Our early years experts offer four simple ways to encourage your child’s natural scientific development through simple physics.
Children are constantly experimenting to find out how things work. While it may sometimes look like purposeless, repetitive activities are often very specific scientific observations to understand the workings of the world.
It is important to encourage children’s natural experimentation with simple machines throughout your home. When you have time, you can help guide the experience.
One of the basic principles of physics is understanding that there are six simple machines that can make our work easier. Simple machines include a lever, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, wedge and pulley. While the names are not particularly important to most young children, chances to experiment with these simple machines are needed in developing an early understanding of physics.
There are many games that can help with this children’s experimentation, from build your own Marble Run games for children from 3 years upwards (it’s important to ensure any set is appropriate for your child’s age) to more complex versions such as Gravitrax and K’nex which can engage even significantly older children. For more inspiration The Science Museum shop has a great range of science-based activities and experiments for children of all ages.
While some of us may not consider science to be our strongest subject, by noticing children’s interests in how things work and building upon these to nurture inquisitive scientists, the joy of scientific discovery can be easily shared.