When talking about science experiments the first thing that comes to mind is the laboratories in school where one was taught about the varied chemical reactions, and had to conduct such experiments to pass exams. Or then the tedious measuring devices that had to be employed to pass the Physics practical exams. And then the bisections and dissections in the biology section of the school. But, no science experiments are not limited to the high school and university laboratories. It goes to the early part of the life when children are taught fundamentals of life. In fact, everything a child is being taught can be taught in experiment format.
What does this imply? Basically, what is the meaning of the entire terminology ‘science experiments’? To break it down further – Science is anything that is proven to be a fact; and experiment is proving the fact to be. Thus, when teaching children everything can be taught practically, which helps in learning things concretely, never to forget.
For instance, when teaching children concepts like hot and cold, it is not enough for you to touch ice and say COLD, or dip your finger in hot water and say HOT. Instead, let the child touch something cold and learn the concept, similarly with something hot.
This method can be used for every concept that a child needs to learn. So to speak giving practical lessons in learning concepts is what experiments are about. If a child is to learn the different parts of the body, it is not enough to draw a human body and simply point out to the eyes, ears, nose, etc. But, and effective lesson would be to either give every child a human like doll, or have a student become a live model. Then as you point and explain each part of the body you could have the students also feel that part of the body on themselves. There are a number of games that have been developed that are in the format of science experiments that can be carried out safely at home, with and without parental or adult guidance. The tools are basic and safe. However, the most important thing to keep in mind when picking up such toys is that the child is old enough to play with the kit. That is the child should be of at least the minimum age prescribed on the box.
Providing children with practical means of learning concepts through science experiments ensures that the child learns it permanently forming the foundations for further learning. For instance, if a child cannot understand the difference between what objects sink into water or float on water; or what dissolves in water and what is not soluble, then understanding the features of varied chemicals in later stages of school learning would be difficult.
It has been proven overtime that what one learns through practical lessons is far more valuable than what is learnt in the textbooks. Thus, while history and literature give us enough of words, almost every other subject taught requires experimentation in its own way. This is not only about the sciences, but also mathematics.