Children are born scientists, always curious about out how things work. In nature, the child will absorb knowledge as they interact with their environment, unconsciously observing, watching light reflect on water, a rock roll down a hill, a leaf float gently to the ground, a campfire smoldering.
There are many ways we as parents (and teachers) can provide real, hands-on science activities so that children can explore how the world works, to provide a safe space for children to experiment and make new discoveries. Physics may not sound like a topic for young children but simple activities like building an electric circuit can lay the foundation more complex work on energy, heat, light, sound, magnetism, design and, technology.
When my children were young, around 4-5 years we introduced snap circuits and from there, their interest in circuit building has grown. Above and below Otis (7 years) is making his own circuits. Caspar (10 years) uses littleBits. Children can learn the basics, how to build the circuit - then armed and equipped with knowledge and skills, they can make their own designs and experiments. We teach the correct language and also in this case the written form, ensuring the child uses the correct symbols.
We want to nurture the young scientist - not only giving them knowledge and skills, we want to allow them space and time to fail, we want to relate science to the real world and genuinely engage the child - all easy to do with electric circuits!
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