The previous given examples are just some ideas of how science really occurs for infants and toddlers in real life. The acquisition of this knowledge doesn’t stop at the classroom door, though. Science is everywhere and happening all around us. The scientific process may be the “how” of life, but the knowledge gained from that process is the substance, and just as important.
Infants are exploring people, places, events, objects, and relationships even from an early age. In the first few weeks of life an infant learns feeding patterns and habits as they settle into a routine. They know to latch onto a bottle or breast in order to feed, and they begin to learn about their primary caregivers and how to identify them.
The world is a new place for the infant to explore literally from the first moment of life.
Mobile infants begin to experiment with spatial awareness and objects. They may find motivation to crawl in the desire to get to a toy or loved one. They silently and casually experience the scientific method as they go through the steps of exploring their options in these situations.
Toddlers are given the opportunity to test out more complex matters as they explore the world around them. They notice new concepts and investigate them to build a body of knowledge about the world around them. A caregiver may explain the change and encourage the toddler to find a leaf and further investigate it.
This is scientific discovery in action and should be supported and encouraged by caregivers, teachers, and parents.
Video: Toddler Learns Science Through Play Source: Francie Dillon :54 minutes
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