Easy Science for Kids

Science is increasingly important for success in today's world. Poorer countries such as India and China have used the application of science and technology to become competitive in the global marketplace. Many U.S. children score consistently lower on science tests, and science is often stigmatized as being uncool and geeky in school. In order to help American children grow into successful and competitive workers, science needs to be made more approachable and culturally acceptable. By introducing some basic lessons in science at home, parents can be vital players in their children's success in science.

  1. Preschool Science

    • Preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) are naturally curious about the world around them and love asking questions. Incorporating easy science lessons and experiments into their daily lives is an excellent way to teach them about their surroundings and instill a love of learning and science.

      Animals are particularly popular amongst the preschool set. To teach preschoolers about snakes, a parent or caregiver could take them to the zoo to see the live snake exhibits. Follow up on the outing with library books, both fictional and nonfiction, about snakes. Find books with simple words and lots of bright and colorful pictures for young children. Snake-related coloring pages and other paper crafts may help reinforce ideas and are available online. Always engage the child in the conversation, asking questions such as "What types of homes might a snake live in?" and "What does a snake eat?" Easy activities like these make science exciting and hands-on, leaving the child eager to learn more. One website brimming with preschool-geared science activities is Science for Preschoolers (http://scienceforpreschoolers.com/).

    Elementary Science

    • There are plenty of websites that offer easy ideas and experiments about science for elementary school kids. The site Science with Me (http://www.sciencewithme.com/), for example, offers movies, worksheets, coloring pages, stories, games and projects on a wide variety of topics. Children can choose their own activities or parents can choose some to introduce to their budding scientist. Making science fun and not a chore is important.

      One helpful learning activity on this site is a musical animation called "5 Senses." Singing, bright, cartoon characters take young children on a journey through sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell in a fun and carefree way. The child won't even realize he's learning a lesson. To reinforce what was learned in the show, parents can print related worksheets or coloring pages, or can engage the child in a discussion about which senses are used in which situations.

    Keeping Science Fun

    • Keep your child's interest in science alive by encouraging her particular interests. If the child shows a sudden interest in dinosaurs, for example, check out all the children's books you can find on the topic and read them together. Take him to a museum of natural history to see real dinosaur fossils and find interesting learning activities and age-appropriate dinosaur information online at a site such as Science News for Kids (http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/).

      Parents should also introduce children to new ideas and concepts. Take her to the planetarium to learn about stars. Find a book about sea shells for a trip to the beach, then separate the seashells you find together by type. Collect and sort fall leaves, discussing shape, colors and the type of trees they came from. There are countless ways to incorporate science into everyday life, and even more ways to make it fun and memorable.

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