Science in the World Around Us

Posted on July 22, 2015

If you look at the world around you, you will see that science is literally EVERYWHERE. But it’s not just you. Through exploring, questioning and wondering, kids learn and satisfy their natural curiosity, which is why kids ask so many questions! When a baby takes his first glimpse at the bright world, his senses are stimulated by the environment around him. Through touch, sight, taste, smell, and sound he is discovering how the world works.  

Through play, we can look a little deeper at the science filled world kids live in—they don’t know how much of the world they have yet to discover. By showing the playful side of physics or the cool part of chemistry, you are letting your child know just how exciting science can be, and how exhilarating it is to learn lessons outside the classroom.

From the small bugs in the ground to the big sun in the sky, take your child on a day of science adventure with these toys and play ideas:  

Temperature’s Rising:

Explain to kids how body temperature works: When temperatures are on the rise, kids are most likely to feel alert and awake; when it’s falling, they might feel drowsy. Invest in an outdoor weather thermometer for kids to check on the current temperature or check the weather on the local news, radio station, app or website. Will this be a day dominated by outdoor play? Or will this be a day to stay inside?

Rain, Rain, Go Away:

  • Turn the kitchen into a science lab—following recipes, measuring and tasting ingredients are like experiments. Kidstir cooking kits provide a participatory way for kids to engage with food, understand the basics of nutrition and build a positive relationship in the kitchen. 
  • Gather art supplies from around the house for studio science! Combine paints to make different colors, marble paper with milk or make different manipulatives like silly putty, slime or play dough.
  • How about becoming a scientist? Kids can discover how volcanoes erupt, why oil and water don’t mix or how lemons can create invisible ink to write secret messages.
  • Kids love electronics, but what if they got to take them apart? Gather or buy electronics at a thrift store like flashlights, remote controls, DVD players, calculators and computers. Maybe they will get them working as they tinker? Check out littleBits electronic building blocks or products in the Geek & Co line by Thames & Kosmos.

Sunshiny Day:

  • Explore the Chicagoland area by getting a CTA pass to train around town. Trains are a major form of transportation and can teach kids about kinetic energy. There are many ways to learn about trains through play and science.
  • Get out of the house and explore Chicago’s museums. If your child loves fish, the Shedd Aquarium can help teach the science of the sea, the Adler Planetarium can illuminate how the stars shine and the Chicago Children’s Museum can impart tangible knowledge with dino digs.
  • Cool off with a water table! Water exploration with the Weplay Sand & Water Table can provide sensory stimulation along with science simulation like a sink or float activity. 
  • Little Kids Inc. Fubbles Bubble Glitter Bug or ALEX Bubbalooka can teach kids how wind works as they blow bubbles outside and watch where they fly!
  • Collect outdoor specimens like blades of grass and leaves and view them through a magnifying glass or check out other tools in the Educational Insights GeoSafari line to explore nature. Have kids sketch and draw their observations!  

Don’t forget! Science is all about asking questions, so as your kids are calming down for bedtime, make sure to ask them about what they’ve learned. Not only is this a great way to hear more about what they enjoy, but answering these questions reinforces lessons learned while boosting memory and recall, language, imagination and relationships.

Source: Chicago Special Parent, Summer 2015

Related Products: