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Science inspiration for toddlers, primary schoolers and pre-teens


Three states

The big news out of CERN, the nuclear research lab is that they’re pretty sure they’ve nailed the Higgs Boson – aka the God particle.  I can barely understand a word they’re saying and conceptually I am completely lost (never any good at physics).  But all of us can recognise that this is a big deal for science.

With nanotechnology, stem cell research and particle physics zooming ahead, there’s no more exciting time that now to get your young children into the wonders of science.  But how?  Not by trying to explain sub-atomic particles – even with oranges and apples to demonstrate, that’s just too tough!

Why not get inspired by this news to have a science-y kind of week at home this holidays.  Start in the kitchen, every mum’s very own lab, and examine water:  it’s liquid – drink it.  It’s solid – smash it into pieces.  It’s gas – watch it billow up out of the kettle.  Simple but that’s the 3 states of matter all wrapped up in a flash.

Follow that up with a bedtime watch of the fun biography films of famous scientists like Isaac Newton, Galileo, Marie Curie or Louis Pasteur and you may just sow a science seed in your preschooler’s young brain.

And they might just begin to look more closely at things around them and ask questions.  I think that’s the first step on the road to CERN.

Good parenting – a helpful tool

Tired from a day’s work?  Or a full afternoon surrounded by toddlers? A long commute back home?  All this and more can make evening with small children seem a tough prospect, however much you love them.  I’m no advocate of maxing kids out on screen time – computers, tablets or TV – but if you deserve some me-time, and need it too, why not sit your children down in front of NowYouKnowAbout’s short, funny and educational films about famous people.  They’ll be entertained, they’ll be absorbed; you’ll get a break and – the icing on the cake – those kids will learn something new and useful.

A friend of mine who’s a hard-working mother was delighted to find that, when her son, aged 8, went on a school trip around Westminster Abbey, he told the teacher and the rest of his class that the great discoverer of gravity, Isaac Newton, was buried there.  He’d picked that up watching NowYouKnowAbout Isaac Newton – our ten-minute movie that teaches kids stuff and gives their parents a guilt-free moment to put their feet up.

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