Why are you doing that?
What’s that for?
What is gas?
What does this do? [breaks something]
What is that man/lady doing?…usually followed by “why?”
These are just some of the questions my kids as pre-schoolers asked me in the past. You can’t say they’re not inquisitive…of course when you have it all day it drives you crazy. But it got me thinking about little people and the innate curiosity that they have and was the inspiration behind Sci Babies. You can take pre-schoolers to all kinds of activities: dancing, gym, singing, French, sign language, swimming, the list goes on but science seems to be missing unless you live near a museum or science centre.
I spent a lot of time thinking about creating science workshops for pre-schoolers, and linking to their natural ability to question everything and want to explore things for themselves. Obviously standing up and talking at them for any length of time isn’t going to work, so whenever I thought of an idea I jotted it down. Several obvious themes have been developed into workshops. The activities are fun and appealing for the kids and the overall themes link nicely to the early years foundation stage framework (EYFS) so nursery staff should be pleased too.
The Forces workshop was easy to create, there’s so many fun activities that you can link to a toddler’s world. I ran this at a local nursery recently. We played games using lolly sticks as levers to propel rice crispies in to the air. They thought this was hilarious especially when they landed in one lad’s hair! We also made rockets and finished with a mentos and diet coke fountain. I know this workshop went well because the offices above the nursery all shut their windows to block out the noise of noisy excited little people!
I also developed a workshop about the weather as requested by a nursery in Durham. In this workshop we made clouds and simulated the water cycle which they enjoyed immensely, played with ice and at the end they made windmills which they then span round using a fan.