Most of us are staying at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. But even from home, there is a whole wide world for children to observe and explore! This is the perfect time to introduce your kids to some basic scientific principles through everyday objects and activities. Our Science for Kids series addresses key outcomes outlined in the Australian curriculum to make learning fun – kids will learn how to gather information, observe changes and make predictions, all from the safety of your kitchen and backyard, and down the street.
Extra time at home means more time to prepare delicious meals for the whole family – so why not get your kids involved? Cooking is a fun, hands-on way to teach life skills and basic scientific ideas. One of our favourite videos is Maya’s Food Safari, in which Maya’s dad invites his friends over to cook native Australian, Indian and Japanese cuisine. Travel might be off the table for now, but cooking new foods is a great way for kids to broaden their horizons and explore different cultures.
We also love The Pasta Artist, a video in which Lorenzo and his dad make lovely long linguine from scratch. Watch as Lorenzo learns how to make pasta by pushing and pulling the dough using his hands, then flattening it using a pasta machine. And voila, there you have it – an introduction to physics and a delicious meal, all in one!
Though we’re spending a lot of time at home, it’s important to keep up our levels of physical exercise. Why not teach your kids about motion and friction while you’re at it? All you need is to watch our video Skate like a Scientist, then find a quiet, safe footpath and bring a tennis ball and a skateboard or scooter. Then the lesson begins. If you push off the ground, you’ll move faster; if you want to change direction, you push towards it; and if you want to stop or slow down, you use friction. These are all things we take for granted, but for young minds it’s a game-changer!
If you’re feeling even more adventurous, why not get out into the great outdoors and observe some principles of movement in the animal world? In our video Elephants Can’t Fly, kids learn all about how and why some animals walk and run, while others hop and even fly. (Hint: it’s to do with the physical features they’ve evolved with.) A great Sunday activity is to go on a hike, or visit a nature reserve, and put those lessons into practice by watching the animals.
Want to get outside but stay closer to home? Never fear: you don’t need to go any further than your backyard. Gardening is such a helpful way to teach kids structure, routine and responsibility; for some parents, it’s practice for bringing a pet into the family. It’s also a great source of information about basic biology, and teaching kids where we get our food from.
In our video Maya the Plant Detective, kids follow Maya as she explores her garden and observes how plants use sun and water to create energy and thrive. It’s like a spy game: watch as Maya tracks down new plants, identifies them and makes predictions about the best place for them to go in the garden.
So what are you waiting for? These everyday activities are a great way to pass the time during coronavirus quarantine and keep kids up to date with the Australian curriculum.