identifying constellations or learn about all the planets and moons in our solar system. There are also many video games and apps that introduce fun ways to explore outer space.
- Watch Fun Videos
With the increased popularity of Youtube over the years, many educators and scientists have taken to the platform to share their knowledge. Crash Course Kids is a perfect example. They offer videos on engineering, physics, space, environmental science, and so much more.
- Focus On Learning, Not Grades
Science is as much—if not more—about the journey to the answer than the answer itself. Apply this to their in-class learning too by focusing more on what they’re learning rather than their grades. Make a point to discuss what they learned each day in class and get excited about it with them!
- Observe Natural Phenomena
Seasons, weather, and the night sky are all natural phenomena that are relatively simple to observe with your child. For example, observe clouds and explain that they’re condensed water vapour. Print out a chart to help identify different types while you go watch the clouds.
- Science Toys & Kits
Amazon has an entire section devoted to STEM toys for different age groups. From building blocks to home chemistry sets, there is something to help foster your child’s interest in the sciences.
Get Kids Excited About Science & See The Benefits For Yourself
Even if science wasn’t your strength in school, you can still get your child excited about science! This is an opportunity for you to renew your curiosity as well, and set an example for your child to follow. Nurturing their natural curiosity is a great way to encourage a love of the sciences—and when your child loves what they’re learning it can only positively impact their grades.
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