Supporting younger students at home starts with encouraging their curiosity. Children are natural explorers and by asking a few simple questions, you can inspire their creativity, encourage critical thinking, and build communication skills.
Whether sitting down for a meal together, playing outside, or doing chores around the house, find opportunities to use the questions below with your children.
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Make a list of objects that would melt in the sun. Think about what’s on your list that you might want to take on a picnic (i.e., ice cream, popsicles, ice for drinks).
Come up with a plan to keep your picnic items cold on a hot and sunny picnic day at the park. Then, design and test your plans!
Imagine, plan, design and test your own rain collection device.
Look out your window on a rainy day. How much rain do you think is falling down right now? How could we find a way to measure the rain? How would you tell if it rained more or less today than it did yesterday?
Create your own rain collection device to observe this phenomenon. Find a way to collect water and decide how you want to measure the water levels collected (for example, the collected rainwater is two erasers high today). Record your observations to answer the questions above.
Go on a walk around the community, neighborhood, or nearby park. Bring along a piece of paper, pencil, and a clipboard and create a list and tally of the number of certain items you find (mailboxes, swing sets, squirrels, etc).
What is there the most of? What is there the least of? What do you wish you had more of in your community?
Take a pair of pliers and a wintergreen Lifesaver candy in a dark closet, then quickly pinch the Lifesaver. What do you observe and how do you explain it?
Create a “positive vibes” video!
Brainstorm a list of positive adjectives that describe personality traits. Create a catch phrase or slogan for your favorites, and make a video with a mobile device. Link to your friends and/or classmates to celebrate their positive qualities.
Ask each family member to list all the ways they use plastic in one day. Be specific—used shampoo in a plastic bottle, brushed with a plastic toothbrush, ate a snack packaged in plastic. Look at the lists together to see if any uses could be eliminated or changed.
Place a plastic chip bag in the microwave for five seconds. What do you observe and how do you explain it? Place plastic bags between parchment paper and iron them. What do you observe and how do you explain it?
Road analysis: take a walk along one arterial road and identify the range of building types, animals, and land use. Create a photo tour slide show.