Hello, my name is Emma and I write the blog Science Sparks. Learning Resources kindly asked me to share some tips about how to get children involved with science at home and tell you all about my brand new book, This Is Rocket Science!!
My children and I had a great time working together to design and create the activities in the book, it was a real family effort. People often ask me how I think of ideas for Science Sparks, but the truth is most of the activities come from questions my children ask and then one thing tends to lead on to another.
By actively exploring science at home you are changing youngsters’ perception of science, supporting their learning, and having fun all at the same time! Science based activities encourage the development of core skills from logical thinking and problem solving, right through to communication skills. But if you are lost for where to start when it comes to science play at home, then read on for my top pointers.
Tops tips for getting children involved in science at home
Many of our activities are inspired by books. For example, we’ve made bridges for The Gingerbread Man, underpants for Aliens, a zip wire for Jack (and the beanstalk) and houses for the Three Little Pigs. So my first top tip is to read a book together and then work on an idea to solve a problem for the characters.
For older children, try a non-fiction book and work to demonstrate something. For example use a prism to split light into the colours of the rainbow.
Science projects are a great way to learn together whilst working as a team. You could work on a tricky project together or try something more simple independently and then come together to share your results.
A great project to work together on is something like our viscosity race. In This Is Rocket Science a viscosity investigation is used to demonstrate lava flows on Venus. You can see we found our Learning Resources test tubes and holder very handy for this activity. The test tubes are easy to hold and generously sized making them perfect for holding our test liquids! We also used one of the handy stopwatches to time how long each liquid took to flow between the lines.
If you have a child who loves art projects our filter paper chromatography planets are sure to be a winner. Simply draw small dots on a piece of filter paper and use a dropper to drip water onto the ink spots. Watch the colours spread through the filter paper and leave to dry. For a longer project try to create a filter paper picture to match each planet of the solar system.
Look around, ask a question and try to find the answer! This Is Rocket Science has lots of activities demonstrating gravity for example. It contains 70 fun and hands-on activities designed to help children understand how a rocket is able to blast off into space, how astronauts manage to cope with the difficulties of living in space and also takes you on a tour of our incredible solar system learning about the unimaginable distances involved and features of each planet.
How do you get children involved in science at home and what are their favourite investigations?
We’d love to see your experiments, be sure to tag us on Instagram using @learningresourcesuk and @sciencesparks.