Kid's Activity: Teach Basic Science Skills

by Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder

Children are natural scientists -- curious about the world around them and more than willing to explore. Encourage your child to learn more by offering them the basic science skills of observing, predicting and evaluating their subject.

Here is just one example!
Materials needed:
• Tray of ice or batch of snowballs
• Various materials to wrap, pack, or hold ice

Purpose:
Use probing questions to see what your child knows about the ice/snow -- lead them to conclude that ice is frozen water and when it gets warm, it melts.

Experiment:
Now you are ready to observe and predict. Allow your child to experiment different ways for the ice/snow to melt. Have them predict what will cause it to melt faster? What keeps it frozen the longest? Does wrapping it in certain material make it last longer or melt sooner? Try and persuade your child to take the lead in trying different methods and materials. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Place ice cube in cold and hot water. Predict which will melt the fastest.
  • Place ice cube in sunny window and inside a dark cabinet. Predict which will stay frozen longer.
  • Predict what will happen when you sprinkle salt or sand on ice / snow.
  • Try wrapping the ice / snow in a variety of materials such as aluminum foil, paper, towel, or sock.
  • Place the ice / snow in a pan on the stove and turn on the heat. What does your child predict will happen?

Evaluate:
Now record your child's findings. One method is to create two columns -- one for "predictions," another for "result". See if your child's prediction skills improve as you go along!

Be on the lookout for other fun ways to observe, predict, and discover! Science surrounds you -- learn to interact with it!

Julie Snyder is a mom of six, interested in kids, pregnancy, birth, people and lives in the outlying Seattle area. Melissa Jaramillo is mom to many. She's passionate about building, encouraging, and strengthening families on this adventure known as parenthood!

Copyright © Melissa Jaramillo and Julie Snyder. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.