Science is all around you. Your backyard, your kitchen, and other areas around your home provide natural "laboratories" for children. Children are curious; exploring with science can be lots of fun while also teaching them a great deal about themselves and their world.
As your family gets involved with science at home, keep two important issues in mind: education and safety. While science projects can be fun, they should be based on solid educational standards that provide them with knowledge and skills that are age-appropriate and, wherever possible, related to their school science curriculum. At-home activities should be designed by professionals with the child's safety and success in mind. Remember: even the simplest activities with the most basic of materials can be harmful or dangerous, so parental supervision and guidance is critical at all times.
Interested in more? Check out these additional resources!
Save the world with the Kinetic City after-school program
Kinetic City: Mission to Vearth is a new web-based, interactive science story game that has been developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for children age 8-11 for individual use or team play in after school clubs. Missions cover Project 2061's Benchmarks for Science Literacy, a set of recommended science learning goals for children in kindergarten through 12th grade.
This rich, interactive site encourages kids to try science with field trips to science centers around the world, experiments to do on line and at home, and cool science adventures.
Science resources for parents and kids
This comprehensive list of science resources for parents and children has links to, and summaries about, a multitude of science activities.
Hands-on science activities
This easy-to-use page on the website of the Exploratorium, the renowned science center in San Francisco, offers many hands-on science activities and knowledge resources in 10 different categories. You can learn about candy or even how to make a mummy!
"For Young Scientists" info and activities
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute site features some neat things "for young scientists" (see the bottom right section of their site for links to "cool science" and an ask-the-scientist section).
Figure This! Math challenges for middle schools
Figure This! features fun math challenges for middle school students and their families. This kid- and family-friendly site shows you some neat things you can do with and through mathematics!
- Cool Science for Curious Kids
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute invites curious kids to explore biology... on screen, off screen, and in between. This site includes some of the best science projects from top museums, with online and hands-on activities designed for students in kindergarten through second or third grade. The projects showcase how science can be fun, practical, and realistic, include building a model of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, or identifying which parts of plants belong in the family salad bowl. The site also offers tips for parents.
- Elementary Education Science Resources on the Internet
This extensive list on the home page of a university professor provides links to virtual field trips and experiences for hands-on activities to try at home, plus links to science museums, lessons and unit plans, education organizations, and more.