Yes say the experts. Reading aloud books on Science to your little infant is beneficial in many ways. It
- Nurtures Critical thinking
- Encourages Reasoning
- Promotes Curiosity
- Fosters Questioning
- Creates ‘Problem solvers’
So when Facebook CEO recently announced that he was already thinking of reading ‘Quantum Physics for Babies’ he was only half joking. This is probably what made Chris Ferris author the colorful board book ‘Quantum Physics for Babies’ that describes in simple terms among other things what ‘energy’ is and why ‘atoms’ keep moving.
So just as we tell and retell a fairy tale or repeatedly read aloud stuff about animals, places or things or constantly show our little ones shapes, letters, numbers and colours in order to help them identify each, it stands to reason doesn’t it that if a child were to similarly hear the story of an atom or the nature of a biology, maths or physics theory repeatedly in simple terms, the child is bound to sooner than later relate to them just as well?
Thus familiarizing them early enough to scientific terms and even simple arithmetic may probably be the right way to break your child into the sciences. It would also possibly go a long way in even taking the fear out of subjects like maths and physics- which some of us usually develop later in school. So introducing science to a toddler by breaking down complicated stuff in easy to follow language we may for all we know be helping to create many an Einstein in the making. And that without a doubt would be a good thing wouldn’t it? Since who wouldn’t want to see their child grow into a genius?
Reading early — and often — is important’ says Dr. Thomas DeWitt, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. ‘Start using books early on with your kids’. Thus if were to make a conscious effort to nurture our little ones’ scientific knowledge through
- Interactive sessions- show and tell e.g. what a bulb does -Energy
- Games- A bat and a ball and how and why it connects/its mass -Physics
- Experiments- Drop a ball and see what happens/Roll a ball from a height-Gravity
- Nature walks- Naming plants/identifying flowers/worms/insects -Biology
- Night excursions-stars, the moon the dark sky-Astronomy
- Water based work outs- Sand and water/Salt and water what happens
- Acting it out- When you act out what you read to them or they can touch and feel what they see, it brings everything that much more alive
We will not only be encouraging, promoting and moulding their logical skills but also helping them grow a scientific temper that is so necessary in today’s technology driven world.
It is not that our infants are going to immediately absorb much of Quantum Physics or Rocket Science even if it is repeatedly read to them at this stage, nor is it guaranteed that they will become interested in science right away or even become scientists when they grow up. It is just that by being read to as a child and told about why for example a ball or an apple behaves in a particular manner in a particular situation you expose them to a world of new ideas, scientific terminologies and actions earlier than later. Growing up in a science friendly atmosphere will probably help hone and sharpen mental skills sooner too. It could make them even as kids more analytical, logical and curious in their thinking when trying to grasp the nuances of scientific reasoning. It could also help in making difficult subjects more comfortingly familiar and if faced with a choice later- easy to choose.
So if along with letters, numbers, animals, shapes, colors and sizes we were to introduce our kids in a fun and enjoyable manner say to mass, gravity and velocity or even maybe the Relativity Theory, we may actually be doing our little ones a great big favor in this over-informative ‘Big Data’ driven world .We might in fact be instrumental in giving them a huge head start.