Friday, February 21, 2014

Science Learning through a Child's Eyes, Part I

Scientists use their curiosity about a particular problem to observe, test, verify and make discoveries. How does this curiosity develop? Apparently right from the start! Lise Elliot, author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain, notes that "psychologists have tracked babies' eye movements to gauge whether they understand such properties as gravity, speed, and momentum. Remarkably, they have found that they do!"

Babies explore through their senses. They look, touch, smell, taste and hear just about anything within their reach. You can learn a lot about your child's natural curiosity by observing his/her play and supporting it. A safe environment with objects of varying textures and sounds provides a beginning science exploration for infants. Their favorite object to look at is you! So spend lots of face-to-face time with them!

Older babies and toddlers continue to explore with their senses but now can explore using their increasing motor abilities. Given time to freely explore their environment, toddlers will begin to sort and classify objects. Provide containers of varying sizes and some everyday objects such as balls, large buttons, pom poms, ribbons, lids and bells. These types of open-ended materials foster cause and effect exploration--that is basic physics.

To engage your young scientist, visit the Creativity Connections Young Explorers Neighborhood the next time you are at DuPage Children's Museum! 

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