Most primary and elementary science curricula do not cover atoms. It can be difficult for some young learners to grasp the concept of something they cannot see making up everything that we can see. However, I don’t see any problem with taking baby steps toward understanding larger, more complex concepts like atoms and elements. We build on these types of concepts with young children all the time.
You Can’t See It, But It’s There
Think about the wind. Can you see it? Can you feel it? The wind is just atoms moving really fast. Even though you can’t see it, the wind is there. It’s the same as when you blow up a balloon. You are filling the balloon with millions of atoms of nitrogen, oxygen, and other elements. Even though you can’t see the air that you exhale, it is still present.
Share these examples with your young learners. Let them test it out with a balloon or by blowing on their hand. Get them used to the idea that somethings are so small that we can’t see them, but joined together, those atoms are a force.
Age Appropriate Atom Lesson For Early Learners
Even the most complex subjects can be introduced to young learners when you start with the basics and explain it in a way that they can understand. I’m not saying you need to walk your child through atomic theory. I’m saying that you can introduce the concept of an atom and some basic supporting information. Make it interesting, simple, and fun.
The Science Lesson
I created this simple Atom Lesson download for younger students that you can use with your children as a place to start. It covers the basics of atoms by answering simple questions like – What is an atom? What makes up an atom? Are there different types of atoms?
Hands-On Atom Resources
- Explore Atoms and Molecules book
- The Beginners Guide To Atoms And The Periodic Table
- Chemistry Molecular Model Set
- Connecting Tiles Periodic Table
- Eddie The Electron was written by a PhD chemist, Melissa Rooney. I love her thoughts about kids and science “I am confident that, by presenting these scientific concepts to children at an early age, Eddie would increase the likelihood that they would be comfortable and interested in such ‘complicated’ ideas.”