Can three-year-olds really begin to understand scientific concepts like states of matter, force, and motion?
“Absolutely,” says Meg Davis, manager of curriculum development for Knowledge Universe. “Children are young scientists. They learn about he world around them through their senses.” This natural curiosity is the basis for KinderCare’s new early science education program, launching this summer.
Called Spectacular Science, the two-week program presents basic science concepts in ways three-year-olds can engage with and understand.
“The key,” Davis says, is to provide children with plenty of hands-on opportunities to explore science in a playful way.”
For example, while learning about states of matter (solids, liquids, and gases), KinderCare students will pretend to be balloons filled with air that float up into the sky..and then fall back to the ground. That kind of physicality helps bring complex concepts to life for young children.
Spectacular Science is one of six new thematic units KinderCare is offering this summer for preschoolers and prekindergarteners. The new summer programs are handpicked for fun — and for learning.
Every two weeks, children will be immersed in a new theme, keeping them exploring and playing all summer long.
From dialing 9-1-1 to learning what police officers do, the Staying Safe program gives children the tools to stay safe in their homes, schools, and communities.
Exploring the Arts
All About Books
Children will be immersed in the joys of reading and the wonderful world of words and books. Stories take center stage in this unit, and even outdoor activities support literacy through active games and read-alouds.
Food and Flavors
Children have hands-on fun preparing and eating snacks while exploring food’s flavors, textures, shapes, colors, and the importance of healthful eating. Plus, children will get a good dose of science by learning about fruit seeds and how plants drink water.
Shapes and Colors (preschool) & Alphabet Letters (pre-k)
These end-of-summer programs are designed to get children ready to go back to school, but the main focus is still on fun: While preschool children explore shapes and colors, pre-k students will learn letters and sounds. Both programs will employ plenty of art activities and outdoor games to make the learning fun.
So the next time someone expresses disbelief that young children in KinderCare centers are learning core scientific concepts, think back on the advice Knowledge Universe education leaders provided on the KinderCare blog and remind the skeptic just how much learning happens in a KU classroom.