Science is one of those topics that can be studied in so many different ways. Living Science is a rich smorgasbord of experiences, where kids can learn about their world and themselves by interacting with nature, their environment and by experimenting with different concepts, combinations, and materials. Then there is the worksheet version of science, which is about memorizing unreasonably long names and writing down definitions kids don’t really understand.
The best of science mixes both, the experimental living aspects and the language to explain why and how that is happening. The balance is a tricky one, but it can be done.
A lot of what is considered “playtime”, is actually experimental science. Watching animals, planting a garden, cooking, mixing ingredients into a magical potion, picking acorns in a field, digging and playing with water, watching stars, using a magnifying glass, playing with bubbles, building with blocks, climbing trees, adding Mentos to Diet Coke, watching fireflies… Living richly is a giant science experiment, but how do we help kids understand the whys and hows?
Below you will find a couple of free or low-cost resources to help fill in those gaps:
Mystery Science (Free with the option to upgrade)
Free memberships give you access to at least a few lessons of each topic and their large number of educational resources that come with each lesson. The videos are divided by topic and age group, fun to watch, very well designed to guide children through a natural deductive process and they all include experiments that can be done with very simple materials most of us have at home, and with sheets they provide.
We have done the entire website and usually come back for their new videos.
Mosa Mack (Free Memberships during the COVID pandemic)
A comprehensive website, targeting grades 4-8, with cartons and educational materials for most science topics for that age group. The website is rich with resources, the videos are fun to watch and have good explanations. There are interactive quizzes and in-depth practice of some topics.
Focuses on science for older students, but includes activities (science snacks), digital science boxes and a tinkering studio. Each section has a multitude of topics that can be sorted by subjects. It also has a very interesting section on COVID-19 right now.
BrainPop (Free Memberships during the COVID pandemic)
Younger kids friendly lessons that use a robot and a child to explain scientific concepts. The robot can be a bit irritating, but kids tend to like it. There is also an educator component that can help parents prepare lessons based on the videos.
A pretty comprehensive website for older students. Covers topics from Anatomy to physics and statistics with videos for each category.
YouTube Channels with great science materials:
If you would like to use books instead, here are a few suggestions:
Human Body Theater: A Non-Fiction Revue – Comic book with real information about anatomy that is also a lot of fun.
DK Science Workbooks – Workbooks for all grades. Pages are well designed and easy to follow.
If you want more resources, you will find a very comprehensive list by topic at: