3 helpful hints when teaching your kids about energyWhen people say children are sponges for information, that’s no joke. However, kids don’t want too much school creeping into their home life. Here are some tips to make learning about energy engaging and exciting.

Start with the basics

In A Child’s Conception of the World, famed developmental psychologist Jean Piaget wrote how when confronted with a question larger than their general knowledge, children will invent an answer based on how the problem was poised in order to escape embarrassment.

Maybe your little one understands electricity is a form of energy when you ask him or her, but isn’t quite sure about where it comes from, how it’s made, or what other forms of energy are. Is it because he or she is too afraid to ask?

Approaching this subject isn’t as tricky as you’d think. When you get right down to it, energy appears to have been made with kids in mind. Fossil fuels wouldn’t exist without dinosaurs, solar power wouldn’t exist without sunshine and, as mentioned earlier, electricity is the lifeblood of every video game system, television and computer.

Part of teaching your children how energy works, however, might involve you boning up a bit on your earth sciences.

Access to information

One way to get your child active in learning about energy is to visit your local library or find interactive kid-friendly websites. For the younger end of the age spectrum, getting children to read anything at all might be a struggle.

If that’s the case, search for science experiments demonstrating how different types of energy works. Not any old experiment will do. Try to find something fun and safe, but maybe not something your child will ever be allowed to do in school. Why not make matchstick-powered paper lanterns? If that doesn’t get your kids excited, don’t be afraid to make a potato clock.

Leading with little reminders

Children forget. Such is life. No use getting bent out of shape.

Instead of lecturing when lights get left on or showers run long, use these opportunities to teach your kids about energy efficiency. Decorate your light switch panels with crazy designs so they’re more eye-catching. Put an egg timer in the bathroom and see if your kids can make it through the shower without wasting too much water. Incentivize conservation with a sticker chart or a trip to the park.

But if it gets really bad, you can always schedule a day without power to teach your kids what life was like before electricity – it’ll be a lesson they won’t soon forget.