Playing with Science – Plants and Nature
A rose by any other name…
Children under the age of five can begin by investigating plants in their garden and local park – you can also try getting your child to create collages or leaf prints (by painting one side and pressing it down on a piece of paper).
In Key Stage 1, children will start to look at how plants change as they grow. Try giving your child an area of the garden where they can grow their own flowers, fruit and vegetables (see inhabitots for some suggestions of easy plants for children to grow). This is great for encouraging your child to observe the plants growing – they will love seeing their very own strawberries getting riper each day, and then being able to proudly offer them to members of the family. There is also the brilliant Little Labs Botany kit by Thames and Kosmos which allows children to grow their own plants from seeds, as well as letting them conduct experiments to learn how different plants need water, light and heat to grow.
Children will learn the parts of a plant’s structure (e.g. stem, leaves, and roots), and in lower Key Stage 2, they will further develop this knowledge by examining the roles of the different parts of the plant. You can encourage your child to examine plants and identify these using a magnifying glass – the Recording Magnifier by Play and Learn is great because your child can record their observations as they investigate the garden, and then play their thoughts back again afterwards to show you what they found!
I don’t know whether the weather will improve
Children in Key Stage 1 will start to observe the different types of weather, and learn that the seasons change through the year. Try getting your child to create their own weather report for the week – you could get them to draw weather symbols (e.g. a sun or sunglasses, rain or an umbrella) in a diary, or maybe help them film their own weather report each day of the week.
You can also encourage them to experiment with science kits. Children can create their own clouds with the Weather Science set by 4M, and this can introduce them to global warming, too. Another good set is the Little Labs Weather Science by Thames and Kosmos, which helps children investigate weather, pressure and temperature as well as make their own rainbow!Tags: BSW2015, play ideas, Science Week
This post was written by Anna Taylor