Kids should be allowed to break stuff more often. That's a consequence of exploration
— Neil deGrasse Tyson
Science, the study of the surrounding world, can be rather intimidating despite being so fascinating. Learning about how different aspects of the world operate in classrooms can become very uneventful, especially for children. To make this experience more lively, scientific theories and concepts can be incorporated with recreational and fun activities. As this methodical subject plays a crucial role in daily activities, it is easy to do so through various forms of games.
Using household materials
Using everyday materials makes science more fascinating and relatable instead of it being reserved for the super smart. It makes children curious about their surroundings.
We all know that oil is lighter than water. This fact can be made into a playful experiment, 'the ocean in a bottle' experiment. By mixing water with blue food colouring and cooking oil in a bottle, it can be demonstrated and proved that oil and water do not mix.
Children visually learn and have fun shaking the bottle to make their miniature ocean bubblier. Other than that, it tends to make children curious about the reasons behind such occurrences. Similar experiments include turning grapes into raisins, making a classic potato battery, creating a storm in a glass and so on.
Children tend to be active and filled with energy till the very last moment of the day. By arranging science games, their playtime can be made more amusing and also educational.
For instance, a scientific flare can be added to play dough, which can be made at home. By dividing it into several parts to make primary and secondary colours using food colouring, this physics game challenges little ones to mix their dough to match the colours of objects they find in their homes.
Another interesting game to enlighten children is 'walking on eggs.' This game may get a little messy. The eggs need to be laid out on the floor in cartons and the surface should be consistent to walk on. The challenge will be getting over the fear of crushing the eggs and being able to evenly distribute weight to walk on the eggs without breaking any. Upon success, the science behind this game is bound to make any inquisitive mind want more.
Similar games may include, craft stick chain reaction to learn about chain reactions and tension, static electricity balloon race and many more.
Other than that, many science experiment kits are available from OnnoRokom BigganBaksho, which specifically cater to arousing interest among children about science. The kits come with video tutorials and instructions to assist the young scientists on their enterprise.
Trips to the museum
Museums have always played a respectable role in preserving monumental discoveries throughout history. Many museums aim to record the ongoing growth of physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, etc. However, looking at such records from a distance may become dreary for young minds and give science a rather tedious image. To prevent such, the National Museum of Science and Technology in Dhaka offers a number of interactive galleries and opportunities to see the sky and the planets closely.
The most attractive parts of the museum are the fun galleries and the sky observation activity conducted every weekend for an hour starting from evening. It enables children to learn through interaction and to observe the stars and planets through a telescope. Not only is this a fun way to introduce children to what secrets lie in the sky, but also a good family outing activity.
For more information on the activities held by the museum, their website gives clear details about the timings, entry fees and when the skies will be clear.
Watching television programmes and videos
Many television shows focus on conducting science experiments to make science more welcoming and engaging. An iconic figure in the world of playful science is Bill Nye, the Science Guy, who has not only hosted a children's science show but has also made the show educational and entertaining. His videos are available on the Internet and provide a playful and amusing insight into scientific theories along with experiments.
Nowadays, under immense pressure to excel, children often lose interest in science. The above-mentioned activities are new and interactive approaches to reignite curiosity and feed the inquiring minds with knowledge through fun games and activities instead of textbooks. It not only removes mundanity in learning but makes it fun and something to look forward to.
By Puja Sarkar
Photo: LS Archive/ Sazzad Ibne Sayed