Selena and I were enjoying playing ball outside today. Selena keeps looking for the leaves to start changing color. I pointed out several trees that are beginning to change color, so we will be back out this weekend exploring this change and yes, we will share pictures.
For this quick and easy science lesson though we used Selena’s big pink ball. We were batting it back and forth. I asked Selena one simple question that turned our game into a fun science lesson, “Where is the force, that is causing the ball to move?” At first Selena looked at me in a strange manner, but then the wheels began to spin. She put the ball on the ground and kicked it, “Well, if I kick it my foot is the force, right?” I told her she was correct, and again picked the ball up and batted it with my hand through the air. Again I asked her, “Now what was the force that caused the ball to go through the air?” She thought about it, and still was hesitant to answer my question. She picked up the ball and threw it back to me, I again asked, “OK now what was the force that made the ball move through the air for me to catch it?” She answered, “My hands.” I said “OK” as I batted the ball again through the air, she suddenly announced, “Your hand is the force that made the ball move!” I told her she was correct, then asked her if she could remember what type of energy was being used as the ball traveled through the air? She didn’t have to give it a second thought when she announced, “Kinetic energy!”
I was very proud of the fact that Selena had retained from earlier lessons what Kinetic energy was, while it took her a bit to figure out what the force was that caused the kinetic energy, she did finally put it together. Later she climbed on her bike, and informed me, “Grandma, my feet are the force, that is causing my bike to move, which is kinetic energy!”
Have you ever just taken the time during a simple game to introduce a new concept or reinforce a lesson from the past? We were not only having a lot of fun but we were also learning. I like to call this the effortless learning, or the natural learning that can take place in a simple game.