Planning a Successful Science and Nature Center in Child Care

Science center in child care program

Science in early childhood is all about prediction, exploring, and discovering answers to questions. Children learn scientific investigation skills through hands-on exploration and play. An effective science center should be a place where children can use their curiosity to manipulate and investigate objects from the world around them. They should have opportunities to explore “what if?” questions, to make guesses about what is going to happen, and to test out those guesses.

Setting Up a Science and Nature Center in

The Science and Nature Center in Child Care

Children looking at bug

Science and Nature Support Children’s Development

Exploring the natural world through hands-on science is an important way that children learn. Hands-on science activities encourage children to observe and manipulate items from the environment, while making predictions about what will happen and then testing those predictions. Science allows children to explore, experiment, question, discover, and understand natural and human-made objects and forces. Experiments and activities with science and nature also stimulate children’s curiosity, encourage use of all five senses, and help …

Science in Child Care

Girl blowing bubbles

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

Using Sensory Activities to Teach Wonder, Investigation, and Discovery

Girl playing in mud puddle

Beginning in infancy, children in child care build their knowledge of the world around them through scientific exploration. “Wonder, investigation and discovery” are three words to describe science in young children. Child care providers can encourage and aid developing science knowledge in many simple ways.

In order to promote sensory awareness in children, child care providers may have to overcome the tendency to think about the world instead of experiencing it. We need to become toddlers again and discover wonder …