Guiding Curiosity Activities

Do you have 5 minutes? Select from the following a topic your child has shown interest in. Here are ideas for starting conversations, extending purposeful play, capitalizing on curiosity, and having fun in day-to-day interactions. Don’t try everything in these lists at once. Follow your child’s lead, building on that inquisitiveness incrementally, revisiting a topic with new suggestions for an observation, a comparison, measurement, or experiment. Repetition and practice promote learning. These ideas should help you to stay one-step-ahead in helping to grow wonder and understanding. For more information, please also read the “What is Guiding Curiosity” page, or the our book for sale titled “Guiding Curiosity: Nurturing the Young Scientist.” We hope you enjoy sharing these activities with your child.

Animal Relationships / Cooperation / Helpful Behaviors / Symbiosis

Symbiotic Relationships: Cooperative Relationships Among Animals

How come we can’t all get along? These days you may be asking that question a lot. If it is any consolation, in the animal and plant kingdom...

Animals / Backyard Science / Mollusks / Seashore Science / Slugs / Snails

Backyard and Seashore Science, Mollusks II: Snails and Slugs

Snails and slugs in the garden are labeled as pests. Snails cooked in garlic and butter is labeled a delicacy (for some)! To inspire curiosity an...

Forces / Gravity / Motion / Physics / Play / Push/Pull / Sports

Play, Physics and Sports: Children and Learning

The Guiding Curiosity activities assume that you as the person doing the guiding are building on or extending a child’s play. I am not sure I r...

Animals / Domesticated / life science / Wild

Animal Activities for Children: Wild or Domesticated?

Science related activities and school curriculums for young children commonly cover life science topics related to animals. Most children tend to...

Decision Making / Democracy / Elections / Voting

Election Year Activities: Voting as a Choice

Children are acutely aware of news about the presidential primaries. They hear the television coverage, campaign ads, and they listen to folks on...

Animals / Ecosystems / Plants / Pollination

Exploring Ecosystems With Children: Pollinators

This spring and summer take some time to introduce a young child to two profound lessons in science.   Two themes are easy but critica...

Constellations / Greek and Roman Mythology / Planetary Science

Classic Stories and Celestial Objects: Curious About Constellations

Children can go through phases where they are obsessed with something. Those were some of my favorite times parenting when that passion pulled us...

Blossoms / Citrus / Fruit / Life Cycle of Plants / Seeds / Trees

Fruit Trees and Their Blossoms: Hands-On Activities for Spring

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Animals / Insects / Spiders / Webs

Special Spiders: Give This Animal Activity a Spin

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Fabric / Insulation / Sheep / Water Resistant / Wool

What Things Are Made Of: Wool

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Animals / Hares / Mammals / Rabbits

Rabbits and Hares: Activities About Animals for Children

Easter is around the corner. Like so many of our holidays, the symbols or images of Easter bare little relation to the original significance or m...

Amphibians / Animals / Frogs / Habitats / Life Cycles / Toads

Amazing Amphibians: Frogs and Toads

Wrapping up an activity post on princesses, I began thinking about frogs. Princesses kissing frogs? It is fun to contemplate the message of that ...

food / health / history / Medieval history / Princess

Princess Paragons: Enlightening Pretend Play

Based on many current depictions, in books and on screen, princesses seem to have it all. Money, jewels, good looks, and a staff of people dedica...

Gravity / Physics

Gravity: First Physics

In several posts, we have used the term “gravity” without explaining or exploring what it is. Children, even infants, have a sense of what gr...

Foods / kitchen science / Plants

Kitchen Science: The Many Uses of Corn

When in the kitchen with your child, preparing a meal or snack, opportunities to initiate conversations about scientific topics are too numerous ...

Moon / Planetary Science / Space Exploration

Magical, Mystery Moon

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Earth Science / Evaporation / Water Cycle / Weather

Earth’s Water Cycle: A Guided Discovery

I watched, from the comfort of my Arizona home, as snow piled up on the East Coast this last month. Record levels in some areas. Once that melts ...

Crystals / Water phase change / Winter Activities

Frozen Water Vapor = Snow Crystals

Consider exploring the world of frozen water. This time of year, your child can discover fascinating things about ice and snow (snowflakes) – e...

health / Hearts / life science

I Heart Valentine’s Day

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Crystals / Earth Science / kitchen science / Minerals

Curious About Crystals?

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Materials / Properties of Objects / Wood

What are things made of? Exploring Wood and It’s Properties.

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Acids and Bases / Chemical Reactions / kitchen science

Kitchen Science: Acids, Bases and Common Kitchen Chemical Reactions

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Adaptation / Animals / Real vs fictional reindeer

Real Reindeer!

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Adaptation / Animals / biological science / Hibernation / Migration

Animal Adaptation: Winter

As the temperature drops, I find myself wondering how the animals in my yard cope with the cold. I have heard children ask questions that suggest...

Geography Lessons / Maps / Spatial Thinking

Make Room for Maps

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Dinosaurs / Geologic Time Lines / Prehistoric Humans

Dinosaurs and Prehistoric People Did Not Coexist!

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health / history / Kids and vegetables / kitchen science

The Unloved Spud

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Activities with Fruit / health / life science

Awesome Apples

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Activities About Motion / Energy and Force / Gravity

Kids and Things in Motion: Primary Physics

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food science / health / kitchen science

Where Does Food Come From? The BLT

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Animals / Bugs / health / Insects

Flying, Stinging Insects

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Animals / health / kitchen science

Kitchen Science: Milk and Dairy Products

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Chemistry / health / kitchen science

Everyday Science: Soap

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Animals / health / Insect Science Activities

Activities for Summer: Biting Bugs

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history / navigation / Pirates in Play / Ships

Pirate Play: Activities for Exploring Their Life and Times

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Animal / health / life science

Fun Life Science Activities: Exploring Feet

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Earth Science / Materials / Physical Science

Magnificent Metals

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Backyard Animals / life science

Learning about Wild Things: Squirrels and Chipmunks

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Earth Science / Geology / Soil Science

Mud Season

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Insects / life science / Nature Education

Flying Insects I: Butterflies and Moths

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health / kitchen science / life science

Fun Fundamentals of Fish

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Earth Science / health / Weather

Weather Wow

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Earth Science / health / kitchen science

Start with Salt

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Animals / Birds / life science

Backyard Birds

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food / life science / Plants / Traditions

Holiday Plants II

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Holiday Plants / life science / Plant Science / Traditions

Amidst the Clutter: Identify Holiday Plants

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food / kitchen science / life science / poultry / turkey

Thinking Turkeys

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activities / Fruits / life science / Pumpkins

Mounds and Pounds of Pumpkins

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health / life science / mouth / teeth

Sink Your Teeth Into Learning

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eggs / food / fun / health / kitchen science / life science / phase changes

Egg-Spolartion for Breakfast

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