Lesson plan developed by Aurora Tollestrup, BS Ed
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Science for Infants
Infants are natural scientists! Yes, you read that correctly. Most people consider science to be an advanced study set which requires higher methods of analyzing, observing and recording. While these things are necessary for scientific study, the very basis of scientific study is in exploration, curiosity and discovery. Infants are constantly exploring, observing, and discovering the world around them! Science is in the very nature of an infant’s development, and is easily supported by encouraging their discoveries and curiosities each and every day.
Infants are exposed to science when they are playing peek-a-boo, rolling a ball, feeling a new sensory experience, and reaching for a toy or toes. These experiences include learning about object permanence, cause and effect, the five senses, and spatial awareness, respectively. These seemingly common infantile experiences are actually scientific research in progress.
Have you ever helped an infant roll a ball across the floor? Did you support their reactions to the ball’s movement? Did you further their play by rolling the ball a new way, or urging them to crawl or walk to the ball? Caregivers and educators interact with infants in these ways almost constantly. They support the infant in a simplified scientific process, whether they are aware of it or not.