If you want to increase your child’s interest in evolution, biology, and scientific thinking, paleontology is perfect.
Paleontology is the branch of science that is about the history of life on Earth based on fossils. Most people commonly mistake it with the study of dinosaurs. Still, Paleontology does include the study of dinosaurs.
The reason why it’s perfect for your child is that dinosaurs are famous and fascinating. Many kids not only love these creatures but can also pronounce some of their incredibly complicated names. After all, the cartoons, TV shows, shapes of chicken nuggets, and cereals did create a great image of dinosaurs.
Because of the fascination and interest, your child may dig a little deeper into dinosaurs. There will be curiosity, questions, and a hunger for answers. This path can lead them deeper into the sciences, whether it be paleontology or another.
So, let’s look at how you can bring your child towards paleontology and dinosaurs.
Watch the Movies and TV Shows
There are many popular movies that are based around dinosaurs, such as the Jurassic Park series and the Jurassic World series.
These movies entertain kids and raise their interest. But more importantly, they contain inaccuracies.
The field of paleontology changes all too quickly. For that reason, you can easily find a plethora of content out there filled with outdated facts.
Go through them with your child, and tell them about the updated or actual facts.
Visit the Museums
When the media creates an interest in your child, it’s time to take things to the next level.
Research nearby museums that are displaying all sorts of fossils and evolutionary exhibits, not just dinosaurs. However, dinosaurs are also an excellent place to start if you can’t find a full-on paleontology exhibit.
Furthermore, look into tours of the museum, especially for children. The tour guides can give out facts and information while showing fascinating exhibits to your child to pique their interest.
Don’t forget; you can engage with your child and ask them open-ended questions to make the experience more worth their while.
Also, you can make things fun by getting your kid some dinosaurs costumes and puppets from Only Dinosaurs.
Compare Extinct Species with the Current and Living Animals
To get a deeper understanding, introduce your kid to the concept of natural selection.
You see, natural selection is greatly about ecological niches. Therefore, you can expect different species to face similar problems when they occupy a similar niche.
A great example of this is between an extinct dinosaur known as a pterosaur and the common pelican. Even though there is an incredibly massive difference in the timeline of these two species, looking at their similarities can be fascinating and insightful.
Comparing dinosaurs or even other extinct species with their living counterparts can encourage your child to wonder about the broader implications of evolution. Another example you can use is a mammoth and the elephant.
While this may seem complicated to explain to a child, it isn’t when you do it with the right material.
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