Science Ideas for Parents

Science Fun for Your Kids

There is no school subject quite as ripe for family fun as science. And it’s an area where children need extra enrichment now, more than ever, because the national No Child Left Behind initiative is causing schools to focus more intently on math and reading and spend less classroom time on science. That’s where you can make a big difference in your child’s learning, and have a great time doing it.

Check out these terrific resources. On the Internet There’s no excuse ever again for a child to say he or she has nothing to do. The Internet is your family’s door to a wonderland of science games and activities—and your children won’t even notice they’re learning. These are just some of the excellent sites available for you and your kids. Puzzles, games, and science fair ideas are just a few of the resources in this sci-ence-dedicated site for children and their families. www.sciencenewsforkids.org

From developing “accidental scien-tists” in the kitchen to exploring human perception, this site is chock-full of some of the most fun science activities ever assembled. www.exploratorium.edu Find interactive games galore on geog-raphy, astronomy, and zoology. http:// kids.nationalgeographic.com/Games

Remember that old game Operation? Kids can play a virtual version online at this site, while learning how different systems of the body work. This fun site, from London’s Centre of the Cell, will keep school kids (and their parents) entertained and informed. www.centreofthecell.org/centre/?page_id=301

This great resource for families offers dozens of safe, educational home experiments using materials easily found around the house. It’s divided into categories, including water, structures, the five senses, patterns, life sciences, forces and energy, engineering, and chemistry. http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci Check out the cool resources available at this site from the land down under, the National Science and Technology Centre in Aus-tralia. www.questacon.edu.au/activities From egg-speriments to fun tricks like the giraffe spit experiment, this great site lets kids have fun learning through experiment-ing, discovering things like how polar bears stay warm and the ecological consequences of oil spills. www.sandiegozoo.org/education/science_experiments.html Games, puzzles, and activities about the Earth and the solar sys-tem can be found at this site. www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/games/games.html

Enlisting the help of Tinker Bell and the rat from the movie Rata-touille, the U.S. Department of Energy provides a great selection of games and activities on energy and conservation. www.eere.energy.gov/kids/games.html If you ever finish doing all the cool science experiments on this site, you can check out the other activi-ties that get kids’ brains engaged too. www.funology.com/laboratory

On Television The Discovery Kids Channel is prob-ably the best source of science-oriented television shows for kids these days, offering both Bindi the Jungle Girl and Grossology. Books The Magic School Bus series, a classic collection of books, lets kids follow Ms. Frizzle into the bizarre and amazing world of science, from inside the body to outer space.

Looking for a great collection of activi-ties to do at home? Get your hands on either of these: The Kids’ Science Book: Creative Experiences for Hands-On Fun or The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity—Challenge the World Around You! Magazines Children love getting their very own magazines in the mail dur-ing the year.

Depending on the age of your children, any of these will open their eyes to the science and the world around them: Click Magazine, ASK, Odyssey Magazine, Ranger Rick, and National Geographic Kids. Build bonds with your children by exploring some of these sites online. Go to the library to pick up back issues of the magazines or copies of the books, and set some time aside to help your chil-dren discover the wonders of the scientific world. Learning has never been so much fun! RP 32:6 Report to Parents, written to serve elementary and middle-level principals, may be reproduced by National Association of Elementary School Principals members without permission. Current year back issues are available to members at www.naesp.org. Science Fun for Your Kids  Science Fun for Your Kids

There is no school subject quite as ripe for family fun as science. And it’s an area where children need extra enrichment now, more than ever, because the national No Child Left Behind initiative is causing schools to focus more intently on math and reading and spend less classroom time on science. That’s where you can make a big difference in your child’s learning, and have a great time doing it.

Check out these terrific resources. On the Internet There’s no excuse ever again for a child to say he or she has nothing to do. The Internet is your family’s door to a wonderland of science games and activities—and your children won’t even notice they’re learning. These are just some of the excellent sites available for you and your kids. Puzzles, games, and science fair ideas are just a few of the resources in this sci-ence-dedicated site for children and their families. www.sciencenewsforkids.org From developing “accidental scien-tists” in the kitchen to exploring human perception, this site is chock-full of some of the most fun science activities ever assembled. www.exploratorium.edu

Find interactive games galore on geog-raphy, astronomy, and zoology. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/  Games Remember that old game Operation? Kids can play a virtual version online at this site, while learning how different systems of the body work. This fun site, from London’s Centre of the Cell, will keep school kids (and their parents) entertained and informed. www.centreofthecell.org/centre/?page_id=301

This great resource for families offers dozens of safe, educational home experiments using materials easily found around the house. It’s divided into categories, including water, structures, the five senses, patterns, life sciences, forces and energy, engineering, and chemistry. http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci

Check out the cool resources available at this site from the land down under, the National Science and Technology Centre in Aus-tralia. www.questacon.edu.au/activities

From egg-speriments to fun tricks like the giraffe spit experiment, this great site lets kids have fun learning through experiment-ing, discovering things like how polar bears stay warm and the ecological consequences of oil spills.www.sandiegozoo.org/education/science_experiments.html

Games, puzzles, and activities about the Earth and the solar sys-tem can be found at this site. www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/games/games.html

Enlisting the help of Tinker Bell and the rat from the movie Rata-touille, the U.S. Department of Energy provides a great selection of games and activities on energy and conservation. www.eere.energy.gov/kids/games.html If you ever finish doing all the cool science experiments on this site, you can check out the other activi-ties that get kids’ brains engaged too. www.funology.com/laboratory On Television The Discovery Kids Channel is prob-ably the best source of science-oriented television shows for kids these days, offering both Bindi the Jungle Girl and Grossology. Books

The Magic School Bus series, a classic collection of books, lets kids follow Ms. Frizzle into the bizarre and amazing world of science, from inside the body to outer space. Looking for a great collection of activi-ties to do at home? Get your hands on either of these: The Kids’ Science Book: Creative Experiences for Hands-On Fun or The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity—Challenge the World Around You! Magazines Children love getting their very own magazines in the mail dur-ing the year. Depending on the age of your children, any of these will open their eyes to the science and the world around them: Click Magazine, ASK, Odyssey Magazine, Ranger Rick, and National Geographic Kids. Build bonds with your children by exploring some of these sites online.

Go to the library to pick up back issues of the magazines or copies of the books, and set some time aside to help your chil-dren discover the wonders of the scientific world. Learning has never been so much fun! RP 32:6 Report to Parents, written to serve elementary and middle-level principals, may be reproduced by National Association of Elementary School Principals members without permission. Current year back issues are available to members at www.naesp.org.