Playful Science offers resources for families to engage in "playful" science exploration in their everyday lives.
We develop activities and conversation starters that can aid families in identifying, discussing, and exploring science concepts and ideas that surround them in everyday settings.
We aim to design and research experiences that empower families to do and learn science practices together, and that empower parents to elicit and extend children’s curiosities.
Science can mean different things to different people. We view science as a process of making sense of the world around us through questioning, observing, exploring, and experimenting to construct causal understandings of the world. Science is about asking “why” and "how" and then seeking out ways to understand.
When students get to generate their own ideas about the world and think of ways to find out more about it, they get valuable experience thinking like a scientist and often end up with deeper understandings of the phenomena and of the practices of science. We believe it is important for young children to gain confidence in their own ideas about the world and in their capacity to make sense of things for themselves and with others.
In our approach to science learning, we strongly believe that children's ideas about the world are the most important starting place. Adults are often great at tapping into children’s curiosities about why and how things happen, so thinking, learning, and doing science during family time can help adults and children see that science is everywhere, every day, and any time! Based on research that values children's ideas in science we endorse an approach to science learning that includes the following:
We believe that you can help support your child's engagement with science by doing some of the following things...
[Based upon ideas in the book: Seeing the Science in Children’s Thinking by David Hammer and Emily Van Zee, 2006]
We hope that the exploration prompts we provide inspire you to think of additional activities, ask more questions, and explore ideas and phenomena that are interesting to your family! The prompts are suggestions and guides, NOT scripts that must be followed exactly. When you start looking carefully you can find opportunities for scientific thinking in everyday life!
Visit our Contact page to find out more about the people working on Playful Science.
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