Science week at Kids College Food: Different by Design

Kids College is a Food Systems Hero

‘Food: Different By Design’ is the school theme for National Science Week 14-22 August 2021. It honours the United Nations International Year of Fruits and Vegetables and the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

This is an important theme for educators and our children that allows us to focus on sustainable food futures. Every day we must eat. Food is our fuel for life. When we consider how to eat, we also need to think about why we need to eat well.

There are many reasons why we eat, with one of them being that nutrients are essential. It is these nutrients that keep us alive. Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells that work together, and they can only do that when there are nutrients present. So, when a person is not getting adequate nutrients, some of the most basic body processes are affected. Our commitment to healthy food at Kids College extends to educating children to make healthy choices and is ideal to embed into all areas of learning. Science of food is a fascinating concept full of magic for children and adults alike.

Science is at the heart of our everyday lives

Science, directly and indirectly, influences all aspects of everyday life. From the food we eat to the way we get around, science is everywhere. Once you begin to see all the opportunities to learn, the relationship between science and critical-thinking skills become apparent.

Beginning when children are very young, science helps shape their development. As they learn to ask questions, make predictions, observe, test, and then communicate their findings, they are developing critical science skill.

Why is science important?

At a community level, scientists help us better understand our world. Science involves innovation, research and solutions to major global issues. At an educational level, science assists children to play, ask questions, explore, be creative and problem solve. It also helps them develop other skills like literacy and numeracy.

Why is early childhood education perfect for sowing the seeds for a love of science

Young children are naturally inquisitive, full of questions about the world around them and the drive to investigate how things work. It follows, therefore, that we should take advantage of this innate curiosity and start channelling their enthusiasm for scientific discovery as early on as possible.

It can foster a lifelong love of science

Children are programmed to explore and experiment right from the start, even as babies. On the other hand, research suggests that by the age of 7, most children have developed either a positive or negative attitude towards science education that will remain entrenched. So by tapping into their natural predispositions early on, during this key developmental phase, we can nurture and establish a positive approach to science education that will stay with them into the future.

It gives a basic grounding in scientific concepts and scientific thinking

Even the very simplest activities can introduce children to scientific concepts and stimulate scientific thinking. Early years science education can provide a strong foundation in terms of both what is learned, and how it’s learned, that will stand them in good stead. By encouraging and directing their natural curiosity, and familiarising them with basic scientific vocabulary, early years educators can help children begin to make sense of the world around them, and gain some understanding of how things work.

 It supports the development of other skills and attributes

Science education activities provide children with opportunities to develop and practice many different skills and attributes. These include communication skills, collaborative skills, team working and perseverance, as well as analytical, reasoning and problem-solving skills. Help them expand their vocabulary by using scientific terms that are appropriate for their age group. Encourage them to extend and embed their learning through related literacy, numeracy and creative activities

Tips to supporting children learn science

1.Value your child’s questions

“Mommy/Daddy, why is the moon following us?” With this question, a child lets us know she is thinking about how the world works. We can respond in ways that encourage her scientific thinking. Enjoy discussing the questions your child asks. Encourage her to share her perspective and observations.

  1. Explore and find the answers together.

You don’t have to be your child’s encyclopedia and quickly try to answer all your child’s questions. Responding with “What do you think?” or “I don’t know but we can find out together” can stimulate more thought and additional questions. Explore and find the answers together.

  1. Give children time and space to explore.

Children learn science through trial and error. They need time to experiment, try things out, and think on their own. Wait before jumping in with “correct” answers. Give your child the time and space to explore and discover on her own.

  1. Accept that explorations are often messy.

Whether it’s outdoor exploration with mud and sticks or indoors with water, children are likely to get dirty when they explore materials. Dress children in old clothing and tell them it’s ok to get dirty. Better still, let us do the bulk of the mess at childcare.

  1. Learn from mistakes together.

If an experiment goes wrong, take advantage and investigate with your child to see what went wrong. A mistake can lead to all kinds of possibilities and it provides opportunities for you and your child to refine your ideas, understanding, and hypotheses.

  1. Invite curiosity.

Science learning begins with curiosity. Observations and questions can create a climate of discovery – key to scientific learning. Children can learn a lot about science even at bath time. Let your child ask her own questions but you can also stimulate curiosity.

  1. Support further exploration.

Intentional adult interactions with children can extend their learning. When the moment is right – maybe when she’s done exploring on her own, offer a suggestion to extend her exploration. Guide your child by asking questions like, “What might happen if we try this?”

Share some things you find while exploring, – a beautiful striped rock, for example. This lets your child know there is always something worthy of our attention and investigation.

  1. Encourage children to record their observations.

Writing, drawing, or taking photographs are all ways to record observations – an important scientific skill. Such records allow children to keep track of what they saw, heard, questioned, or discovered.

  1. Make good use of your electronic devices.

Take pictures of a stunning butterfly, record frog sounds, use a website or app to learn more about a specific phenomenon or creature.

  1. Use items you have at home to experiment and explore

You don’t need to spend money buying science supplies. Use your everyday household items.

United Nations Sustainable development goals

As young as our children are we like to build the foundations for a healthy life and global citizenship. What this means is even as huge as the United Nations Sustainable development goals are on a global level, these goals can be embedded into the upbringing of our children in a meaningful way. The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

During science week with the food theme goal two becomes particularly relevant. Goal 2 is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. This is such an important goal for all of us in every corner of the earth. Particularly in light of the pandemic’s effects on the food and agricultural sector, prompt measures are needed to ensure that food supply chains are kept alive to mitigate the risk of large shocks that have a considerable impact on everybody, especially on the poor and the most vulnerable.

We all want our families to have enough food to eat what is safe and nutritious. A world with zero hunger can positively impact our economies, health, education, equality and social development. It’s a key piece of building a better future for everyone. Additionally, with hunger limiting human development, our society will not be able to achieve the other sustainable development goals such as education, health and gender equality.

Kids College is a Food Systems Hero

By becoming a Food Systems Hero within the UN Food Systems Summit, we have joined the global movement for safe, accessible, sustainable and equitable food systems – and we are making a commitment to learn, share, gather and act for food systems transformation.

The UN Food Systems Summit will launch bold new actions, solutions and strategies to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each of which relies on healthier, more sustainable and more equitable food systems. The Summit will awaken the world to the fact that we all must work together to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food.

Underpinning each of their principles is the Summit’s vision of an equitable and healthy future for all, and one that gives voice to citizens in every country of the world. The Summit is open to all, and it belongs to us all. It is ours to create; we must define and build a strong food system, together. What does a strong food system mean and how can we support it.

Science week in our Babies Explorers program

Did you know that it is easy to turn ordinary milk into a rainbow of crazy colours?

Pour some milk into a shallow dish or bowl until the milk covers the bottom. Add some drops of food colouring on the milk. You can use a variety of colours, just be sure to add 3-4 drops of each colour. Add a drop of dish soap into the centre of the milk. Watch in amazement as the colours dances across the surface of the milk.

What is the purpose of the magic milk experiment? In this magic milk experiment the milk and food colouring form a little dome. However, when dish soap is poured over the surface, the surface tension is broken because the dish soap breaks those bonds. This causes the colored milk to spread out like a flood over the surface of the milk. The babies all loved this experience and loved watching the colours mix together!

Science week in our Toddlers Explorers program

As we explore the theme Food: Different by design for our 2021 Science week we will be encouraging the children to explore their senses. Using Lemons donated by Teacher Amy from her Lemon tree at home we will be cutting up lemon slices for the children to touch, taste and smell. During this lemon tasting we will be asking the children to describe how it smells, tastes and feels.

Using Lemon’s from Teacher Amy’s lemon tree we will be creating Lemon eruptions. The children will be exploring chemistry as we experiment with citrus reactions. The children will be encouraged to poke holes into half a lemon each; they will then be using pipettes to place droplets of food dye of their choosing into their lemon. This will then be followed by a squirt of dish soap. Once this is complete the children will then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the lemon. The children will then have to push the baking soda down into the lemon using a pop stick to kick-start their rainbow eruption!

Science Week in our 3 year olds Adventurers program

This week is Science Week, and we are excited to go on an adventure of discovery with Teacher Jade and Teacher Vera. Our first stop will be continuing our learning about environments, life cycles and creatures as we continue caring for and observing our Silkworms as they grow and change.

Second Stop is inspired by our Letter Land letter of the week “V”; the Kindies, we have the change to engage in a Volcano experiment with Teacher Jade that combines our Earth topic with the science week Theme of “Food”.

Lastly, Teacher Jade is going to show us all how to be secret spies with Magic Invisible ink. With our wonderful teachers facilitating this week is looking to be one where we take chances, make mistakes and get a little messy.

Science week in our 4 year olds Imagineers program

Science week has hit the schoolies Immagineers room and today we counted out 8 jellybeans and spaced them evenly around the edge of a small paper plate. Then we added two more. How many now? We hypothesised what would happened when we added water to the plate. Not a lot happened actually… but then we added the vinegar. ‘That sucked the colour out of the water’ said our amazed four year old. We made beautiful coloured shapes on the plate and then we ate a fresh jellybean each. Through science we see our children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, enquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating.

We can also use books to bring science concepts to life

Wombat stew is a fantastic story about Dingo attempting to make a wombat stew while all the other animals are trying to protect Wombat by recommending additional ingredients for the stew, such as mud, flies, creepy crawlies, feathers and gumnuts?!

We can encourage the children to make their own wombat stew in the mud kitchen using so many different science concepts.

Which ingredients dissolve and which don’t? Which ones float and which ones sink? Once the wombat stew has been cooked, the children can investigate how the Dingo could go about cleaning the water again…

Which ingredients dissolve and which don’t? Which ones float and which ones sink? Once the gooey brewy yummy chewy wombat stew has been cooked, the children can investigate how the Dingo could go about cleaning the water again.

Kids College Philosophy quote

“We aim to enhance the children’s understanding of the world around them through a developmentally appropriate program of activities rich with opportunities and information to spark a child’s imagination and curiosity.”

“Our unique Kids College curriculum and the Early Years Learning Framework builds on each child’s current knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests to ensure all aspects of our program maximize learning opportunities for each child.”

National Quality Standard

1.1.2 Child-centred. Child-centred. Each child’s current knowledge, strengths, ideas, culture, abilities and interests are the foundation of the program.

1.1.3 Program learning opportunities. All aspects of the program, including routines, are organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning.

1.2.1. Intentional teaching. Educators are deliberate, purposeful, and thoughtful in their decisions and actions.

2.1.3 Healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child.

3.2.3 Environmentally responsible. The service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible.

6.2.3 Community Engagement. The service builds relationships and engages with its community.

KIDS COLLEGE FAMILY

At Kids College we work each day embedding our values and philosophy into each facet of what we do. We continually improve our practices by critically reflecting and engaging in meaningful relationships with our community and for this we need your support and input. Make sure to follow Kids College Childcare on facebook, watch for our regular emails and keep an eye on our Kids College website. Share in our vision of creating the very best childcare where children experience love, laughter and learning every day. You can reach us on Jennifer@kidscollege.com.au

With love, laughter and learning from your friends in the
‘village it takes to raise a child’
Teacher Jen and the Kids College Childcare family