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Posts Tagged ‘science’

Learning while Cooking with Your Child

Cooking with children provides many learning opportunities! You can practice math by counting items, sorting different food items, comparing size and measuring. You can practice science as you discuss how items grow, how heat affects food and the different textures of foods. You can develop fine motor skills while peeling foods and picking up pieces of food to add to a recipe. There are also many opportunities for literacy growth as you cook with your child! The NAEYC article below discusses different ideas on how to do that. The most important thing to remember when cooking with your child is: HAVE FUN!!


Read and Eat

By: Mary Reid

For years I kept a stone in a drawer in my kitchen. Why, you ask?  Because my kids and I needed it to make stone soup! The classic story, Stone Soup, tells about a weary traveler who arrives in a village hungry and without food. None of the villagers wish to share food with him until he says he can make soup from a stone. The villagers offer first an onion, and finally some juicy beef bones.

Every time we made soup, we’d turn it into stone soup and together would chant the refrain, “Fancy that, soup from a stone,” and “It tastes good now but it would taste better if we had some juicy beef bones.”

Our children loved making stone soup for years, always using the same smooth white stone. As a family, we had fun chanting, “Soup from a stone. Fancy that?” but the lesson was deeper. We talked about the gist of being generous – a family value we wanted to pass down to our children.

Cooking offers a wonderful way to bring what we learn from books into our daily life.  While cooking we build relationships, engage the senses and develop literacy skills.

Many classic children’s stories lend themselves to cooking with children. Here are some examples:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears:  The story of the Three Bears is a predictable story and one easily sequenced by young children due to the repetition (Papa Bear’s big items, Mama Bear’s middle sized things and Baby Bear’s tiny things). Sequencing is a skill that is needed in daily life, as well as in reading and math comprehension.  And of course this story begs for a porridge meal (oatmeal, cream of wheat, etc.) Children will, of course, want theirs “Just right,” just like Goldilocks.

Green Eggs and Ham, by: Dr. Seuss: Add a little green food coloring into scrambled eggs for your child after reading the book together. If your picky eater doesn’t like the look of green eggs, ask him “Would you eat them in the boat? Would you eat them with a goat?” He may reply, “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I Am.” Who can deny Dr. Seuss as the king of rhyme? Learning to rhyme is a skill needed before children learn to read. Many adults remember the rhymes from Dr. Seuss books and making time to rhyme with children is a fun way to learn this skill.

Pancakes, Pancakes, by: Eric Carle: This book illustrates the old fashion way to make pancakes beginning with graining the flour. Follow the author’s lead and take the time to make pancakes from scratch with your child. (You don’t need a mix – pancakes require just a few ingredients.) Foster writing and math skills by creating a pictorial version of your own pancake recipe with your child, making simple drawings to depict the ingredients. For example, you can say: “We used two eggs, Can you make a drawing that shows how many eggs we need for this recipe?”

You and your children will build relationships, engage your senses and develop literacy skills by reading and cooking together.

Read and eat, that’s my philosophy.


For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page



Science is FUN!!

This past week, we had a visit from Haz-Matt, one of Mr. Bond’s Science Guys. He brought Science to life and made it fun for our kiddos! Check out the photos at the end of this blog from Haz-Matt’s visit and a few of our kiddos making a volcano erupt. Below is a wonderful article on how fun and simple science can be for little ones. It is taken from education.com and was written by Traci Geiser.

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page.


When parents think of scientific learning, they probably think of the chemistry experiments and biology textbooks that characterize science class in elementary school and above. But preschoolers are already actively engaged in scientific learning, both inside the classroom and out. As they ask questions and seek answers to their “how” and “why” questions, they are beginning to practice scientific investigation.

The scientific method for preschoolers doesn’t involve fancy equipment and systematic procedures. “Science is a way to find out about the world through exploration. Children are investigators by nature, “says Dr. Laura Martin, Director of Science Interpretation at the Arizona Science Center. “When you nurture children’s natural desire to investigate you are helping them to develop scientific minds. We create environments that engage the senses of young children and allow them to sort and classify, handle, observe, and build and ask questions, which is how they construct ideas about the physical and natural world.”

You can foster your child’s curiosity about science by engaging in conversations, reading books and simply observing the world around you! Preschoolers’ natural curiosity makes exploring science together a blast. How can parents help? Try a few of these fun and simple ways to engage your child in science learning.


As you make observations about nature, start conversations with your preschooler. Simply discussing what you observe, hypothesizing about what you think might happen, and categorizing different objects and occurrences will give your child important insights about science.

Hypothesize: Give your child the opportunity to make guesses about what she thinks might happen.

  • Ask your child what color she thinks will be created when you mix blue and yellow together and then let her try by adding food color to water or finger painting.
  • Engage in a little physics by rolling cars down a wooden plank or balls through a wrapping paper tube. Ask your child to guess which angle will make the car or ball go faster or farther.
  • Fill a large container with water and gather a bunch of small items from around the house. Have your child make guesses about which will sink and which will float and then test her theory. You might be surprised by some of the results.

Categorize: Help your child understand the order of nature by observing the categories animals and food fall into.

  • Take notice of which foods are vegetables and vegetables. You can also categorize other foods from your dinner plate such as dairy, grains, and protein.
  • Talk about different types of animals and see what you can learn about them by checking out books in your library. Follow your child’s interest: if she loves frogs, find a book about amphibians, or treat your little bug hunter to a few books about the characteristics insects share. Other interesting categories might include nocturnal animals, reptiles, fish, and mammals.


What seems obvious to you may be a scientific breakthrough for your child. As you go through the day, observe out loud all the wonders of nature.

  • Point out Plants. Take a nature walk and observe the plants you find. Notice the buds on the trees in spring, the falling leaves in the fall and how the grass turns brown in the winter. Go on the Internet to learn more by doing a search for any questions your child has.
  • Investigate Insects. Get a magnifying glass and take a closer look at the creepy crawlies in your yard. Children are fascinated by bugs and will enjoy taking a closer look. Take notice of which bugs have wings or antennas or how many legs they have. Check out a few books at the library to take your investigation even further.
  • Analyze Animals. While visiting the zoo or farm, notice special characteristics animals have. Can you see how a rhinoceros and hippopotamus are the same and different? Which animals have sharp teeth and claws? How does the giraffe use his long neck and the elephants use his long nose? What do they eat? Where do they live? What are their babies called? Ask a zoo keeper or farmer to answer any questions you may have.


Take a trip to your local library where a wealth of information can be found on any science topic of interest to your child.

  • Be sure to check out the non-fiction book section, which will have many books with photographs rather than illustrations. These gems also contain charts, graphs, and everything your child could want to know about various science topics.
  • The author Gail Gibbons writes wonderful picture books on a variety of science topics. Check out The Reason for SeasonsFrom Seed to Plant, Recycle! or any of her other books for great science reading.
  • Eric Carle books are wonderful resources for learning about bugs. Take a look at The Very Hungry CaterpillarThe Grouchy Ladybug and The Very Quiet Cricket for a jumpstart to learning about bugs.

Science is quite simple for young children. Help your child learn about her world through conversations, observations and investigations. These simple activities will help build the foundations for your child’s future scientific endeavors!

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A Family Shadow Walk

Now that the weather is warmer and the days are longer, family walks are a wonderful activity for everyone! Below are some ideas from NAEYC on incorporating Science into your family walks!

Family walks, no matter where (around the block, in a park, at the beach), provide wonderful opportunities to explore the mysteries of light and shadows. Your child can learn a lot—like how to make shadows bigger and smaller and how shadows move. Enjoy the walk and the fun of observing shadows and how they change as you move about outdoors.

  • Notice the shadows of the things around you—cars, a dog or cat, a bird flying from tree to tree.
  • Observe the way your shadows “walk” along with you, and play with the shadows!
  • Make different types of shadows by moving your arms or legs or jumping about.
  • Use chalk to outline your shadow and your child’s shadow. Come back later in the day to check on your shadows. In what ways are they the same or different?
  • Measure the lengths of your shadows using pieces of yarn or string or with a tape measure. Measure the shadows of other objects too, like a parked car, trees, the mailbox, or anything else that casts a shadow. Ask questions or make comments that help your child think:
    • I wonder what will happen to your shadow if you step forward or back?
    • What might happen if we stand close together?
    • Where is the sun in the sky right now? (Ask this at several times of the day.)
    • What happens to shadows on a cloudy day?
  • Explore, observe, and enjoy doing and learning about science together!


Article taken from families.naeyc.org

For more information on The Goddard School in Franklin (Cool Springs) visit our website and our Facebook page.