“Dad! Ask me scientific question!” was a common refrain from the backseat of our station wagon when I was a kid. My dad is a physicist, and encouraged my sister and me from a young age to think about the world around us. On one level, I’m sure that talking about science was a way for me to connect with my dad, but after some time, I started to look at the world differently and ask my own questions.
On long car trips, we loved to play twenty questions. Not only was it a fun game, but without realizing it, we were learning to organize information and ask good questions.
“Is it an animal?”
“Does it eat meat?”
“Is it a mammal?”
“What’s a mammal?”
In other words, you don’t even need a lab, or even a kitchen table to do science. Every time you bend over to look at a bug, point out a bird or talk about the moon, you’re doing science with your kids. Teaching them to be curious is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
How do you teach your kids to be curious?