This post is by Fabida Abdulla, who joins us a regular contributor to The Mom Views and blogger at . Fab writes about parenting, baking, shopping and all the little joys in life.
“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” – Albert Einstein
Children are born with an innate sense of curiosity. They start with turning their heads, trying to catch every sound and sight, feeling things with their hands – immediately followed by a taste test.
But come school age, and this natural curiosity gets buried under ‘syllabuses’ and other restrictive study material. This stunts a child’s creative and imaginative skills.
Indian school syllabuses still have a long way to go when it comes to nurturing childish curiosity. Till that happens, we, as parents, can do our bit to introduce our kids to the wonderful world of science especially by doing some really cool (yucky) and simple science experiments for kids!!
But before that, we need to ensure the following:
Provide a safe and secure home – A stressed child might not be able to engage his natural sense of wonder.
Restrict TV and computer games – Nothing kills brain cells like the idiot box. Decide beforehand what your child will watch during the day – ideally in 4 half hour slots.
Be tolerant – Of endless questions. Of endless messes. And of phases of disinterest. They might just need some time off.
Recognize learning opportunities – Parks, supermarkets, railway stations, zoos are all gold mines for questions and scientific learning.
Identify the child’s interests – If your child is interested in trains, he’s quite likely to want to know how the wheels turn, how steam is produced, how Maglev trains work etc. Think of experiments for kids which can be designed around that interest.
Now, on to the fun part! Here are a few suggestions for science books for kids that introduce general scientific facts for kids under the age of 10. I strongly suggest using books with lots of pictures, so that young kids are instantly drawn to them and don’t ever get the feeling that science is dull or boring.
How to get kids interested in Science
The perfect science book for beginners!! The sections include Life Science, Physical Science, Material Science etc. Filled with brightly colored photographs and information in little doses, it is ideal to find out which area of science interests your little one. Ages 4+.
This book covers different areas like Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science etc. It is more of a work book format, with little puzzles and other projects that can be done in as less as 15 minutes. It’s a good book to spend a long vacation with. Ages 6+.
This book should succeed in getting the most science-hating kid interested in science. If finding out who invented stink-free undies won’t interest a child, I don’t know what will. There are a number of books in the ‘Horrible Science’ series, each one with its share of grossness. Ages 6+.
Like all Parragon books, this one is also full of lively pictures and quick facts. Another good beginner book, it covers earth science, animals, space and many other areas of science. Ages 4+.
This book has realistic pictures and is mostly nature oriented which encourages kids to look within their own surroundings. Kids will be amazed by the amount of detail in a little insect. They’ll never look at tiny creatures the same way again! This might not be relevant if you live in a high-rise, but it could come in useful on a vacation to Grandma’s native place. Ages 4+.
We bought this book a while back and it is really sturdy. It is now one of our favorite books! Lots of lift-the-flaps add to the interest and the experiments are such that a kid is naturally inclined to ask “why?”. The mini scientist series has many other titles which are worth checking out. Ages 4+
Once interested, science opens up doors to many different worlds, which could translate into fulfilling careers later. What’s more, in a country like India, riddled with superstition, scientific thought could make kids confident enough to dispel ridiculous notions and strive for a more sensible and tolerant society. So, keep experimenting!
“I keep six honest serving-men,
They taught me all I knew;
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”
– Rudyard Kipling