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Favorite Science Resources for Parents?
I am a pre-service teacher, but also a parent of a 6 year old and 3 year old twins. This summer, I am hoping to do lots of science experiments with my kids and our friends. Last year, we had science Fridays, but I always felt as if I was constantly searching for the right book, the right Web site, etc.
What are your favorite resources for parents to use? Are there a couple must have books? Which topics should I be sure to cover?
Thanks in Advance
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I enjoy using BrainPop which has different grade levels. The website explains the topic of science you researching and has a few activities and quizzes after the short movie plays. Also, local farms and gardens have events for children. Elioak Farms in the Columbia, MD area is a great place. Baltimore Child magazine is a great resource for discovering what is going on in the Baltimore area.
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A very interesting website to check out is http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/ . They have many science experiment ideas as well as products to buy to make these experiments. They also have available many teaching training workshops/meetings you can attend as well. They also have a YouTube channel called sick science where they show videos of many many types of cool science experiments.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC02CFDE5690E4010 (External Website)
http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/ (External Website)
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Steven Spangler is definitely a great resource. Not only does he provide the materials and video but also the explanation of the experiment. Every science unit is labeled and organized in a way for easy access. Pinterest can go a long way as well. Edutopia, and even disney website contain science experiments!
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I would recommend you a book titled: “Science is……” from Scholastic by Susan V. Bosak (any edition is fine). It is a great must-have science book, full of projects and fun activities to do with your children.
The great thing about this book is that science concepts are introduced in a very smooth and simple way, easy for children of all ages to explore, test, and understand. Every activity is accompanied by a full explanation of the science concept being addressed for parents/instructors. These activities are also engaging based on their creative titles and the funny illustrations used. Activities are organized both under subject areas and specific science topics.
I hope you enjoy this resource as much as I do if you have the chance to get it.
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In the Science and Children journal, Peggy Ashbrook writes a monthly article entitled, "The Early Years". You will find gobs of ideas for science investigations to do with your twins and the younger children in your neighborhood. It would be neat if some of our veteran teachers would share their favorites for the younger set.
Here is one that I especially enjoy setting up for my little ones:
The Early Years: Nurturing Young Chemists
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One of my favorite resources is to use the simple kits that The School Box has to do simple experiments. I have found some great experiments in kits from Amazon. For STEM activities my favorite site is teacherspayteachers. SMART CHICK has great inexpensive STEM acitivities to motivate students and challenge them.
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Here are some free article from the NSTA Learning Center that might help you find some fun things to do with your children this summer.
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I think you may find this site helpful http://www.pbs.org/parents/child-development/baby-and-toddler/
It provides a development tracker for 1-2-and 3 year olds. You can read where the child should be developmentally and plan accordingly for activities from there.
I hope it helps!
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What a great idea. I love doing science experiments with my kids too. When I have been looking for ideas for science topics for my multiple subjects teaching credential, I found National Geographic and Discovery Channel websites helpful.
Here is a page "Science is fun home experiments"http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/homeexpts/homeexpts.html
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WHBH has a wonderful website, Peep and the Big Wide World, with many activities for young children.
Scroll down to read their Four Great Tips!
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This site is a collection of 25 fun experiments you can do at home. It was compiled by from multiple different education sites and blogs. There are a variety of types and would work with multiple ages. You can find ones that fit your children’s interests, or go along with other ideas you have already tried! My daughter loves bubbles, so the Bubble Magic one was a lot of fun. We have also done a few of them in class with great results.
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A fun and easy way to incorporate science at home is to have a sensory box that you rotate out the objects inside. You can have one week be ocean, insects (dirt and plastic bugs), farm, look at different plants, and different substances like oobleck (corn starch and water is all that is needed). You can talk about different habitats and needs of different living organisms. We love doing this in my preschool class.
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I really like this idea of a sensory box it seems like a really good idea to kids students motivated and gives them a visual and hands on experience of the lesson you your teaching.
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Tell us a little more about the box itself, Nori. Does it have a lid? Do children see what is in it before they touch it? It sounds like a very engaging activity and a great way to extend the learning.
We have a rubber maid container that we can switch out the materials. We base it off the unit we are learning about. The children love it, and you can have them guess what's inside before having big reveal. This can lead to many fun and educational discussions.
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A big thank you to all of the people sharing ideas in this posting. I have been checking out the websites suggested and they are all wonderful. I will be sharing these with my Early Childhood teachers.
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This is a greater resource to give to parents and even keep for our own use with our children.
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The resource ideas are great for us as parents, but also a great idea to share these resources with parents. Maybe through a class newsletter.
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Recently I have been working with a science teacher in my school that I am student teaching at. This teacher recommends parents to visit www.sciencebuddies.org This site not only offers parents a great free resource for how to help guide their student with their science concepts, but it offers a place for parents to go to try some science at home. You can navigate the parent page and find topics that interest you and your child to try at home. As I learn more about this webpage, I'm really starting to like it.
Also, teachers work to keep parents involved in the STEM fair by sending monthly update letters. This is a great way to keep parents connected to what their child is doing in the classroom and how they can help their student at home with their projects.
Hope this helps!
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I think that right here on NSTA you can find many different ideas of things to do with small children you just have to find the right resources. One the side when you search, you can filter by grade/age and so you can adjust it there and it will adjust the resources so that you do not have to sit there and filter through them all yourself.
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Great Question! I try to get the families at my school involved in science outside the classroom too. The resources mentioned above are all good ones for sure. In addition to Peep and the Big Wide World, you might want to also check out Sid the Science Kid's parent page. They have linked activities to their episodes. http://www.pbs.org/parents/sid/
The books I find invaluable for teaching and sharing potential early childhood activities with families are: Jump into Science by Rae Pica, Hands-on Nature by VINS staff Jenepher Lingelbach and Lisa Purcell, Science Play! by Jill Frankel Hauser, and Science is Simple by Peggy Ashbrook.
I'm working on a blog where I tie recent science news with web links for activities and resources for families and teachers: http://shareitscience.com (I teach Pre-K-6th science, so my focus is usually resources for those ages)
You might also visit: http://elementalblogging.com/ which is a homeschool science blog with lots of great activities and http://archimedesnotebook.blogspot.com which has excellent science kid lit reviews and ideas for activities.
So great to be science-y at home, it's what kids (and grown-ups) need to feed our curiosity! Have fun!
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I thought of another as I was drifting off to sleep last night (teacher's brain is a curse)...
The Exploratorium Science Snacks http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/ there is a huge collection of science activities that are based on Exploratorium museum exhibits, but are designed so you can do them easily with materials you'd find around the house.
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