Today I’m so thankful to welcome the fabulous Jacquie of Edventures for Kids. If you’re familiar with my round-ups from the After School Linky, you’ve seen a lot of Jacquie. When you follow her blog you’ll discover her wonderful book lists, creative learning ideas, and countless ways to explore the world with children. Thank you, Jacquie, for stepping in while we adjust to life with our new baby girl!
Today Jacquie is sharing 17 super science activities for kids!
We are big fans of science & nature at our house! We love to explore new places and ask a lot of questions – How? Why? and Why not? are usually uttered a few times each day (by both the kids and me).
If you’ve ever watched kids, they are always exploring the world. All that time turning over rocks, watching animals and knocking over block towers is really science — they are observing and experimenting with the their physical and natural world. So it’s never too early to introduce kids to some basic science concepts when they ask all those impossible questions.
Today, I wanted to share a variety of fun and easy hands-on activities that naturally lend themselves to science exploration —
Super Science Activities for Kids
Observe and learn about animals:
One of the earliest introductions to science and nature will usually be a child’s connection with animals. Kids are drawn to bugs in the backyard, family pets and animals they see in the park or zoo. Take advantage of their budding interest!
- Both of my kids have been crazy for ocean animals! Living in the middle of Kansas, we’ve had to come up with some unique ideas for learning about marine life. For example, when the kids wondered how big a whale looks up close, we headed to the school parking lot to draw a life-size whale with chalk.
- It’s also fun to create your own Ocean-scape bottle to explore the different animals in the various ocean zones.
- A trip to the zoo is another great way to observe animals. These outings encourage kids to learn new words as they watch animals eat, play and interact with each other. Pair your visit with a wonderful book to engage the kids in more conversations once you return home. Browse our 16 Great Books for Your Next Zoo Visit and print out this fun Zoo Scavenger Hunt for your next visit!
We also love exploring science and nature close to home too!
- During the winter, take a walk around the neighborhood and search for animal tracks. Show the kids how they can explore close to home and learn about the habits of animals during the winter months. You can pair your nature exploration with some great books and activities about hibernation & migration so the kids can learn what types of animals sleep through winter and which animals stay awake.
- In summer, a trip to the beach is a wonderful invitation to learn about tide pools, explore sea shells and watch ocean tides.
- The National Parks also have some outstanding nature programs for kids, and many of them are free! Learn more about the Junior Ranger programs at the National Parks and find out how your kids can earn their nature and science badges.
Check out these websites for ways to explore the outdoors:
- Discover the Forest – you’ll find animal track guides, fun outdoor activities and a big book of stuff to do!
- Nature Rocks shares lots of ideas for outdoor family fun.
- Go Explore Nature – Deb is a nature loving mom who shares all kinds of outdoor adventures for families!
- And I absolutely love all the lists and printables shared at Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives! They change for each season.
Explore science in everyday life:
Another way to introduce kids to everyday science is to discuss things that are happening in their daily life. For example, the weather is a perfect place to begin.
- Keeping a daily weather journal is a great activity for kids.
- Create your own tornado in a bottle (really cool experiment!) to learn how a vortex forms.
- If your kids enjoy the wind, go fly kite and learn about wind, loft and air pressure.
- It’s also fun to get outside to explore shadows and make weather predictions.
You may think that some science concepts such as physics or chemistry are too hard for young kids to grasp. But if you pair them with a fun activity, they can be really easy to explain.
- Explore the concepts of forces & gravity by creating some water rockets.
- Create boats from recycled materials and explore buoyancy (which things sink or float)!
- And to explore the ideas of solutions and chemistry, why not make your own alchemy lab using items from around the house?
- Or just take a nighttime walk and explore the sky. Observe the stars, make your own constellations and learn about the solar system — the world just got a whole lot bigger for the kids!
Visit these great sites for kid-friendly science experiments:
For more fun ways to integrate science into your child’s day, be sure to visit our Science Fun for Kids Pinterest board!
Jacquie is the founder of Edventures with Kids , a blog that shares unique ideas for keeping kids creative & curious. She believes that kids are more likely to enjoy learning when they are offered hands-on activities and the opportunity to explore new places. ‘Edventures’ encourage families to try new activities, get outdoors, travel together and connect kids with great books. You can also find her on Facebook , Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.