My husband and I are both Doctors of Chiropractic and we before that were both students of science with Bachelors of science in Biology, Chemistry and Cellular Molecular science. We love science you would say (other subjects we are going to need to hire tutoring in to make sure our kids are well rounded), but how do you share that deep love of science with your children when they are still really young? This is a question I have often asked myself and something I wanted to make sure wasn’t ignored in our family. So I put together some children’s items that are fun and helpful when teaching your kids about science ( I will also include the age so you can get an idea of the appropriate time to purchase these items):
3-5 years of age
Excavation kits can be purchased online from brands like National Geographic, Discovery and more. My kids were really into gems and rocks so this is the type we have gotten in our home. You can also make your own excavation material and bury plastic dinosaurs or stones.
Excavation Material recipe: 1 cup used Coffee Grinds, 1 cup flour, ½ cup salt, ¼ cup sand ¾ cup water. (also works great for making dinosaur eggs). Bake in the sun for 3 days
Excavation Material recipe option 2: 2 cups cornstarch and 1 cup water ( this makes Oobleck ( a physics substance that both a solid and a liquid) then bake in the sun for 2.5 days
Sand Volcanoes: You can purchase a volcano online for your child to play with or you can go to their sandbox and give them some vinegar and baking soda- food coloring is optional and they can make volcano after volcano and rebuild it time and time again.
Buy a magnifying glass and head out to look at anything and everything. I like to take a nature book and a sketchbook with us so they feel like a real scientist and they can draw what they discover.
6-8 years of age
Microscope: This is a great age to save up and buy a good one that can be used for the whole family over several years. I also recommend buying prepared slides so that they can easily look at the specimens for themselves. I also purchased some blank slides since I want them to get their own things to examine, this may take a bit of Youtube to discover how to use one if you don’t remember. I am also extra-lucky that I have a mother who is both a Microbiologist and a laboratory scientist that can do these with my girls.
Chemistry set: For most people -myself included I recommend buying a set that has supplies and the powders included. Often it takes a lot of effort and work to buy the supplies you would need; like citric acid and if you don’t use this for other things then you will have a whole lot of something you don’t already use. A lot of experiments require multiple elements which can be costly and timely to collect. National Geographic, Discovery and their are several off brands as well.
Rock tumbler: This can take some of their ordinary finds and help make them shiny and beautiful. My dad bought one for the kids to enjoy with Grandpa and it makes rock collecting fun. I also recommend a Rock microscope and identification book to help them draw and identify their finds. Nature can be awesome and we should encourage to explore.
Teach them how to press flowers: This can be done with wax paper, a heavy book and waiting for 2-3 weeks or you can use the microwave method.
Place flowers on a paper towel, cover with another paper towel then place a microwave safe bowl on top. Set the microwave to defrost and do 1 minute at a time till flowers completely dry.
I hope you will get out there and teach your kids to explore the world and will enjoy it as much as we have as a family. Hope these ideas help, please enjoy one of my favorite subjects in school.