Many parents wonder when their child is old enough to start learning about science.
As it turns out, science is actually an important part of early childhood education, along with basic skills like reading and math. Science taps into preschoolers’ natural curiosity and helps them to cultivate a lifelong desire to learn.
Young children need multiple ways to engage with science to help them grasp important concepts.
At Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool®, our proprietary Creatively Shine™ curriculum includes science learning centers, while some locations feature additional science labs. It’s part of our core philosophy that the learning environment is the child’s “third teacher,” in addition to parents and teachers.
Early Science Learning Helps Build Multiple Skills
Science lessons for preschoolers provide a rich context for developing many important skills, such as working with others, small- and large-motor control, language and math.
An article published in the journal Early Childhood Research and Practice highlights a number of additional skills young children can develop by engaging in science activities.
- Explore objects, materials and events
- Raise questions
- Engage in simple investigations
- Use tools like magnifying glasses and rulers to extend observations
- Record observations using words, pictures, charts and graphs
- Describe, compare, sort, classify and order concepts and objects using shapes, sizes, numbers and other methods
- Identify patterns and relationships
- Develop tentative explanations and ideas based on observations
- Work collaboratively with others
- Share and discuss ideas, listen to new perspectives
Encouraging Preschoolers to Embrace Scientific Inquiry
Science at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse® is an important part of our curriculum that views children as collaborators in the learning process. Preschoolers work on monthly or weekly in-depth projects that integrate skills across a number of disciplines.
Our approach is consistent with the National Science Teachers Association’s recommendation that science in early childhood education works best through experiential learning activities.
For example, one monthly lesson theme at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse® focused on “Creepy Crawlies” to teach preschoolers about the differences between insects, arachnids and worms using a wide range of cognitive, language, physical and social/emotional activities.
- Observing bugs indoors and out, including ant farms or peg boards with different species
- Analyzing bugs by noting the number of body parts, number of legs, behavior, diet and other characteristics
- Telling stories featuring bugs as characters
- Creating art displays featuring different types of bugs
Science learning is just one of the many ways we encourage development of the “whole child” at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse®.
Contact a location near you to learn more about our preschool science curriculum and other enriching learning experiences!