Share the following ideas for science explorations at home with parents. Explain that parents and children are a science team, observing, experimenting, and talking about the world as they discover it and play in it. Emphasize that children are curious and take great pleasure in learning new things. Parents can make the everyday "new" to their children by taking a new look at objects all around the house.
In the kitchen, cook together, sharing the food with the family and talking about "changes":
- Create changes that can be reversed: Make Jell-O, Popsicles, ice cubes. Make, melt, reharden.
- Create changes that cannot be reversed: Try toast, fried eggs, chocolate milk, baked potatoes, pasta.
- Create changes that are possible but not convenient to reverse, such as fruit salad, green salad, a cheese sandwich.
Clean together and talk about "chemistry":
- Put vinegar and salt on a copper bottom of a pan and watch the tarnish vanish. Try this mixture on old pennies, too.
- Wash a greasy dish first with warm water, then with warm soapy water. Talk about the soap linking with the grease to take it off. Wash all the dishes together to keep using the experiment's good idea.
- Have a "white things" experiment. Set up little piles of salt, sugar, flour, baking soda, and baking powder. ow can you tell them apart? (All are safe to taste, as well as to feel and look at.)
- Squander a box of food coloring by letting your child have numerous little containers of water in which to freely squirt and mix colors. Which are the favorites?
In the bathtub:
- Along with the usual bath toys, add some corks and try to keep them from floating. Try to make the bath toys sink.
- Add some objects that aren't bath toys and see if they sink or float. Hairbrush? Toothbrush? Several kinds of bar soap? Washcloths? Plastic shampoo bottle? How could you make them float?
- Scrub the tub afterward, noting how rough powder scratches dirt off the tub.
In bed at night with a flashlight:
- Shine the light on the mirror and see where it bounces. Take turns.
- Under the covers try to see things with the light off. Make it really dark and talk about not seeing anything and how you know about colors only with light.
- Take turns holding the flashlight and making shadows on the wall. A shadow is where light is blocked; even though it seems alive, it is just blocked light. Ask, what do these shadows look like?
- Notice the weather. Appreciate the rain for keeping the world washed clean.
- Check out the clouds. Do they look like rain or puffed elephants or wisps of cotton candy? Say that clouds are water on its way to somewhere.
- Point out things to children: tiny blossoms, soft moss, flowing gutters, wagging tails on strange dogs, birds lined up on telephone wires, pigeons and sparrows finding crumbs. Notice what's around you and your experiences will be richer.