Fun Science Activities for Your Kids!

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In case you haven’t figured it out yet, trying to make a child sit day and learn, learn, learn is HARD! Experiential learning is good for keeping kids engaged during stay-at-home. It makes learning fun- and is definitely easier on all of us. We’ve gathered science resources that make learning about the world around us fun.

Start a Collection

It doesn’t cost a thing to start collecting a little bit of nature. Kids can become backyard entomologists (bug experts), junior geologists, young arborists, or budding birders. Give them a notebook to track their observations and let them go wild! Several websites have tools that youngsters can reference as they explore their new hobby.
  • Rock Hound Kids lets you look through a gallery of minerals with nice pictures,  good information, and all the details about different specimens.
  • The Audubon Society has tips for helping kids get started with bird watching.
  • For younger kids, start with something simple. For example, have them go outside and collect 5- 10 different types of leaves or rocks.

Skype a Scientist

This cool service allows your child to chat with a scientist over video chat from your living room. They will match you with a scientist for Q&A conversations about what makes YOU curious. All you need is a Zoom/Google Hangout/Skype/ or other video chat client and an internet connection! For more information, visit their website.

Hold Some Science Mini-Lessons

There are some pretty cool curricula out there that you can pick and choose from to give your kids ‘mini-lessons’ in science.
  • Mystery Science has both mini and full-length lessons with activities for kids in grades K-5.
  • Our local Museum of Life & Science has ‘Bite-Sized Lessons‘ for elementary-aged children.
  • Teach Engineering is a super fun digital library comprised of standards-aligned engineering curricula for K-12  to make applied science and math come alive. I promise it is more fun than it sounds!

Bring Out the Scientist in Your Daughter

Now might be just the right time to encourage your daughter’s talents in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). One great resource for this is  SciGirls Connect, “an Emmy award-winning PBS Kids television show, website, and educational outreach program that draws on cutting-edge research about what engages girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning and careers.” They have a great online guide for parents to encourage their girls in STEM.

Let them Have Screen Time

You can admit it- all of our kids are getting more screen time than usual these days. Don’t feel guilty (it doesn’t help anything!). Media researchers were advocating for a shift from screen quantity to content quality even pre-COVID-19. If kids are engaged with high-quality content, it is okay to give in and give yourself a little peace. Here are several amazing resources that will encourage learning, thinking, and creativity.
  • Science Max is a YouTube series that explores common science experiments kids do at home and “turbocharges” them. It’s for younger kids, but I kind of love it.
  • Bill Nye The Science Guy is still going strong and now you can see ALL of his old specials online with supplementary notes for each episode.
  • The Popular Science YouTube channel has videos about every science topic you can imagine- even “Can I have a pet fox?” (FYI- the answer is maybe, but not if you live in North Carolina).
  • The Tell Me Why YouTube channel has answers to things that you’ll be glad your kids know (e.g. where do camels store water) to things that will still amuse my 41 year-old-brother but you may be less excited your child understands (e.g., why do we fart). Kids can ask their own questions via Facebook or Twitter and they may be covered in a future video.