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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en Sources of Scientific Experimental Inspiration…

May 27th, 2009 · 2 Comments

In keeping with last weeks post on Science Week: Se7en Keep Up With School Science Experiments I thought I would write a post on Se7en Sources of Scientific Experimental Inspiration… If you want to know more about our scientific adventures then have a look at our Se7en Do Science Page.

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I have found that kids are naturally curious and if you leave scientific resources lying around they will certainly get going on their own… I myself have no desire to dig in and do science experiments all day – I lie!!! I may want to do a few, but I really do have household maintenance crying for my attention. The point is I want them to be inspired to do things without my input… the resources are there and if we have the materials lying around they are welcome to go for it… if we need something we add it to the science list and when we stock up for science week I add in a few things from their wish list.

  1. Firstly Books:

    Whenever we are at the library I make sure we grab one or two science activity books… They are dotted all over the reference section – don’t just think “science reference” section: In the animal section/ nature and garden section / ecology/ whatever… they are all over – even in the craft section you will find heaps of books on how to make and do just about anything.

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    I have bought one or two – science experiment books and my prerequisite is that they are packed with experiments. Our favorite science experiment books come from Dorling Kindersley and Usborne – you can’t beat these – don’t try!

    We own a couple of this type of book, they are pretty tattered as they get used fairly consistently, easily as much as our art and craft books. This is our most tattered and so I would assume most popular.

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  2. Book Series:

    There are two series of science books that I bought on the spot – or as close to discovering them as I could! These books have been pored over for hours and hours…

    • Arty Facts Series: style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

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      This series is not so much about scientific experiments but about activities and crafts that teach a scientific concept and then put into practice what you have just learnt. There are so many in this range: technology, nature, whatever and they are all brilliant. So much so that we have worked right through most of these books without missing a single activity.

    • Dorling Kindersley Nature Activities:

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      These books are unbeatable, real science, with real experiments and brilliant ideas for introducing ideas and making scientific observations more fun… The young scientists will make tools of the trade to aid in their scientific endeavors and lots of tips and experiments that look so impressive but are really easy to set up and perform.

  3. Magazines or Journals:
  4. Of all the scientific magazines out there for kids our absolute hands down favorite is Horrible Science. And you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it!

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    What’s more – it’s not just a magazine: each issue comes with a fact sheet with a link to more on the web, some scientific fact cards and some pice of science paraphernalia to impress those touchy-feely-hands-on types!!! We have been subscribing to these for a while and have a great collection of scientific goodies. Each magazine comes packed with facts, articles and things to try… we all love it and well worth subscribing to.

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    Now some of their scientific stuff is well a bit flimsy! and the kids love it. And some of their stuff is fabulous. Their magnifying glass was totally brilliant and we use their microscope that came as a gift with one of the first issues is totally brilliant. We use it for all our school and it is more than adequate…

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    This microscope has so many great features, not least of al la viewing screen for those of us that battle to look down a dark tunnel! It also seems to be quite robust and has spent many a week in our science spot, being used and abused and it seems to survive!

  5. Science and Natural History Museums:

    You don’t have to physically visit a museum to enjoy it! Most science museums have a brilliant webpage with a spot for kids and teachers alike… head for the teacher spot if you are a homeschool mom and looking for worksheets and coloring… and if you are a kidlet looking for some fun, well the kids sections are often awesome.

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    I was going to scrounge around for science museums we love, and I have bookmarked here and there and everywhere. Then I found this link – to dozens of science museums – go and browse and bookmark and have fun! It is a whole list of Science Museums from Kids Konnect. Our favorites are the Natural History Museum, they have a great kids site and the Science Museum. We thought we could pop into both in a morning and two days later we were still there barley touching the surface!

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    One of my favorite online museums The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, this site has brilliant activities and I use it a lot!

    We do have the MTN Science Center in Cape Town, it is pretty good but we haven’t been for years – I don’t think the entrance fees make it accessible for most Capetonians, certainly to take all our kids would be well priceless!!! Not to mention we were terribly spoilt overseas by free museums.

  6. Websites:
  7. Podcasts:

    There are a whole lot of scientific podcasts…

    • The Naked Scientist – Can’t beat it! Especially their kitchen science, our kids listen to this with the father person. They also have some great experiments to try. We used lots of these experiments for a science party that went really well.
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    • A-Z of Bushcrafts: This is brilliant fun, a video podcast with great little natural factual snippets. It’s all about this chap that that teaches survival skills and all things ecological.
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    • GCSE Revision: From BBC schools, these are great podcasts for older kids to learn definitions, and the meaning of scientific goodies. There are actually all sorts of topics but my bug guys listen to the science and history.
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    • NWF – Green Hour – Great garden science podcasts for kids.
    • Fun Radio Garden – more garden science, lots of bits and bugs. Great for kids.
  8. Television:

    We are not really television people, we have one in the cupboard! My kids know for sure the television just doesn’t work when I am around… but occasionally they will collapse on the couch with the father person and watch one of these shows.

    • Brainiac: This program does all sorts of mad science. Can you swim through syrup? Lot’s of blowing up and exploding of things – there is always a microwave test that should never be performed at home!!! There is mess, there are experiments and my kids love it! It is silly and I would have an adult to edit from time to time, but mostly it just appeals to the silly clown in them and they enjoy a whole lot of science along the way.
    • Bear Grills: Survival science at its best… many an expedition to the further reaches of the world (or our garden) has occurred on what they have seen on this program. They love learning his survival tricks and feel very equipped to tackle any eventuality because of it!

That’s it – enough to go on!!! I know as I soon as I hit post I will think of fifty more things I meant to add! If you have some great science experiment resources please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will check them out!

I popped this post onto the Works For Me Wednesday Site – go and have a look there for all sorts of tips on absolutely anything.

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Tags: Science · Se7en at School

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kate // May 27, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Where can we sign up for a subscription to Horrible Science? I can’t seem to find info about the magazine on the site you linked to.

  • 2 se7en // May 28, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Hi K, I have looked and looked and couldn’t find it either!!! When I linked through to the site they say they “have moved to” Horrible Science wasn’t on the list… if you do come across a spot to subscribe please comment… I am sure you aren’t the only one looking for it! Have a good day!

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