Giving early years practitioners and students the confidence to effectively support scientific exploration and investigation with young children, this book explains the science behind young children's knowledge and understanding of the world. Linking theory to good early years practice, the emphasis throughout the book is on recognizing young children as competent, creative thinkers and building on their ideas. The reader is encouraged to think carefully about the role of the adult in supporting child-initiated learning and discovery by providing open ended resources, asking productive questions and observing carefully. The authors provide essential background information for all the key areas of scientific knowledge supported by practical ideas suitable for babies, toddlers and children aged 3 to 5 years. For each of these ideas, practice and theory are linked by highlighting the skills, attitudes and dispositions to observe and the questions to ask to challenge young children's thinking and plan for the next stages in their learning. Chapters cover: - the place of science in early years curricula in the UK - the processes of science and the role of the adult in supporting young children's scientific learning - using open ended resources to create a science-rich environment - essential background knowledge, covering all areas of early years science - ideas to use as starting points for exploration and investigation, indoors and outdoors - pointers for observational assessment and planning - suppliers of resources and equipment. By making clear links to practice, and providing ideas to use with babies and toddlers as well as with 3-5 year old children, this book enables the reader to fully exploit the potential for exploration and investigation in any early years setting. Pat Brunton and Linda Thornton are both Education Consultants based in Cheltenham. They run their own training and consultancy company alc associates, and edit Early Years Update.