Today I am back to talk about some ways you can encourage a love for science in your kids! I’ll also be talking about some new books by National Geographic Kids that can aid in this endeavor….
Why is a love for Science so important for kids? Science is everywhere! Science teaches children about the world around them. It encourages curiosity & gets them asking questions, thus developing a love for learning. How can we encourage a love for science?
Ways to encourage a love for science in your kids:
» Visit local science museums
We feel very fortunate to live in an area with an amazing children’s museum that focuses on science & natural history. Many big cities have museums geared towards children. If you need help locating one near you, you can use this search tool ⇒ Find a Children’s Museum.
» Do simple science experiments at home
This is where Pinterest is your best friend. There are all kinds of easy DIY science experiments online, many that only require things you’d find around the house.
» Science themed toys
There are all kinds of wonderful toys that will not only entertain your kids, but ignite their curiosity. Toys like science experiment kits, legos, snap circuits, chemistry sets, robots, doctor kits, etc.
You can find some ideas for STEM toys here ⇒ Target STEM toys
» Explore nature together
Go explore local parks with hiking trails. Observe local wildlife in your backyard. Plant a vegetable garden. Find constellations in the night sky. There are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors together with your kids.
» Science based TV shows
Yes, it is okay to let your children watch a little TV! Everything in moderation. There are some wonderful TV programs both past and present that focus on science. Some examples of TV programs that are science focused: The Magic School Bus, Bill Nye the Science Guy, SciGirls, Wild Kratts, and Sid the Science Kid.
» Science based camps & clubs
Many local YMCAs, rec centers, schools, libraries, and local park districts offer summer camps and/or clubs that revolve around science! Check out their websites to see what they offer.
» Read books about science with your child
There are so many wonderful books out there for kids in every field of science you can think of! Visit your local library and check out some books in the areas of science that interest your child. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of your librarian!
Speaking of books about science, there are two new books from National Geographic Kids that would be perfect books to spark a love of science in your children: Little Kids First Big Book of Science by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld and National Geographic Kids Almanac 2020.
» Little Kids First Big Book of Science by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
This lively introduction to the fascinating world of science explores the different kinds of science, what scientists do, and the amazing things that scientists study: animals and plants; oceans and space; earthquakes and volcanoes; sound and light; inventions and more!
Make sure kids’ first experience of the wonders of science is a thrilling eye-opener with this fun reference book. Fun activities, games, and simple experiments encourage interactive learning, showing kids that anyone can use scientific observation and experimentation to be a scientist and discover new things. With bright images and age-appropriate text, this book inspires kids to be curious, ask questions, and explore the world around them. And, maybe even grow up to be a scientist one day, too! Topics touched on include astronomy, botany, paleontology, malacology (that’s the science of clams, snails, and other animals with shells!), zoology, and more.
Age range: 4 – 8 years
Grade levels: Preschool – 3rd grade
Looking for the perfect book to introduce the little ones in your life to science & what scientists actually do? With large print, full page picture spreads, and easy to understand text, Little Kids First Big Book of Science is a wonderful introduction to science for young learners!
Little Kids First Big Book of Science begins by explaining that science is learning about the world around you. Using the analogy of a tree, we are told to think of science as a tree, with 5 main branches of science. We learn about the main branches of science: life science, earth/space science, physical science, engineering, ecology, and biology, and then explore the smaller branches off each of those main branches. For example, biology branches off into medical science, agriculture, zoology, etc. From here, we learn what scientists actually do in each of these specific fields of science. The book also touches upon the scientific method, and even encourages the reader to keep a science journal for their own questions & experiments.
I really love that this book is targeted to a young audience of 4 to 8-year-olds. Science is a subject full of difficult concepts for young children to grasp, but this book does a wonderful job describing these concepts on a very basic level thus building a foundation for future learning. The large colorful pictures will be sure to grab the attention of your young child, and sustain that attention. Another great aspect about this book is the activities throughout to help break up the text. Activities like look & finds, guess the animal based on clues, a how-to guide to grow a plant from a seed, etc. There are also discussion questions throughout the book, which will help engage your child in the material. These activities and discussions really make for an immersive reading experience.
After reading Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World for Women’s History Month, I was inspired to look for books I could share with my 5-year-old daughter to encourage a love for science. Little Kids First Big Book of Science definitely fits that bill. After learning about all the different types of scientists, my daughter has expressed an interest in zoology, so I’m thinking about purchasing National Geographic Kids’ Little Kids First Big Book of Animals for her to further explore her interest in animals. Actually, National Geographic Kids has an entire Little Kids First Big Books series, which you can check out here ⇒ National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books Series
This would be a wonderful tool to use in the classroom. Since this book is 128 pages, it isn’t going to be a book that you read to a class in one sitting, but rather throughout the year during various different units of study. What a perfect way to enhance science lessons! At the end of this book, there are parent (or educator) tips on how you can extend the learning experience by listing a few different ideas for at-home (or in-class) experiments to reinforce the concepts learned throughout the book.
You can purchase a copy here ⇒ Little Kids Big Book of Science
It’s the 10th anniversary of the world’s best-selling almanac for kids! This year the Almanac features all-new content, interviews with explorers in each chapter, a special look at what was going on in the world when the first National Geographic Kids Almanac came out 10 years ago, plus the results of the 2019 Almanac Challenge and a new Challenge for kids who want to get involved with helping our planet.
Age range: 8 – 12 years
Grade level: 3rd – 7th grade
National Geographic Kids Almanac is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year! Packed full of amazing animals, science, new technology, culture, nature, history, and geography, this book is an abundance of knowledge.
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2020 is not only the perfect book for the young bookworms in your life, but also perfect for any reluctant readers. My own son is a reluctant reader. Books like this with “bite sized” sections are a wonderful way to keep kinds interested & hold their attention. Not only is there a plethora of information, but this book has some wonderful extras like games, quizzes, jokes, fast facts, pop culture references, and even homework help. There is a little bit of everything in this almanac! Kids can read from front to back, or jump around to the sections that interest them the most. Don’t be surprised when your child shares interesting or surprising facts with you. This is one of those books you learn something new every time you open it.
Like most of the other National Geographic Kids books, this book is very versatile and can be utilized both at home and in the classroom. While this almanac is geared towards a middle grade audience, it really could appeal to a wide audience that would include younger kids, teens, and even adults.
You can purchase a copy here ⇒ Almanac 2020
*Big thanks to Media Masters Publicity for copies of these books in exchange for an honest review*