My first experience of doing science with my kids happened by accident. In January of 2014 we had quite a cold spell in Minnesota and school was canceled for a number of days. About the same time, some videos about throwing boiling water into the air and freezing instantly were making their way around the interwebs. I figured my kids would like to see if it works. We boiled some water, they stood by the window, and I went out on the deck and threw it into the air. They were thrilled. Then, for some reason I really wish I could remember, we decided to make it more experiment-like. We wondered if the water really needed to be boiling. So I guided the kids to the idea that we should try different temperatures of water to see if it still had the same effect. We would get some water in a bowl, measure the temp with a meat thermometer, and then, crucially, I had each child make a prediction as to whether it would work or not. We recorded their predictions on a whiteboard, then recorded the results, all shown below.
This was a wonderful experience for both the kids and I. They got experience with experimentation, record keeping, and measuring both qualitatively and quantitatively, and more importantly, had the chance to ask a question and explore to try to find out the answer.
This is what Doing Science With Your Kids is all about; be curious, ask questions, wonder, explore, and authentically seek out evidence and answers while having fun.
Fast forward a couple of months, I was inspired by Christopher’s Talking Math With Your Kids hashtag (#tmwyk) to start #dswyk, and a few folks and I started tweeting to it. From there, someone mentioned a blog. I thought it would be fun to make it collaborative; anyone could become an author and post to it. So here we are.
Go here if you would like to contribute to this blog. More importantly, go do some science with your kids!