We know that kids are curious about everything, especially the environment around them. Our Earth is vast and full of discoveries both large and small.
When it comes to earth science, the Earth truly is your classroom. Here is why earth science is an exciting and important subject for young children.
Earth Science Lessons Are All Around Us
When we take a walk outside and look around, we find that earth science is happening all around us. Learning about earth science can help children make sense of their world.
When kids play outside and encounter a rock they’ve never seen before, or when they feel the sun on their skin, they are able to connect these experiences with earth science. The world becomes more fascinating when children know how rocks form or why the sun seems hotter some days than others.
When your child first starts learning about earth science, they are introduced to basic concepts such as what rocks are, how rocks form, what the weather is, what the Earth is made out of, and what is beyond our planet in space.
There are four earth Sciences: geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. Earth science subjects include weather, rocks, volcanos, fossils, glaciers, the rainforest, recycling, and many more.
Fun Facts About The Earth
Sharing earth science facts with your child may catch their attention and interest to learn more about the Earth.
According to Science Kids some fun facts about the Earth are:
- Pumice, which is volcanic rock, is the only rock that can float on water.
- Before lava comes out of a volcano it is called magma and is extremely hot.
- The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest on Earth, home to 10 percent of known species on earth.
- Earthquakes are not always big. Most times they are small and can rarely be felt by humans.
- Some scientists say the Earth is 4.54 billion years old
There is so much more to learn about the Earth than we can see, which can be a source of endless excitement for a curious child!
Activities and Experiments that Make Learning About Earth Science Fun
If your child is interested in earth science and wants to learn more, there are many activities and experiments you can do at home. Earth science is a very hands-on subject as it is easy to do activities and experiments to understand the different parts that make up earth science.
Making a “volcano” at home is a classic experiment that can be fun to do with your child.
According to PBS, all you need is a cookie sheet, baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, plastic spoons, and a measuring cup.
Your child can build a mountain/volcano made of playdough. Once the volcano is built, you can use the spoon to scoop out the playdough to create a hole going down the center of the volcano. The exciting part is when you add baking soda to the hole, then slowly add colored vinegar to the baking soda. The vinegar will react with the baking soda causing it to foam out of the hole as magma would spill out of a volcano and become lava.
This experiment shows how elements combined together can create a reaction and how land and rock are formed. You can find the specific directions to this experiment here.
Create a Cloud in a Jar
This fun experiment requires few materials and supplies but has awesome results. According to Research Parent, all you need is hot water, a match, three to four ice cubes, a jar, and a lid. Using these supplies you will be showing your child how clouds are formed by evaporated water and condensation.
First, you fill the jar up with hot water (not boiling). Then (the grownup) lights a match, holding it in the jar for a second or two and then dropping it into the water. Put the lid on top of the jar and the ice cubes on top of the lid and wait for one to two minutes. As time passes, you should be able to see a cloud start to form in the jar. You can take the lid off the jar and see the cloud lift out of the jar right in front of your eyes!
Clouds seem distant and far away, so this experiment is exciting for kids to see a “cloud” close up. See all steps to this experiment here.
Make Edible Soil Levels
Discovering layers of dirt can be fun, but sometimes you need a cleaner way to learn about the different layers without having to dig a hole in the yard.
The Learning Resources Blog provides a great way to create soil layers with food. The ingredients you will need are chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, chocolate pudding, whole and crushed Oreos, shredded coconut with green food coloring, and gummy worms. You’ll need a glass to build the layers in, a spoon, and labels or post-its to label the glass and soil levels.
During this activity, your child will learn about the bedrock, parent material, subsoil, topsoil, and organic material. As you layer your ingredients, you can take time to explain each layer and why it is an important part of the soil. By the end of the activity, your child will have learned new information and will have a tasty learning dessert to enjoy. You can go here for details about this activity.
Earth Science Is An Integrated Science
Earth science is an integrated science. According to The Geological Society of America (GSA), it brings together biology, chemistry, and physics.
Learning about earth science at a young age can help children begin to understand how the Earth contains interconnected systems. As they learn about these systems, they learn about how humans take part in these systems and the impact of human actions on the Earth.
“The earth sciences are important because they are a window into other sciences, and because they help students develop critical thinking skills,” according to the American Meteorological Society (AMS). “In addition, the earth sciences connect the world of science with all students’ daily experiences.”
Earth science can spark your child’s curiosity while also preparing them to learn more about science as they grow older and to think critically about the world and environment they live in. While earth science is fun and exciting, it is also essential to understand the consequences of natural earth events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanos, and climate change.
“The applied, and often visual, nature of earth science helps learners see its relevance to their lives and to their communities,” says the GSA.
Earth science is relevant to the everyday lives of children and they are able to learn from the environment around them.
Live Interactive Earth Science Classes
If your child is excited to learn about earth science, they can join other students and teachers who are equally excited to learn about the earth in a live and interactive class at ZipSchool. This class is for adventurous students looking to understand how an earthquake or a volcano may seem sudden, but when we study how these events form, we come to understand that each event is connected to the structure of our planet. Learn more about ZipSchool classes here!