Children, especially younger than 5, learn SO much from the world around them. As they get older, you can add some formal structure to everyday exploration. Here are some ideas:
Start sprouting some beans in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel. Once they're several days along, you can plant them in a cup of dirt or outside, or even eat them right away. Water regularly and take notes about what's happening.
- Make cookies, fruit salad, or a snack together. Have a birthday coming up? You can bake a cake or another favorite food. Kids can practice reading a recipe, planning ahead, and measuring ingredients. How did people find recipes or learn how to cook before the Internet? Talk about the different kinds of food and how they help our bodies do important things.
- Try regrowing an onion, celery, or lettuce from one you have in the kitchen. (These go much more quickly than an avocado pit!) Think about where and how you can plant it if you're successful. What do plants need to grow? What do humans and other animals need?
- Fill a sensory bin with sand, gravel, rice, or shaving cream. Pour material from one cup to another. Bury small toys. Squish material between your fingers and try to make it into shapes. You can do the same with water -- or just enjoy at bathtime!