“Why is…?” “How does…?” What makes…?” If your children have presented you with the previous questions, then you have a good foundation for having scientific discussions with them. Science is all around us—in the things we see, in the things we use, in the things we dream. Children are naturally curious about all things in their world and they want to know why! An easy answer is “BECAUSE”, but a better way to explain is to create an experiment. For some assistance in this task, several authors have compiled some fantastic and easy experiments for you to try.
“See For Yourself More than 100 Experiments for Science Fairs and Projects” by Vicki Cobb shows how to do science with items from the toy store.
“What? Experiments for the Young Scientist”by Robert W. Wood provides experiments for young engineers, astronomers, chemist, meteorologists, physicists, and biologists.
Another favorite title I discovered is “Homemade Slime and Rubber Bones” by William Wellnitz. How fun does that sound?
Janice Van Cleave has several books with fun and easy science experiments on all sorts of topics.
For the nature scientist try “The Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea” by Helaine Becker;
“The Big Book of Nature Projects” produced by the Children’s School of Science; and
Questions your children raise may also be answered by observation. Help your child become a citizen scientist, a backyard observer of both plants and animals. Keep a journal of your observations and then discuss these notes. Use your senses to learn.
“Citizen Scientists” by Loree Griffin Burns explains this technique.
To read about actual scientists and what they do to learn, the series “Scientists in the Field” is very informative.
I also discovered a delightful poetry book titled “Spectacular Science,” by Lee Bennett Hopkins. The first lines of one poem ask-“What is science? So many things.” The last line of the poem states, “We question the how the where when and why.” So please, go out and discover the where, the when and the why by stopping by your public library.