As the mother of two curiosity-driven daughters, I seem to spend hours answering variations on the question: why???
Why can’t I be a mermaid? Why are there no real unicorns? Why can’t I have sweets and cheese for breakfast?
Some days, when I haven’t drunk nearly enough cups of tea, it’s hard to resist the temptation to hide away in the bathroom to avoid the seemingly endless interrogation. On others, when I’m fully-caffeinated, their appetite for information reminds me what it is like to not know all the answers.
You see, once upon a time, I was an insatiably curious young girl asking my parents ‘why?’ and my desire to understand how things worked spurred me on to study science at school and university.
So, when my 6-year-old asked “Mummy, may you teach me how to be a scientist?” my heart nearly burst with pride and a small tear pricked my eye…
She wants to travel into space and find out what things are made of and genetically engineer her own pet unicorn! But what does it mean to be a scientist in the 21st century and how can I help her to become one?
Well, I’ve scratched my head and come up with five ways to do science with my kids!
1) Ask questions
Being a scientist is not about being clever: remember there’s no such thing as a stupid question and stay curious!
2) Pay attention
Just like Nina and the Neurons, we use our senses to notice the world around us. If we can see, hear, touch, smell or taste it, then we can do science on it!
3) Write that down
All good scientists keep a notebook to write down or draw things that they find interesting.
4) Imagine, imagine, imagine
Embrace the power of the daydream and get creative – it’s a great way to think ‘outside the box’!
5) Ask for help
Scientists often work in teams so they can talk about their research and help each other out with their experiments. Besides, it’s so much more fun to do science with a friend.
So, armed with a pencil and a notebook, we’re going to explore the world, do some experiments and record our findings…! I’m going to blog about it for The Motherload®, so you can join in with your kids too.
I’m 38 years old, mother of two girls, wife of one bloke and owner of one cat. I like singing, step aerobics, stationery and organising stuff. When I grow up, I’d like to write science books for children.