When we visit parks with our tents and tables and collection of activities for families, we really try to match the idea that science and play go hand-in-hand. We want kids to experience science as an engaging, active, and wondering kind of activity that is something they are already naturally inclined to do. We structure that around these themes:
- See it! (usually Mondays)
- Hear it! (usually Tuesdays)
- Build it! (usually Wednesdays)
- Move it! (usually Thursdays)
- Feel it! (usually Fridays)
Why these themes? Frankly, we could have organized the themes in lots of different ways so that we had a different set of activities and collection of stuff that we could pull from each day. We chose verbs, though, to really emphasize the actions of science and engineering as we want kids and their families to experience them. Sometimes we have interesting discussions about where something should go: Should our giant bubbles be associated with “move” (because they wiggle and fly) or “feel” (because they’re so gooey and we put our hands right in the solution) or “build” (because they have to be constructed). In the end, we organize things that make the most sense for our schedule and our supplies, and this changes from year to year. Take a look at any of these themes to see some examples.
When you’re in the parks, we hope that it will give you ideas for what you could do at home, too. We also develop even more activities and inquiries designed specifically for at-home science.