c.2019, National Geographic Kids $14.99 / $19.99 Canada 128 pages
Summer has barely started.
You’ve only been out of school a few days but you’re already running out of things to do. Riding your bike is so over. You’re tired of playing tag. Even video games are getting old so maybe it’s time for something different. You need “Little Kids First Big Book of Science” by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.
There’s a whole big summer ahead of you, so how are you going to fill it? You could go to the pool again. You could play in the yard. You could run up and down the sidewalk for no reason. Or you could have some fun with science!
No kidding, science is easy. If you go outside, look at a tree, listen to birds, smell the flowers, and have an ice cream cone, you’re using science. Next, all you need is curiosity, a notebook and pencil, and someone to help you when you need it.
If you’re a kid who loves animals, you’ll love science, too. Scientists study creatures as small as bugs, or as big as whales. They learn about the human body but also know about rocks. Scientists look at trees, fish, plants and dinosaurs. They know about the environment and the planets and stars. Since “there are so many kinds of living things” and natural elements on Earth and beyond, a scientist “usually chooses one” focus, but you can choose to study anything that runs, swims, grows, crawls or just sits. Science is a pretty big subject.
If you want to learn to be a good scientist, you’ll need to know how to do experiments, which are like tests that answer questions. Where do insects live, for instance? What happens when you boil water? How is it possible that airplanes can fly? Visit your neighborhood. Look for cool ecosystems while on vacation. Take a peek at the rocks you’re walking on and look up at the sky.
Maybe you can predict the weather.
Uh-oh. Maybe you’ve learned some fun science!
School has been out for how long? And you’re already hearing how there’s “nothing to do.” That’s the time to have this book tucked away; “Little Kids First Big Book of Science” offers a great cure for boredom.
Here’s a book that pushes STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) without making your kids’ imagination run out of steam. Author Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld carefully attracts children to several branches of science here by pointing out that biology, etymology, geology and ecology are enjoyable and easy, and that in fact, most children are probably already using science every day anyhow. For a kid, that makes the subject less scary.
There are activities that will get your child thinking in new directions here, experiments to try, and lots of pictures to spark new ideas. Best of all, this is a book that your 6- to 10-year-old can enjoy alone, or together with you; the activities invite more experiments and you’ll want to join in on a summer filled with learning, so get “Little Kids First Big Book of Science” and get started.