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The Science Behind Swinging, Sliding and Swimming; Fun and Easy Summer Activities that Help Children Learn

Primrose School of Dunwoody, 5050 Nandina Lane, Dunwoody, Ga 30338
Primrose School of Dunwoody, 5050 Nandina Lane, Dunwoody, Ga 30338
Summer is a time to slow down, spend time outside and have some fun! While this change of pace should give families the opportunity to rest and relax, it’s important that children still engage in activities that encourage learning. Parents can accomplish all of these things simultaneously – slowing down, playing outdoors and teaching children lessons along the way – all while having fun.

Dr. Gloria Julius, vice president of education and professional development for Primrose Schools, recommends that parents take advantage of the slower summer months by using the time to explore nature and discover science with their children to stimulate learning.

The outdoors provides the perfect setting for young children to experience physics, chemistry and biology in ways that they can relate to and understand. Activities like swinging, sliding and swimming are certainly fun, but they also introduce children to the fascinating world of science – and they may not even realize it. Try incorporating these three “S” activities, which all rely on science, into your summer routine:

•Swinging: Swinging back and forth on a swing set allows children to experience Newton’s Third Law of Motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Children realize that as the swing comes to a stop, they must push off the ground to set the swing back in motion.

•Sliding: Slides allow children to experience the effects of gravity and friction. Children realize they can slow down by pressing on the soles of their shoes, or lifting their feet to go faster.

•Swimming: Children experiment with the scientific principle of buoyancy while learning to swim, asking questions like, “Why do I float sometimes and other times I sink?”

Parents don’t have to explain the science behind each activity – the experiences alone build a foundation for learning and help children grasp scientific principles later in life. But, if your child is curious and likes to ask questions, consider explaining the science in a hands-on way by setting up experiments.

For example, if your child’s question is: “What do I need to do in order to float?” – try this interactive game to help teach why some objects sink and others float:

1.Help your child fill a bucket with water and gather miscellaneous items that will not be harmed if they get wet.

2.Ask your child to predict if items will float or sink and ask for the reasoning behind each prediction.

3.Allow your child to place the items in the water, one at a time. As each item is tested, let her change her prediction – it shows she is thinking critically and refining her thoughts based on evidence.

4.After your child has tested each item, ask her how the items that float or sink are similar to one another.

Finding ways to play with science this summer doesn't have to be complicated. Just follow your child and listen to his questions – science is everywhere!

Primrose Schools is a national family of accredited, early education and care schools serving children, parents and local communities with a purposeful, balanced approach to nurturing Active Minds, Healthy Bodies and Happy Hearts®. To learn about the Primrose School of Dunwoody, stop by our school campus at 5050 Nandina Lane in Dunwoody, contact us online or call 770.396.8266 to schedule a tour. For more parenting tips, visit our 360 Parenting blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/360Parenting.
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