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Saturday, March 17, 2018
Article written by Lisa Bronart

Hands on Science for Kids-Learn by Doing

You’re eating dinner and your child excitedly describes how his teacher took a bucket of water and swung it around without spilling a drop. Your child is talking about centrifugal force! Your child is talking to you! Your child is amazed about this great experience he had! Good lessons provide good opportunities for children to talk! Children who can express themselves verbally to reinforce what they are learning can increase their understanding and memory. Current research indicates that providing children with exciting experiences apart from the traditional “lecture and listen” method can electrify their imagination, providing memorable experiences and opportunities to discuss! As parents, we already understand the importance of “learning by doing,” having provided our children with hands on experiences preparing them to walk and talk, playing a game or learning how to behave.

Making careful decisions about what we teach our children has benefits well past childhood. Parents want what is best for their kids and with the increase in technology based industries today our children’s understanding and expertise must also evolve. Fostering and supporting our children’s interest in the field of science can help to balance their learning and curiosity. Activities that can provide a foundation, further enhance what children are learning day to day and strengthen their confidence.

In grades 2, 3 and 4 children are expected to demonstrate an understanding of magnetism, gravity and light. Using one of several science kits avaiaklable, like ScienceWiz's ElectroWiz Magnetism, Newton’s Wizard and WaveWiz Light provides a great opportunity for parents to enhance their kid’s comprehension of basic scientific principles.

What is in your child’s future? Perhaps he will participate in discovering or perfecting a cleaner fuel source that will propel us into a more sustainable future! Thames & Kosmos Fuel Cell Car Science Experiment Kit is a unique science toy. Your child will learn how to build an environmentally friendly car and learn how it uses the power of water to propel itself across the floor! Children can read and participate in activities included in the Energy Wiz science kit by ScienceWiz. This kit teaches children about potential energy (energy that is stored waiting to be used) and kinetic energy (energy used while an object is in motion). Explore these concepts by building a solar racer to test the differences between potential and kinetic energy. Elenco’s Solar Deluxe Educational Kit provides hands on science instruction helping children learn how to build solar models and generate clean energy to power a radio or a calculator.

Encouraging children to investigate and challenge themselves is always a difficult task. Entice your child with a top secret investigation. The Mystery Detective Forensic Science Kit is a sure way to make this a fun and exciting way to think outside of the box. Children can solve several mysteries by examining DNA prints, analyzing motives as well as other clues in order to narrow down suspects and solve a mystery. Children who might also enjoy the mechanics of developing the technology to investigate and solve crimes would benefit from the Go Detective Science Kit. Among 65 activities, kids can make ink, learn Morse code and analyze evidence using a microscope. Detecting tiny clues is made easier with one of several choices of magnifying glasses and binoculars - a great way to top off one of these unique science kits!

Electronics is a subject that permeates every area of our lives. Elenco’s series of Snap circuits starts with 100 building circuits (Junior) to Snap Circuits 300 and Snap Circuits 500 Pro. These unique science toys are great tools that can help both children and adults decipher the world of electronics by introducing some basic knowledge. Modules containing resistors, capacitors and transistors help to simplify the connections to integrate circuits and produce different effects. However, if your child is ready for a more tangible electronic experience try Elenco’s Build Your Own Telephone or Talking Clock Building Kit, both great ideas to integrate kids further into science.

Try a unique science toy that can help launch any aspiring astronaut or astronomer. Illuminate your child’s imagination with a Motorized Solar System. This dynamic science toy lights up and moves to demonstrate the workings of the solar system. Great for the classroom, teachers can create their own planetarium. Another cool science kit is the Solar System 3D Mobile Making Kit. Assemble the plastic planets, use the paint included to color your system and attach to the mobile - a great activity for the home or the classroom. All these science kits include instructions and facts about our solar system.

For more in depth knowledge of the universe, try the Usborne Book of Astronomy & Space, a great introduction to the wonders of space. Exploring the Night Sky by Terence Dickinson is a great book to help your kids learn about the universe and also includes an introduction into star gazing. To encourage the star gazer in your family, Mastermind also offers several durable telescopes with which to view the night sky!

If your child is curious and enthusiastic but is not inspired by science, perhaps you can persuade them with some unusual science kits and toys! Consider Oobleck Gooey Chemistry. Already used as a teaching resource around the world, your child can conduct slimy experiments and start a slime ooze contest. Does your child’s interest in animals command their full attention? The Fun With Your Dog Science Kit might tempt their curiosity by testing a dog’s hearing, determining a dog’s personality or creating dog bone cookies. Take fun science into the bathroom with Scientific Explorer’s Spa Science Kit! Kids can mix fragrances, make foaming baths and create smelling potions. Determine how smells affect family members and friends differently - the ultimate test of the senses!

Science is a subject that permeates every area of our lives and making it fun and interesting is what it takes to promote excitement- and learning!
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