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How to Grow a Scientist

February 23, 2018

How to grow a scientist in your home garden --- just add curiosity and freedom to explore! 

Winter is almost over! (Maybe not totally almost but a girl can dream.) That means it's time to start getting back out in the yard and feeling that sweet sunshine on your shoulder. Time to brush away the old winter remainders and plant something new. And it's time to start growing a scientist. 

The changing of winter to spring is one of the best times to grow a scientist in your backyard! There are many transformations taking place, much to observe, much to question. All you have to do is let your little one loose in the yard, let them explore, and encourage them to ask questions. But for those who like to complete how-to guide, here's how to grow a scientist in your backyard in just three steps! 

Step 1: Take your child outside and let them observe.

This step is the easiest. It really just requires you to open your door and keep an eye on your little one. Don't have a backyard? Head to any of the many free parks in Nashville. Any outdoor space with a little grass will do. Go out and let your child explore their natural surroundings. This will naturally make them question the various things they see, which brings us to our next step.

Step 2: Ask what, where, why, and how

You know as well as we do that children are an inquisitive folk. They need to know what, where, why, and how to almost everything they see! (And can you blame them? Every day is a new discovery when you're young!) So when your child asks the questions they will inevitably ask when they go outside and begin observing, resist the urge to simply answer the question (especially if you're not sure of the answer.) Encourage your child to make their own guesses through your own questioning. What do you think that bird is looking for? Where do earthworms live? Why do you think the clouds get dark before a rain? How does a bird build a nest? Let your child mull these questions over. This is where the real growing begins. 

Step 3: Play!

Enough questions -- time for play! Although exploring and questioning are a type of play, encourage your child to get out there and get muddy! Ask them to mimic a bird call, build their own nests, hop like rabbits, dig in the mud like crawfish, and plant their own seeds. There is no lack of play opportunities when you're growing a scientist in your backyard. Soon enough, you'll wonder where the time has gone and how they got so tall and so smart. 

Some books to assist your outdoor scientist-growing endeavour

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