5 Tips to Introduce the Elements to Toddlers on National Periodic Table Day

Did you know that “National Periodic Table Day” is a thing? On February 7, 2024, National Periodic Table Day will be promoting those who helped discover the elements. The discovery of new elements has impacted science in many ways. It’s never too early to introduce the periodic table basics to your little ones. Here are five tips to make it fun and engaging for toddlers:

1. What is the Periodic Table?

The periodic table is a chart that displays all the known elements in the universe. It’s an important tool in science because it helps us understand the properties of different elements and how they interact with each other. Start simply by showing your little one a colorful version of the periodic table. Show them elements they may be familiar with, such as gold, oxygen, helium, or sodium. 

2. Elements and Colors

Children love colors, so why not use them to introduce some of the elements on the periodic table? For example, gold is a shiny yellow element, mercury is a silvery liquid, and neon is a bright, glowing gas. You can also show pictures of objects that contain these elements, like gold jewelry or neon signs.

3. The Stories Behind the Elements

Some elements have interesting stories behind their discovery or their names. For example, helium was first discovered in the sun before it was found on Earth, and it’s named after the Greek god of the sun, Helios. You can share these fun facts with your child and even make up your own stories about how different elements were discovered.

4. Hands-On Activities

Toddlers love hands-on activities, so why not create some fun experiments with the elements? For example, you can mix vinegar and baking soda to create carbon dioxide or make a volcano erupt with baking soda and red food coloring. These simple experiments can teach your child about chemical reactions and the properties of different elements.

5. Element Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt around your home or in nature, where you search for objects that contain different elements. For example, you can search for rocks that contain iron or copper or look for silverware made of silver. This activity can help your child understand how elements are used in everyday objects.

Introducing the periodic table to your little ones can be a fun and engaging activity. By using these fun activities, you can teach your child about the amazing world of science and the elements that make it up. Happy National Periodic Table Day from all of us here at Youthland Academy!