I love to do science in the summer. Did you notice, I said “do” and not “teach”? Teaching is fine for the school year when there are facts to memorize, but at our house summer is when those facts are brought to practical use. Summer science at our house is all about exploration.
Whether we are doing experiments from a book or exploring the creek, we are “doing” science. This, my friends, is true science. Exploring, investigating, hypothesizing, testing. This is when those light bulb moments occur and those facts that the kids learned from their textbooks finally make sense.
Does this mean we never open science books during the summer? Heavens no! Good explorations often create more questions. Teaching the kids how to find answers in books is part of a good investigation. We often take impromptu trips to the library or Google to find answers to burning questions or just more facts about something that is fascinating us.
Don’t think your kids will “do” science this summer? Try creating interesting opportunities for them to explore. Set up a few experiments in the kitchen. Remember which ones they are interested in and do more like that. Take the kids on nature walks, trips to a botanical garden, fishing, camping or just dig in the backyard. Point out interesting things, but for the most part, let them lead the exploration. I love just turning the kids loose in the creek behind our house. You never know what they are going to bring up in their little bucket!
So, do you have any summer science explorations planned? Have you been inspired to plan some now?