Opportunities for learning simple science are all around us! With the right training, early childhood assistants can use basic experiments to capture the magic of everyday science. Even the simplest tools can help young learners grasp tricky concepts and let their creativity shine.
If you are planning to enroll in early childcare assistant courses, or you have already started your program, read on for five classroom experiments that will provide young learners with a great science foundation.
Mini Ice Sculptures: Exploring Water Properties in Early Childhood
Early childhood educators enrich young minds in safe and fun environments. With just a little frozen water, trained educators and assistants can teach students the basic principles of matter.
When encouraged to play with ice cubes, young learners can take chances exploring what happens to ice when it’s shaped and held. Good childcare training teaches professionals to integrate material their students already know into the curriculum. As the ice melts, early childcare assistants might ask the children where the water came from. And of course, they will delight in knowing the answer, and be motivated to learn more about liquids and solids!
Playing the Rainbow: Introducing Sound and Colour Play
Childcare training centres are colourful places for a reason. Understanding and naming colours is a foundational early childhood skill. With cups, water, and food colouring childcare professionals can show students both sound and colour in action!
When children are instructed to use their hands to tap cups filled with varying colours and water levels, the different notes provide the childcare assistant an opportunity to introduce acoustic knowledge. What makes the sound? Children can see the vibrations and learn intuitively. Food colouring can also be used to blend primary colours, introducing students to colour wheel basics.
Fossilized Footprints: Bringing Science and History to Childcare
Professionals in childcare assisting careers recognize the importance of supporting a child’s natural curiosity. In fact, doing so is vital to the development of his or her character and self-esteem.
Since children are typically fascinated by dinosaurs, creating fossilized footprints in the classroom can be a great learning experience. Fossils offer insight into a world that was once very different that the one we live in today. A good childcare professional will emphasize how time is such an important ingredient in this particular experiment, and how dinosaurs made their own fossil imprints long ago.
To make fossils in the classroom, have the children press their hands or feet into a ball of trusty playdough, then cover the imprints with plaster to make “fossils.” After a day or so on the windowsill, little paleontologists can begin digging their hardened fossils out of the dough!
Plastic Cup Pets: Incorporating Nature into the Early Childhood Classroom
The most effective way to teach children is to let them see something happen with their own eyes and feel it with their own hands. This applies to basic biology when early learners plant and nurture their own seeds.
When childcare assistants help each child plant grass seeds in a cup that he or she drew a funny face on, they can help bring plant “pets” to life. An early childhood college grad might use the importance of watering the pets every day to teach students responsibility. Before long, the pets will start to sprout hair! Helping children record growth observations also invites them into the scientific process, laying foundations for success in future science education.
If you’re interested in helping children learn through fun and innovative experiments like these, check out our early early childcare assistant program for more information or to speak with an advisor.