Introduction To Early Science

With the considerable leap of academic challenges from Primary 1 and Primary 2… to the inevitable coming of age phase in Primary 3, many parents lament their children are either caught off guard come CA1 or SA1 results or they are shocked at what the just graduated from P2s hafta swallow whole at P3, especially with the one additional subject… yes, referring to Science.

For the natural born scientists and the nature lovers, this is surprising, for to them… Science was something they never had to learn at all. Whether or not you want to take the chance to eventually find out if your young ones are adept at this subject, you can expose them to this subject at an early stage where they won’t even know they’re actually learning Science.

And no.. i’m not talking about just doing the experiments. But yes, you can do that too. Hehee..

1. Concrete Introduction Using models (3D)

You can introduce children to a variety of Science concepts by using 3D model animals and objects for concrete learning experiences. To name a few are those animal packs you can easily purchase from your neighbourhood stationery store at less than 5 to 10 dollars a pack depending on the size of the animals in a pack. There are a few packs mainly, farm animals, wild animals, dinosaurs, ocean creatures, creepy crawlies and the likes.

Introduce one animal/object a week/day depending on your schedule and you can see that your children will learn so many names and shape (physical characteristics) of the animals/objects you have shown to them and shared (info) about them. For items can be, things in the bathroom, kitchen utensils, at the garden (etc)… you get to decide your own theme for the month(s).

After which, you can follow up by a trip to the zoo or the bird park or the farm (etc) to reinforce the concept you have introduced. For household items, a trip to the hardware store or even big supermarkets can be a fun educational trip for them. Engage them in discovery and expand their vocabulary by asking them the physical characteristics of all the stuff they’ve been introduced to.

2. Abstract Follow-up (2D)

After the concrete introduction, you can follow-up the activities with worksheets or craft work. Here’s when the concrete moves on with the abstract. There are loads of resources readily available on the web. If you’re keen to buy, there are also gazillions of resources off the shelves out in good stores that you can purchase.

You can also get puzzles, start in small pieces a pack for the tots and slowly upgrade to more pieces as they advance in skill or age whichever comes earlier.

This is one for early learners. I got a few boxes in different themes for my girls when they were tots. Still in pristine condition till today.

As your child pieces the puzzle, just name the part. No need to go into functions of each part. Just one word. Especially for the younger learners. They will absorb the vocab real quick. By the next play time, you’d be surprised they already know the parts to the whole fish.

For the above picture, just say “head” when you place the 1st piece, say “body” when fixing the 2nd piece and “tail” when the final piece is fixed.

Flashcards can be introduced regardless if you’re a flashing-cards-advocate or just using flash cards as a revision tool in support of what has been shared earlier with the 3D lessons.

3. 4D (Yes, 4D…)

4D refers to whole puzzles that are able to be stripped down to pieces part by part, to learn more about body parts or bones within an animal. Very very fun for the older or the more advanced learners.

Here’s one that i have from a purchase sometime back. Extremely interesting..

4. Music/Rhymes

Yes, early learners are attracted to rhythm and rhyme and can easily grasp simple concept songs from numbers to alphabets to animals (etc). One such rhyme for learning say… about the introduction to vegetables.

“One little pea in a pea pod pressed..”

” One grew two grew and so did all the rest…”

“They grew and they grew and did not stop…”

“Until one day, the pod went pop!”

What better way too than having a nice colourful book with hand-gesture suggestions to accompany those chant-like rhymes? Here’s one i managed to pick up from Borders for buds_chubs on one of our town trips.

  

5. Fun Extension Activities

Extension activities are what children love most. They usually never realize that they are learning for such activity extensions aim to be very fun, allows them to be very involved learners and exposes them to experimentation.

Try cooking for example. It does not have to be something you have to do over stove and fire. It can be something very simple for tots to do… like if we were to go back to the vegetable theme for the month, children can have a hand at preparing a vegetable salad. Simple preps and on your ingredient list ito get is very few. Children can start off with play-cutting with wooden knife and fruits like this ones.

Prefer plastic ones so it’d be easier to clean? No sweat! There are plenty in the market… as in, the shops lar! LOL! I have a huge ziploc bag full of them for my girls to work with when they were younger and they are all still in fabulous condition! 🙂

Allow children to experiment with plastic or butter knives to cut the veggies or if you’re doing a dessert fruit salad, they can also chop soft fruit like bananas for instance. What nice way to include a lesson or two on kitchen safety, aye? Get the little brats to add whip cream or ice-cream to fruity desserts, sprinkle hundreds and thousands (etc). Now what better way than to have your cake and eat it? Literally..

6. Decide/Plan on a theme

Themes make early introduction to Science systematic so you can further up to make the learning fun. If you’re introducing different types of flowers… buy a few roses and baby’s breath and carnations, dry them up and add one or two dashes of lovely aromatherapy oil and viola, you get potpourri. A trip to the Botanical Gardens will be fruitful for this theme. Why should children only know the response to changes of a plant eg. a mimosa plant only when they are in P3… when they can jolly well touch plenty of them outside and have them tell you that it was their touch that did it? What better way to blow those dandelions and ask your child to tell you how you think more dandelions can grow?

If your child is a photography enthusiast, allow them to take snapshots of the flowers… print them out to make their own flash cards / matching cards. No better way to identify flowers than having the real picture isn’t it? Because they made the cards themselves it will be all the better to remember those flower names too! Just like these ones..

I have these few on animals i think cut-out from old magazines. So don’t throw those beautiful National Geographic magazines, peeps!

I used them to make matching animal cards suitable for a reading and non-reading child. How cool is that?

I made a separate set for teaching animal body parts. You can do this too for all the different types of animals and non-living things too! You can even catogorize your animals into mammal sets, amphibian sets.. (etc). The possibilities are endless!

*The animal cards are available in Montessori classrooms for children to work with.*

7. Conclusion

Now, learning won’t really be complete without a definite conclusion would it? You see… the early introduction of concepts/activities should have objectives lest they would just pass on by like regular play-time. Well, technically it IS play-time… but in this case it is learning-through-play-time. *wink* But they don’t know that yet. Hah! So, you can ensure this finale by perhaps getting them to colour a couple of relevant assignments.. by re-playing or role-playing those sessions and get them to show you / tell you what they know. This way you know they know what you’ve been wanting them to know…  

Who said early science preps should commence only in P2… when we can actually begin from birth? Being here in this forum just means we are that kiasu, right? So why wait? If you are keen to start on early teaching concepts of practically anything, just embark on it. Get those keywords smacking on those little lips like it means something… for later on it WILL mean something anyhow. Believe me, they’ll thank you for it.

Hard to find stuff? No excuse. With the number of Daiso stores growing like mushrooms and those novelty items you can get from those ever-so-frequent pasar malams (night bazaars), one can start on anything with one’s children at anytime. They come pretty cheap too! Here’s a set of the most realistic looking fruits i’ve got from Daiso. Yes, $2 for each!

Realistic size wise too! Still in mint collection. 🙂 As an extension to introducing the names of the fruits to the children, you can make word strip cards for them to match to the corresponding fruit as well. Such exercises also promote sight reading in children.

Honestly, the gift of love is pretty much… time.

Your time.

So, make time if you have the time. Your children will love you for it! Make learning fun……. while you still can that is! Ahahakz! LOL!

 

*Final note :
*Montessorian children get to enjoy many of these activities in the classroom. Science explorations in a Montessori classroom spans broadly from zoology to botany and later even get to move on to early geography as well, where children learn about landforms and even natural disasters.
Trust me to add this on, uh? Well, can’t help it. Hahaa!
*Montessorian children learn beyond pre-school and whoever said it doesn’t prepare children for P1 should research more into it. There’s P3/P4 Science introductions in those ‘fun’ lessons, yo! Geography is only taught much later too! So before i end this article, just a quick nod to all fellow Montessorians, cheers!
 

 

Thx

 I do appreciate of all our members who love to share n not just keep to themselves their ideas or others as they read.

Take care moms n enjoy the day in ur own way.

 

Thanks for sharing the ideas

Thanks for sharing the ideas on how to introduce different parts of the animal! I just did one on parts of a fish. Someone told me it is being taught at K1 science….

EatNonStop but not WorkNonStop

Project?! Gosh! What is it? I really cannot remember……paisay!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah, my boy is 4 yrs old now….though I Cook-Non-Stop in weekends "only", but not every dishes or bakes my kids will enjoy or eat. Most of the time, I will fence them away from the kitchen to prevent more "chaos" thus not so much sharing of fun stuff "in the kitchen"……I always admire your "full attention & focus" to your kids while I will be screaming alot most of the time when I have to drag them to do their homework, tidy up their stuff etc (I donot have any domestic helper since the few I had previously were having issues with MIL) so got to get them to do things on their own!

We read mostly that Kids will learn the most when they learn thru play but I always find that to be very challenging cos you need to be very creative and full of patient and energy.. all these can be seen in you thus I admire you alot in this area….I " half past six"..giveup halfway when my plan is ruin by their mischievous and difficult to catch their attention..haha 

Lor so..

Quote amylqf, "Thanks for detail workplan."

As if you didn’t already know me… for as long as i can remember, i have always been lor so. :p Hee..

I remember who EatNonStop... LOL!

Quote EatNonStop, "Buds… great article, creativity and demo with pics…this definitely a good start for my kids to learn Science. Hopefully I can be as discipline and dedicate as you in teaching kids….nevertheless, always able to learn alot of stuff from you. Thanks for sharing"

You’re welcome EatNonStop, i remember you.. You defensively explained that the one who ate non stop was your baby… at that time. Must be big already now. I initially thought you loved eating non stop! LOL! At the rate you’re posting all those goodies here, can tell how blessed your children & family are that you’re filling them up fine albeit being a FTWM. *salute*

Just like cooking nutritious food when you can, you also share fun stuff with the children when you can. Parents always have a lot to juggle so many hats. I’m always here if you need me.. Eh, you still owe me report on the project you embarked on the last time, right?

Introduction To Early Science

Buds… great article, creativity and demo with pics…this definitely a good start for my kids to learn Science. Hopefully I can be as discipline and dedicate as you in teaching kids….nevertheless, always able to learn alot of stuff from you. Thanks for sharing

thanks for detail workplan

thanks for detail workplan

Thanks for ur reply!

Thanks for ur reply.I like ur last two paragraph.Its very useful for me.

#2

Quote Brenda10, "Thanks bud for your wonderful and creative sharing in teaching science."

Heyya Brenda10, though your child doesn’t need these ideas anymore it is nice of you to drop a line of encouragement. Thanks. I appreciate it. It may come in handy for your #2 perhaps?

Thanks bud for your wonderful

Thanks bud for your wonderful and creative sharing in teaching science. 

 

Thanks sista

Thanks sista for sharing such an informative article once again.  I have picked up EVEN more tips on how to make Science lessons EVEN more interesting :)))

Just recently before I delivered, we used cardboard and a spare magazine to construct an incline as DS was so fascinated by the concept of gravity as he is into skateboarding now.

Another time, we constructed a parachute by using an NTUC plastic bag, cutting it into round shape, punching holes and attaching the string and a toy soldier, to teach DS the concept of sink and float.  That came about because he wanted to know why was it that when a person using a parachut lands on sea, he does not sink but float

Actually there is alot that can be done using materials at home to teach Science, just need to put our creativity and imagination to good use.

 

Timely

Quote LKVM, "Yes buds he will be in P2 so just nice and on time!! Thanks again for nice pictures…"

You’re welcome, LKVM. More to share in future. Wow, yah.. just nice since he’s going on P2. Believe he’s in good hands under your guidance.

Yes

Yes buds he will be in P2 so just nice and on time!! Thanks again for nice pictures…

Pictures paint a thousand words...

Quote RRMummy, "Hi buds,

Thanks for yet another interesting sharing and great ideas.

Yeah and trust you to put in that last bolded paragraphes!! So u!!"

Heyya there, RRMummy…  Happy you like them! The final note wasn’t supposed to be bold actually. I merely clicked on a smaller font and it seemed to shrink smaller… yes… but it grew fat somehow. *scratch head* Strange. But hor, the Montessori nod was intentional! LOLz!

Niwae, i have just added in the pictures this afternoon. Hope the ideas are even clearer now.  Pictures paint a thousand words, they say….

Cheerios!

Science Ideas

Quote mummy of 2, "Hi buds Thanks for the many ideas that are so fun and teach the kids, without them realizing it. DS loves to read non-fiction books and has been asking to do experients at home. I’m going to "steal" some of your brilliant ideas :)"

Heyya mummy of 2, you are most welcome. 🙂 While boys are normally the ones who are more inclined towards the works of Science… it does not mean that girls should lose out. Gender should not be a sole factor in determining that inclination entirely. Nurture can also play a part in instilling the interest in our children. No need to steal. Heheee.. they are all yours for the taking. My ideas are meant to be shared so that all lucky children with hands-on parents can benefit from them. So i suppose your DS and DD are the lucky ones..  Hugs for DS and your dainty little miss cutie… tell them auntie buds says hi. I will bring some more goodies for them the next time we meet up. 🙂 Keep in touch, mummy of 2…

Spur of the moment

Quote Happy Mama, "Heya buds! You should have written this earlier so that I could have benefited back then! Very informative, but a pity I won’t be having a second child to apply the theories into practical…. :))

Cheers, Happy Mama!"

Heyya Happy Mama, sorry lar. Spur of the moment inspiration to write cause i was reading to buds_chubs some books by Eric Carle related to Science.. hence the ideas just came whoosing thru. You won’t have a 2nd child? Close shop oredi arh? *wink*

Cheers to you too, Happy Mama.

In time

Quote LKVM, "Thanks for sharing this info.. just in time!!"

You are welcome, LKVM. Your boy will be in P2 next year, right?

Build up resources

Quote tigger88, "Thanks for sharing buds! I can save this for future reference!"

You’re welcome tigger88. If you start building up your resources now and keep them in pristine condition, you can use them 4 times over (in your case).  I’m slowly gonna audit my treasures and compile these Science resources for my DD2 who will be in P3 next year. I’ll use them for playtime with her first after which it will be used for buds_chubs.

Useful

Quote WCW, "Thanks for sharing 🙂  useful info."

You are welcome, WCW. Glad you found it useful.

Thanks for sharing :)  useful

Thanks for sharing 🙂  useful info

Pictures uploaded for ideas on Introduction to Science!

Heyya everyone! Thanks to DD2 who helped babysit buds_chubs, i managed to upload the pictures to the article liao this afternoon. Hope ya guys like it now that it’s finally all done up. *wink* Perusing back the article without pics looked kinda weird.. sorry, been busy. The baby’s been wanting to play a lot.  

Interesting

Quote Champion, "Thanks for making Science so interesting! WOW! Thank you very much for your sharing! It’s come in handy"

Heyya Champion, we can make ANY lessons interesting if we can get creative! Happy that you find the ideas handy! More to come!

Keep it up!

Quote smartmummy, "Thanks for sharing!"

You’re most welcome, smartmummy!

"I didn’t know is science,but I just explore all these things with my son.Now with my daughter."

That’s why you’re smartmummy!  Kudos!

"I agree with you.We have to explore at young age."

Yes. This ensures no last minute crunch time for the children and yes… of course, for the adults as well definitely.

"I had bought animals to teach animal names.He played with animals and build houses for them using his blocks."

Good for you. From here, you can go on and informally introduce the names of these animal homes/houses too. Like kennel for the dog.. stable for the horse.. nest for the birds and so on.. Using blocks for the animal houses is a creative way to learn thru play for imagination has no boundaries. I am sure your son remembers that playtime till today.

"I do bake with my son.He liked to see how did it come?."

For baking, an idea is that you can use animal cookie cutters to bake butter cookies if you have introduced to them on animals. 

Extension activities should come with an objective in mind. An objective to extend initial introductory lessons. Just like the example of making fruit salad dessert after learning about the names of vegetables.

At the end of such activities, children should be able to conclude what they’ve learnt; for you to know that the objectives have been met in extending the concept introduced earlier.

Keep it up!

Science is everywhere!

Hi buds!

Thanks for sharing!

I didn’t know  is science,but I just explore all these things with my son.Now with my daughter.I agree with you.We have to explore at young age.I had bought animals to teach animal names.He p[layed with animals and  build houses for them using his blocks.I do bake  with my son.He liked to see how did it come?.

Thanks for making Science so interesting!

 WOW! Thank you very much for your sharing! It’s come in handy

Thanks for sharing buds! I

Thanks for sharing buds! I can save this for future reference!

Thanks for Sharing

Thanks for sharing this info.. just in time!!

Heya buds! You should have

Heya buds! You should have written this earlier so that I could have benefited back then! Very informative, but a pity I won’t be having a second child to apply the theories into practical…. :))

Cheers, Happy Mama!

Thanks

Hi buds Thanks for the many ideas that are so fun and teach the kids, without them realizing it. DS loves to read non-fiction books and has been asking to do experients at home. I’m going to "steal" some of your brilliant ideas 🙂

Thanks for the ideas!

Hi buds,

Thanks for yet another interesting sharing and great ideas.

Yeah and trust you to put in that last bolded paragraphes!! So u!!

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