Parenting Resource

Everyday Fun with Science: Let’s Talk About STEM Video

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Watch how science skills develop from birth to 5 years old.

An early understanding of science can be seen when children experiment with:

  • Making observations and noticing similarities and differences;
  • Asking questions;
  • Describing objects, animals, and plants, and natural processes like rainstorms;
  • Predicting what will happen next in a process;
  • Providing explanations for processes they observe—such as why there is thunder;
  • Using tools to further exploration, such as binoculars, a shovel, or a pulley.

Children also build science skills through an understanding of concepts and ideas that cut across many areas of learning—these include:

  • Patterns;
  • Cause and effect;
  • Scale, proportion, and quantity;
  • Energy and matter;
  • Structure and function; and
  • Stability and change.

Download a parent handout with activities designed to support young children’s growing science skills and knowledge from birth to 5.

Source: National Academies, Board on Science Education, 2011

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