How can you grow your child’s curiosity and encourage them to learn Science? We speak to Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive of Science Centre Singapore for his advice.
How Get Your Child Interested In Science
Every child is born with three ‘IN’ things – INquire, INvestigate and INnovate, says Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore. “Observe how a young child asks questions, put things into their mouth to explore, or experiment and change the use of any item given to them,” adds Professor Lim.
Do fun science experiments at home
Science can entertain, engage and enrich children in fun and impactful ways through hands-on exploration and experimentation. Some ideas that Professor Lim suggests are playing with magnets to learn about magnetism. Help children discover what magnets are made of, i.e. the strength of the magnetic poles and how magnetism is utilised in our daily lives.
Playing with bubbles is another fun activity that provides the opportunity for children to explore science concepts such as elasticity, surface tension, properties of air, light and chemistry.
See also: How to make soap bubbles with children
To explore the concept of gravity at home too, let your children gather objects with different mass, e.g. a feather, a rubber ball and a book and then drop them from a height. Parents can then help their children understand why that happens, i.e. gravity, and why different objects fall at different speeds, i.e. gravitational force and air friction.
When his children were young, Professor Lim formed a Kids Club with some friends with similar age children when they were young and before schooling. Each parent took turns to introduce activities or experiments for the weekly gathering.
Science experiments included the extraction of DNA using kitchen materials; light bulbs connection to batteries to learn about electricity; nature rambling to learn about plants and animals; making paper origami lotus to learn about floatation; construction of simple machines to learn about pulleys and levers, etc. “The nine children enjoyed the Kids Club so much that we ran it for 10 years!” exclaims Professor Lim.
Encourage them to question
Children develop cognitive skills rapidly in their foundation years and build on them progressively through their school years, adds Professor Lim. Preschoolers can be natural curiosity makes them inquisitive explorers. “Science complements that curiosity and helps answers questions they have, such as ‘Why do butterflies visit flowers?’ or ‘What makes a rainbow in the sky?'”
Where to go: Singapore Science Centre (holiday programmes), Terra Minds, Little Newton Learning Centre
Science Centre Singapore offers interactive science enrichment programmes for preschoolers. Preschool programmes suitable for 3 – 6 year olds are also offered across attractions including KidsSTOP, Omni-Theatre and Snow City.
For more tips from the experts, read our Enrichment and Preschool Resource Guide
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