Let Them Explore

I love to do science in the summer. Did you notice, ambulance I said “do” and not “teach”? Teaching is fine for the school year when there are facts to memorize, dosage but at our house summer is when those facts are brought to practical use. Summer science at our house is all about exploration.

Whether we are doing experiments from a book or exploring the creek, we are “doing” science. This, my friends, is true science. Exploring, investigating, hypothesizing, testing. This is when those light bulb moments occur and those facts that the kids learned from their textbooks finally make sense.

Does this mean we never open science books during the summer? Heavens no! Good explorations often create more questions. Teaching the kids how to find answers in books is part of a good investigation. We often take impromptu trips to the library or Google to find answers to burning questions or just more facts about something that is fascinating us.

Don’t think your kids will “do” science this summer? Try creating interesting opportunities for them to explore. Set up a few experiments in the kitchen. Remember which ones they are interested in and do more like that. Take the kids on nature walks, trips to a botanical garden, fishing, camping or just dig in the backyard. Point out interesting things, but for the most part, let them lead the exploration. I love just turning the kids loose in the creek behind our house. You never know what they are going to bring up in their little bucket!

So, do you have any summer science explorations  planned? Have you been inspired to plan some now?

Comments

  1. I completely agree! What a wonderful way to look at summer–as a time to put those skills to practical use. We are planning a beach vacation and a friend loaned us a Beach Science book!

  2. we have been doing a lot of summer sciency exploration during our travels… I love the hands on learning that comes with these adventures. And the interest that it stirs up for further research at home or at the library. so fun!

  3. And Don’t Forget – LOOK UP! Star Gazing that is!!
    Summer viewing isn’t necessarily the best time to view the sky but summer nights ARE great for allowing your kids to stay up late and star gaze. Some of our favorite family times involve star-walks.
    http://www.teachingstars.com/2011/11/14/star-walk/

    Also, there are some phenomenal celestial events occurring over the next month. Read about them here and be sure to take your kids along for some great bonding time!

    • Great ideas! We have been getting more into astronomy over the past year. There is nothing more awe inspiring and humbling than star gazing. I love to share that with my kids.

  4. We love to “do” science in the summer as well! We haven’t done much outside for science, but we have been weighing things, measuring things and trying to see how much things can go in a box. Yes, there can be science in moving! 🙂

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