Science for a kindergartener is usually filled with lots of wonder. The child is a natural explorer and is very eager to explore their surroundings as long as the environmental is provided for them. We can definitely set up the right environment for them so they have plenty of chances to explore mud, sand and sound. Too easily nowadays, parents want to educate their children with science using educational videos and science exploration kits. But all of that is really unnecessary for your kindergartener.
For example, using winter as our main season, let’s look at ways you can set the scene for your kindergartener the Waldorf way.
Keeping your bird feeders stocked, during the wintertime, all the birds that are around in your neighborhood will know that your house is the place to be. There are some great bird families that we got to observe including woodpeckers, if you remember to buy suet. We gave them names and said hello to them each time they visited. Once the weather starts warming up then new birds come by and you know it’s springtime. You do not need to classify them, but just simply observe them and their personalities.
While you are out exploring the snow you can also spy some animal tracks in your neighborhood. It’s really interesting to try to guess where the animals live and where they were going. We usually see if we can find their homes in the trees and give them a story that goes along with their tracks.
Festivals are a really big deal in Waldorf kindergarten. There are many activities to be done during the winter season that is actually science but it weaves into their everyday lives. For example, baking bread, there is no explanation for the rising of the bread but it builds on the foundation that the child will use later on. Other activities that can go with this winter season are:
– holiday crafts
– decorating candles
– making homemade cards for relatives
– cutting transparent shapes for windows
– collecting pine cones for nature table
Observing festivals gives the child an opportunity to see that there is a flow to life. Things are born and die again or transform into something. That experience is very meaningful to a child.
For kindergarten science there is also working with clay that does not explain how the clay dries or molds into something but the child gets to experience as well as painting. Without really explaining the color wheel the child experiences the colors blending together and making other colors. This all builds a great foundation for the years ahead.
I hope you get some ideas to set your own scene this winter season and start observing right along with your child, opening up a whole new experience for you both.