OUT OF THE HOUSE AND INTO THE GARDEN
Summer is a time when your child can enjoy being in the garden; a place where your child can be imaginative and creative; e.g. making dens from old sheets; using things found in the garden to make pictures, weaving with sticks and painting stones. The garden is also a great place for your child to develop their understanding of life cycles, food chains, the parts of a plant and how plants grow and practice their classifying and grouping skills; all of which are part of the primary science curriculum.
Having a small garden plot or just a few pots on the patio to tend to gives a child a sense of responsibility. If you do not have any seeds try re-growing plants from scraps, e.g. place carrot tops or potato peelings with eyes in a sauce of water. Plastic bottles and food containers can be recycled and decorated by your child to make unique plant containers. Children may enjoy measuring and recording the growth of their seeds, using graphs, photos or sketching the seeds as they grow.
Your child may enjoy planting seeds that attract wildlife, feeding birds and creating wildlife homes, such as an insect habitat made with a tube by using a recycled plastic bottle filled with twigs. Encourage your child to research for other ideas; either in the library, using the Internet or by visiting a garden centre. Other garden activities could include looking for mini-beasts (insects) under stones, or going on a nature hunt, using an egg box or card with double sided tape to collect items such as different shades of green.
Perhaps try some garden experiments e.g. observing the water cycle by drawing with chalk around a puddle every 10 minutes; investigating what melts in the heat; or placing a leaf into a jar of water with food colouring in and watch the leaf change colour. Your child may also enjoy recording the weather and the phases of the moon, using pictures, words or graphs.
The garden gives your child experience of science in action.