Science can be a fun part of everyday learning in child care. Science is a process of exploration and discovery. Young children learn the skills of asking questions, testing hypotheses, and reporting their results using simple, hands-on materials. Science is not limited to the “science table.” A child mixing flour, sugar, and butter to make cookies is learning that mixing and baking will change substances into something new and delightful. Children putting objects in water are learning which objects float and which objects sink. Science happens when children mix paint colors or learn how to balance a block tower. Adults can support children’s scientific investigation by providing interesting experiences, asking good questions, and encouraging children to experiment and test out their ideas.
The following articles explain more about young children and science in child care settings. If you are looking for specific science activities, check out the Hands-on Activities for Child Care database.
- The Science and Nature Center in Child Care
- Planning a Successful Science and Nature Center in Child Care
- Using Sensory Activities to Teach Wonder, Investigation, and Discovery
- Teaching Science through Exploring Smells, Sounds, and Tastes
- Helping Young Children Practice Science Skills By Planting a Garden