Children interested in science become lifelong learners. They remain curious, learn to ask the right questions, and develop sharp problem-solving skills. Being science-minded goes beyond knowing facts — it gives a child the grit to find the right answers.
Raising a child who’s interested in science seems like a lofty goal. But parents, guardians, and grandparents can initiate small things that build habits for life.
Involve the Kids in Caring for Pets
Your pets have so much to teach young children about biology and animal behavior. Caring for your cats and dogs instills a sense of responsibility and could be a gateway to learn about evolution. A child will be delighted to find out that your family dog descended from fierce wolves that hunted the forests.
Here are a few ways to involve kids in pet care:
- Learn the Commands. A child would love to know the right way to walk a dog and learn how dogs would respond to their command.
- Explain the Need for Grooming. Different dogs need different levels of grooming, and a child would want to know why some dogs need more maintenance than others.
Explore the Outdoors
The outdoors offers an abundance of things to observe, so expect a lot of questions when you take the young ones for a trip. Go on camping trips, trips to the lake, or a short hiking adventure. During the trip, the children get to see the marvels of nature. Plus, they learn the basics of safety while in unfamiliar terrain.
Here are a few tips to make your next trip or hike kid-friendly:
- Pick a short trail. Kids are restless bundles of energy, but that energy is quickly depleted. Choose a relatively short trail that offers rich and interesting scenery.
- Bring snacks and plenty of water. Children may be too interested in their surroundings that they forget to eat or drink. Make sure that you have their favorite snacks on the trip.
- Stay safe. Give your children simple safety rules during the trip. Moreover, give them each a safety whistle.
Cook and Bake with Them
Cooking and baking offer fun and science, which is why they’re a great way to nurture your kids’ scientific discovery. The changes that take place when you bake, simmer, stir, mix, grind, or grill gives kids a rich insight into physical and chemical reactions. These activities also help young kids explore their senses as they smell freshly baked bread, taste various spices, and feel the firm texture of icing that’s chilled in the freezer.
Granted, some cooking and baking recipes are too complex to get a child involved. However, you may give them tasks that meet their skill level, like:
- Stirring the cake batter
- Whisking eggs
- Pounding dough
- Adding sprinkles or chocolate chips to the batter
- Tearing lettuce for a salad
- Adding toppings to the pizza
- Breaking biscuits into big crumbs
While pet care allows children to explore the world of animals, gardening enables them to discover the world of plants.
The child learns the resources needed for plants to live. They understand the relationships among the plants, the weather, and the environment. They also learn about cause and effect; for instance, if they don’t water the plants regularly, they might wither. They may find fulfillment in watching something grow.
Here’s how to get children interested in gardening:
- Give them their own plots or pots in your garden
- Choose plants that are interesting, like sunflowers and pumpkins
- Make a scarecrow with them
- Create a gardening schedule with them — for instance, join them in watering their plants every afternoon
Give Them Tools
Have you noticed that, when you call a handyman or technician over, your child curiously looks at their tools and work? Children are interested in contraptions, especially unfamiliar ones. They’ll thank you for giving them the tools to explore the world around them.
- Compare what a salt crystal or sugar cube looks like under the microscope. Check onion skin to see what plant cells look like. Even paper bills are fascinating to look at under 10x magnification.
- Astronomers have plotted the astronomical events that will occur in 2022. A telescope will give your children a front-row seat during meteor showers, lunar eclipses, and more.
- Whatever your child’s interests are, books are a great way to nurture them. Stock your bookcases with resources about dinosaurs, sharks, boats, airplanes, race cars, and more.
Being science-minded means being curious, and curiosity is something that children have in abundance. By nurturing this innate want of answers, you can help raise a child who will one day help solve the most pressing problems.