A common science question from adults is, “How can I explain such a hard concept in a simple enough way for my child to understand?” Find the most effective strategies and suggestions for exploring science with children.
Explanations Do Not Always Help
Explanations, even simple ones, do not always help children (or adults, for that matter!) understand complex ideas. So what’s a parent to do? The simple answer is to worry less about explaining to your child, and spend more time modeling the fun of science: going on walks, mixing things, testing to see what will happen, observing carefully and wondering along with your child.
Science Is About Trying to Make Sense of the World
Science is not simply about knowing information—it is equally a way of trying to make sense of the world. Scientists must ask questions, design investigations, try to make sense of the information they have gathered during the investigations, and communicate and defend their thinking to others. They don’t always find the answers to their questions, and they don’t always agree.
Help Children Think Like Scientists
It is much more important for parents to help children develop the skills they need to think like scientists than to help them understand complex scientific concepts. Even the youngest children are quite capable of beginning to build these skills.
A Few Pointers
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you enjoy science alongside your child: