Historically, the United States has lagged behind many other nations in
instruction of science.
With the increased use of technology in many peopleís daily lives, this
has been changing.
Parents are in a position to encourage their childrenís interest in many
different areas of science. Let your curiosity and thatof your children
lead you to the area that has the greatest interest to you.
Getting children to be curious about the natural world around them at an
early age can lead them to science-related hobbies and jobs as they grow
Watch a spider in its web; observe the movements of the animals around
you: dogs, cats, squirrels, rabbits, birds; observe birds in their nests
and their habitats; watch a caterpillar spin its cocoon and wait until
it transforms into a butterfly; look for animal tracks; observe the way
ducks animals care for their young; visit the vet with your pet; observe
the changes as a cut heals; ask to see x-rays at the doctorís or dentistís
office; ask about the equipment that your doctor or dentist uses; observe
the genetic similarities between generations in your family or friends.
Plant packaged seeds and observe them grow; plant seeds from fruit and
vegetables that you eat; plant an acorn; learn the names of various types
of trees and flowers; save waste food as compost; watch flowers bud and
blossom; help care for trees and flowers in your environment; plant a tree
and record its progress.
Look at the weather report on television or in the newspaper; pick a place
and find its weather on the Internet; look at a map that has climate or
weather zones; observe the sky at different times during the day; keep
a thermometer inside and outside your house; fly a kite; ask people about
the weather where they are when you send them email or speak to them on
the phone; keep a graph or diary of weather conditions; talk about the
weather with people who come from different climate zones; investigate
the life of people who live in a different weather zone than you; collect
rain in a container; gaze at a rainbow; count the time that takes place
after lightning flashes and thunder crashes.
Chemical and physical
Experiment with what will sink or float in a large bucket of water; collect
items in nature and sort them; see how long it takes for an ice cube to
melt; draw on steamy bathroom mirrors or car windows; reflect light off
mirrors; shine light through a crystal; balance objects on a seesaw; squirt
food coloring into water; make bubbles; create your own musical instruments;
sort spices by the different types of tastes; help with measuring and mixing
with recipes; put glow-in-the-dark stickers on your childís ceiling or
Earth and space
Dig a hole in your yard or at the beach; name the different materials used
to build houses and other buildings; read maps; make model cars, boats,
and airplanes; go rock-hunting to see how many different ones you can find;
notice the way the sun and moon move across the sky; watch a sunrise or
sunset; keep track of the progress of space program satellites, launches,
and missions; make a graph of the way the shape of the moon changes throughout
the month; put rocks in a tumbler and see how they change; look at the
stars when you are away from an area that has bright city lights.
Observe how your electric meter changes when you turn things on and off;
recycle glass, metal, and paper around the house; visit a recycling site
and a dump; play around with magnets on the refrigerator; learn how to
use electrical tools in the kitchen, bathroom, and workshop; take apart
old tools that have stopped working; find out how things work; figure out
the mileage for the familyís car; figure out the differences in time for
a trip you take on foot, by bike, in a car, or on a bus or train; see how
far a ball will roll.
has been incorporated and expanded in Teach Your Children Well: A Teacherís
Advice for Parents.