The last several years have brought about a BIG emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) for kids, especially in school. Many careers lead in one of these directions so we of course want to also encourage the learning at home (for us that is all the time as we homeschool). My kids love science but, some activities and ideas are much more well received than others. Here are 5 ways I have found that really get my kids in the mood and keep them interested.
Make it Fun– If you make it seem like a chore, as if it its WORK that is exactly how they will take it. Their minds will not absorb much, and it will be a waste of time. Not everything needs to be a game but their should be some aspect of fun to it, and while you want structure they also need some free time to explore whatever it is they are working on. Let them search Pinterest for fun science ideas, it is a virtually endless resource!
Provide Cool Tools– I keep a bucket of science related items on hand- tweezers, a magnifying glass, beakers, etc.. And of course their favorite item on the science shelf is this awesome Micropro Elite Microscope Set from Educational Insights. The kit is centered around a microscope that offers 50x,150x, 300x, 450x, and 900x magnifications. It fits nicely inside a sturdy case that also contains tools for gathering specimens, petri dishes, specimen vials, 5 prepared slides, extras for your own studies, and much more. We leave ours sitting out as it get’s a lot of use. If you are considering a microscope for your home classroom or for after school enrichment you can’t go wrong with this MicroPro Elite. It is small enough to carry out in the field but sturdy to hold up to kids, easy to use with impressive results.
Offer a Variety of Books– I have a bit of a book obsession, whether it is reading for fun or interesting and colorful books on everything from bugs to Whales and Sharks. I like to keep a rotation going of books to spark their interest, sometimes you never know what they will develop a love of learning for. Here are some of our favorites…
Get Involved– Kids will take off on their own and do a lot of investigating and exploring but when you take an interest in what they are doing and jump right in alongside of them you can really make a difference. Be nearby to answer questions, direct them to the right resources, even perform experiments and make observations. Let them know you really support their interest.
What kind of science activities do you and your child enjoy together?