One thing to make sure your child understands is that parents aren’t superheroes who know everything. Emphasise that an answer can be found provided you look for it. For your part, if you are not sure of an answer, don’t guess. Look for the answer – what better way to set an example for your child?
Something fun to do with your little one – make Tang ice lollies. Not only will she learn about how water freezes, but will also enjoy the taste of the lollies!
Some Simple Home Experiments
Recording temperature: Paste a thermometer (the one with mercury) on a piece of foam or cardboard and decorate it. You can hang it near a mirror or on a wall outside your house. Keep a daily chart to record the temperature and the weather (cloudy, sunny, rainy). Ask your child to deduce the relationship between the two. Soon you will be able to use your weather chart to plan picnics! You can also teach your child concepts such as expansion due to heat and contraction due to cold, using this thermometer.
A fascinating resource for ideas on how to use common everyday materials to make science fun is Arvind Gupta’s website: http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html (Check out his presentation on TED too: http://www.ted.com/talks/arvind_gupta_turning_trash_into_toys_ for_learning.html). Gupta is an engineer turned science populariser and educator. For over 30 years now, he has been using trash to create simple toys that both amuse and educate.
Teaching mythology and history
- The best way to teach mythology and history is through stories. There are plenty of books available in the market, and one of the best are the Amar Chitra Katha series. Your child will love to have these read to her, and will later enjoy reading it herself and looking at the illustrations.
- Grandparents are a well- known source of stories and fun. Encourage your child to spend a weekend with grandma and grandpa, a hands-on way to learn about our culture.
- Watch movies that have historical and mythological references.
- Bedtime stories are also a great way to introduce history – stories about Alexander and Bucephalus, Christopher Columbus, and even the evolution of man, can be entertaining and educational.
- Moral stories are better appreciated at this age so be sure to include a moral lesson too. There are a number of series like Bubbles and Pepper, The Little Princess, etc. that teaches morality in a fun and easy-tounderstand way. Ask your child to think about the story, its lesson and importance. Hold a discussion and make your child feel that her opinions are valued.