Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
This post originally published on July 12, 2010. Perhaps today would be good for a little outdoor science? Happy 4th to our American readers!
Chances are that if you dared to sit your children down at the dining table with a worksheet this month, they’d look at you like you had antlers coming out of your head.
And for good reason.
Everything in nature is crying out for growth and movement during these warm days, and that includes your little people. As homeschoolers who recognize that we never take a complete break from learning, summer presents us with multiple opportunities for casual science study.
On a lazy, hot day when your tribe is restless, pull out one of these five projects and get ready for some learning–and a little laughter as well.
1. Nature Bingo Cards
This is a perfect activity to keep preschoolers entertained while hiking or taking a walk around the neighborhood. Before you head out, create one or more bingo cards. On each bingo square, draw (or have your child draw) pictures of various items in nature: birds, trees, rocks, sticks, and so on.
Have them take their cards on your walk and hunt for their items, trying to reach bingo before you head home again.
From pinecones covered in peanut butter to empty soda bottles filled with juice, there are a plenty of ways you can attract birds to your yard for observation.
Check out the many birdfeeder ideas available on this site.
3. Sink or Float Experiment
Have your children gather a variety of outdoor items: rocks, sticks, leaves, sand, and so on. Using your paddling pool or a bucket filled with water, have the children make their hypothesis about which items will sink or float.
Then let them test their theories to see if they’re right!
4. Ice Cube Melting Contest
Make some ice cubes (add food coloring for fun if you’d like). When they’re frozen, take outside and have an ice cube melting contest. Each child guesses how long it will take his ice to melt.
Write down the guesses and then release the cubes on that hot cement! Whoever comes closest to the correct time is the winner.
5. Sidewalk Egg Frying
“It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk!” Is this really true? I guarantee your kids will love it if you let them experiment to find out.
Make your preparations after watching this short video (and make sure you use aluminum foil–or be ready for some cleanup afterward!).
Enjoy another week in the sun and make sure you do plenty of outdoor adventuring!
What activities have been keeping you busy outside this week?