Science is fun!

No, it really is – especially if you make it tactile, practical, colourful and noisy with our wonderful new early year’s science equipment. It seems that from infancy, and right through our lives, in one form or another, the connection between touch and understanding is instinctual. According to Scientific American, experiments have found that ‘touch is as important as vision for learning and retaining information’ and that ‘tactile activities such as playing with blocks help children improve everything from their math abilities to their thinking skills. We are knowledge architects, building intellectual edifices through physical experiences.’* So, it’s well worth setting time aside for science play with our wonderful tactile science equipment. And don’t worry, these bits of kit are tough enough to be roughed about by little hands! You can teach about:

Weight – play a matching game with our hardwearing, hardwood weight prisms. You could simply give each child a prism and get them to find the matching prism among their playmates just by touch.

Sound – little hands can hold and shake these smooth wooden sound prisms to encourage listening skills. You could also demonstrate how sound gets quieter the farther away you are from the source.

Colour – see the world in different colours with these easy hold colour panels. Use alone or mix them up to create new colours. They are a more sophisticated version of looking through Quality Street wrappers. (Come on, you know we all did it!)

Shape, volume and area – this can be a tricky concept to teach, but this geometric volume relationship set is perfect for the job. Use coloured water or sand to fill the shapes and I’d strongly suggest you use a tidy tray to keep the contents where they’re supposed to be!

Time – start to understand time, minute by minute, with these colour-coded sand timers. You could ask the children to guess how much is in each timer and then get them to count along as the sand filters through to see if they are right.


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