Kids will continuously be your teacher. They have an innocence about life that can not be paralleled. Their curiosity can spark important and educational conversations. We all get busy. More often than not, I let Orange’s curiosity pass and I don’t take that opportunity to help her explore further. Today though, I did.
Lunch is a chaotic time at our house. Orange gets home from preschool. I unpack Pink and Purple. throw some puffs on the twinfants’ trays and pray to the baby Gods that they will be entertained enough for me to get everything ready. Dinner is not always healthy but I do my best to stick with the standard recommended food plate for lunch. We do crackers and cheese, apples or grapes, yogurt, ham or turkey sandwiches or PBJ, carrots and the staple for every young family’s household: fruit snacks. I try to keep it simple because if I don’t, no one gets fed. ha!
So here I am, having just popped some bottles in the babes’ mouths, drinking some apple juice and munching. Orange is a grazer for mealtimes. She had taken a few bites and was playing in her pretend kitchen. She brought over a fake salt shaker and added some to my apple juice. I laughed and asked her what if that would taste good. She giggled, carefree, “Noooo, mom. Let me take all that salt out.” As she pretended to take the salt out of my apple juice a lightbulb went off in my head.
I asked her if she knew what an experiment was. I like teaching her new words so we talked about what an experiment was and what a hypothesis was as well. We poured a little salt (real salt this time) into a dry bowl. She felt it with her hands and we talked about how we can pick it up in our fingers. We then added a little bit of water to the bowl. She swished her finger around and felt the salt at the bottom. “Ew” was her response. We set the bowl aside. I told her we’d check again after lunch to see what happened. I asked what she thought would happen to the salt. She said that it would stay “squishy.”
Fast forward fifteen (err, maybe forty-five?) minutes. We cleaned up lunch and went back to our bowl. She excitedly dipped her fingers in and gasped. “Where’s the salt!??!” I explained how the salt dissolved into the water. She still didn’t believe me so we tasted the water. The face she made was priceless as she realized her bowl of water was not in fact just water.
It’s easy to pass up these moments but today, we grabbed one by the horns!