Children are curious. They like to observe the things around and like to explore them. All that makes every child unique in his/her comments about nature, people, him/herself you, as a parent or a teacher must have heard many a times like “Why do girls have to buy all pink stuff and the boys have to buy different color stuff?” Such kind of questions, as much ridiculous as they can seem to an adult, show that the child is attentive to his/her environment and tries to find the answers to his/her questions. Adults in their turn shall be happy to encourage this as well as to provide children with the opportunities for exploration of the world they live in.
The preschool classroom in this case can be the best place for a child to apply his/her natural scientific skills and make unexpected (or expected) discoveries. The classroom environment shall include a science center. The best place for the science center is near the window which can become a medium for exploration of the outer world. Place the weather chart beside to note the weather patterns. For senior kids in the Kinderpillar Preschool it can include graphs of the weather conditions. Children can hang the picture cut outs for each type of weather: clouds, sun, rain, rainbow, and snowflakes, hail, and so on, relate it to what they see out of the window.
Any flower plant in science area will be a great aid for observation of plants life cycle. Children can experiment with two plants, comparing how develops the one which is watered regularly, and another which doesn’t get sufficient water.
One of the main attractions of the science area in the classroom is a science table. The Science table gives even more possibilities for exploration. Place magnifying glasses in various shapes, child size plastic tweezers, magnets, rulers, jars, clear containers, beakers, scales, flowers, nuts, mirrors, gloves, trays, safety goggles, lab coats (if required). The science table is a perfect arrangement for studying of five senses, for exploration of properties of the objects, liquids and so on.
However it is not right to think that only the science area provides young children with scientific experience. Participation in art, drama, music and movement activities depending of what type of materials you use in them, have an excellent scientific oriented impact too. The things you can use in order to promote scientific knowledge shall be as such: objects of interest to observe, objects to sort and collect, materials that can be changed or change, and reading materials to represent science.
Having the science area in the preschool classroom itself will not stimulate children to visit it frequently, hence with an eye to keep children’s interest in this area the teacher shall have something new and interesting to offer during the session. Therefore the activities in this area have to be planned and prepared in advance; make sure that every child has an access to the activity and has all the necessary supplies for participation in it.
Following the above suggestion will help a teacher and a parent too to develop and enhance love of, and curiosity for, science and the natural world which preschool children are so keen to explore!