Preparing for a workshop on science for infants and toddlers, I asked some colleagues for input. Some suggested I bring special items to teach how to teach about certain aspects of science. MY point is that special lessons are unnecessary and interfere with little ones’ exploration.
Lots of things go in the mouth. Are they hard or soft, bumpy or smooth, and which ones feel better when teething?
They push and throw things and find out if they push something off of a table, it will fall. After many, many tries, they find that the item always falls down – not up, not sideways.
Some things do come up again, such as balls. But when balls finish bouncing, they are down and stay down until someone bounces them again.
These and thousands of everyday explorations are real science learning.
Adults can help by giving them materials, time, and space to explore. Adults can sportscast – “You threw the spoon. It fell onto the floor.” Science words would be, “It was UP on the table, now it’s DOWN on the floor.”