Hold a mini science workshop in your room. Every family can be a science team if you show them these quick and easy ways to enjoy science explorations at home:
- Remind parents they don't have to be scientists to "do" science at home. Emphasize that rather than helping their children memorize science facts, it's more important to work with their children to find out about things together. Show them the delight of looking at the world through "scientist's eyes."
- Write the steps to science on a simple handout that gives parents quick ideas for using them with their children. (You can paraphrase the "Seven Steps to Science" box in the article!)
- Help parents see the importance of hands-on experiences. An interactive workshop or a series of one page newsletters can give examples of science experiences that might happen in the home and highlight how to use them to their fullest. For example, show how to use prediction, experimentation and application when studying the concept of "float and sink" with bathtub toys.Encourage families to support and develop the fine art of observation by taking time to watch and wait with their child. Explain how by taking quiet time to observe nature and objects, children construct their own knowledge of how things work.
- Demonstrate open-ended questions that will invite their child to wonder, predict, experiment, and evaluate. Here are some examples: What can we do with this paper towel? What can we do with it when it's wet? When it's dry? When it's wet or dry?
- Let families know the importance of sharing and learning from children. Demonstrate how their children's interests can be used as a starting place for investigations.
- Send home children's science studies journals with a note of explanation and suggestions for simple things they can do to expand children's knowledge. If you are studying seeds, send home a few alfalfa seeds with directions for sprouting them and a quick idea for using them in a salad or sandwich.