Learning to Observe is a very important science skill for children. For pre-schoolers, science is a way of thinking about and understanding the world. It is observing, predicting what might happen, testing those predictions, and making sense of their observations.
From a development perspective, young children learn and understand more effectively when they can see, touch, feel, and manipulate an object. Providing safe readily available materials that children can experiment with is important for hands-on science investigations.
In our planned preschool program, we provide children with science activities that are hands-on, child-driven, authentic, and active. We make drawings of our bearded dragon Stu, trace leaves, and play “sink and float” in a tub of water. Children are asked to observe from different angles many times over. They are encouraged to record their observations. Making drawings of the specimen supports multiple learning areas. Children learn both science and literacy from these activities. They realise that their observations can be recorded on paper and that they can express their visual observations in a written format.
We believe that these experiences lay the foundation for understanding of more complex scientific concepts later in life.