Tonight, I’m doing a radio interview about my new book, Kitchen Science Lab for Kids to talk about “making science fun.”
Since I already think that science is pretty fun, but know that the very thought of doing an experiment can be daunting for many parents, I decided to make a short list of tips for making at-home science even more fun for everyone involved.
1. Choose a project you have the time and energy for. Many science experiments, like the ones in my book, only take five or ten minutes and don’t even require a trip to the store. You can have a paper bag volcano “erupting” in 15 minutes, but on a rainy day, you may be willing to commit to a more involved experiment, like growing bacteria on homemade petri plates. It’s like making dinner. Some nights you create a gourmet feast, and other nights you slap together grilled cheese sandwiches, but even grilled cheese hits the spot!
2. Let the kids do everything that they can safely do by themselves. They should be the ones measuring, mixing and experimenting. Don’t worry if they spill a little, or the measurements aren’t perfect! They’re EXPERIMENTING!
3. If they want try something that’s not in the instructions, let them!!! As long as it’s safe, let them test their ideas. Who cares if it doesn’t work? Mistakes, trial and error are how we learn, and this is the great thing about doing science at home. Kids can substitute orange juice for milk, or put cornstarch goo in a balloon in the freezer. They’re exploring the world and learning to be creative thinkers.
4. Have kids clean up their mess. This makes science more fun for parents and will make them more likely to allow future experimentation. Remember, back yards and driveways make great science labs, and can be sprayed off with a hose!
Have fun experimenting!