Monthly Archives: July 2012

Making Science Fun

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Making Science Fun

My five year old recently asked me if we can do some more ‘science-ing’ after we experimented with making volcanoes.

As a parent, I have come to revisit the wonder and excitement of science through my children’s experiences and experimentation. From stars to bugs, rainbows to volcanoes, science is exciting and fun, and a little inspiration can set children off on a stellar career path from a very early age. Some of our greatest scientists and inventors recall moments in their childhood when they were turned on to science, whether it was kitchen chemistry, star-gazing or just seeing the sun shining through water.

I’ve found loads of great websites showing you how to try out fun science experiments (safely!) at home. Here is a list of the top ten coolest experiments

Here is a Youtube video of how to make your own lava lamp just with kitchen items like oil, water, food colouring and a fizzy tablet (like Vitamin C or Alka Seltzer)

Keeping kids informed and entertained is no mean feat, but as children grow ever more sophisticated and tech-savvy, children are being presented with some interesting role models:

Moshi Monsters‘ Tamara Tesla is the wacky girl scientist who features in Super Moshi Missions…

Tamara Tesla (Moshi Monsters) Nina and the Neurons (CBeebies)

On TV, Nina and The Neurons is an award-winning show on CBBC about a female scientist conducting experiments exploring the five senses, neurons each with a personality of their own.

Entertainment companies such as Science Boffins offer parties and after-school events to bring science to life with fun and exciting demonstrations……and to keep up with the demands of the gaming generation, schools across the UK are increasingly using multimedia platforms to keep pupils engaged in the learning process. This applies to all subjects, but it is the Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) of science teaching in primary schools that can bring science alive for all children, one that is crucial to engage the children that would much rather spend all their time playing computer games.

Webanywhere provides learning solutions for primary and secondary schools as well as businesses. They provide free science teaching resources here  as well as a selection of themed packages, to cut through the confusion; helping schools choose a VLE that caters for their individual needs.

When it comes to science education, any teaching methods that engage the child and make science come to life can only be a good thing. Here are some more great science experiments for your family to try.

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Free events this summer (inc. a hearse full of balloons…?)

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In the run up to the summer holidays, I’m getting prepared for days out (and days in) with the kids. My spare room is starting to look more like a war room at the moment; maps on the wall and tourist leaflets everywhere. I take fun seriously!

I’ve dissected family magazines, cutting out info about free events going on in the region. Next, I’ll need a wall planner to stick all the gumpf onto. And more wall space, probably. I’ll keep all the events on the same date together, that way we can make a choice  right up to the last minute, according to the weather or our mood. Note to self: buy more Blu-Tac. We’re booking up classes now;  Living Social has some great deals nationwide if you sign up for their emails.

The great thing about summer is that there are lots of summer events going on. And if you can keep an eye on the spending (junk food, white elephant stalls and all that sort of rubbish) you can have quite a low cost family day out.

Here are a couple more websites to check out events in your area:

http://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/Pages/local-change-for-life-activities.aspx  find places to get active local to you

http://www.whattodowiththekids.co.uk/ Inspiration, information and discounts for days out (and days at home) with your kids

For Yorkshire folk (everyone else look away now) we’re off to Lineham Farm this weekend, Saturday 21st July 11-3pm http://www.netmums.com/leeds/local/view/whats-on/july/lineham-farm-giant-open-day which in addition to the usual farm-y stuff there is the added bizarre attraction of a hearse filled with balloons. You have to guess the number of balloons to win a £50 voucher donated by the local funeral home. Is that a £50 voucher off a funeral? I dunno, we’re going to find out. For other events in Yorkshire take a look at Breeze http://www.breezeleeds.org/pg/2/Breeze_on_Tour

 

Survival tips for the summer hols. Get a head start here.

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Survival tips for the summer hols. Get a head start here.

Right about now, I collect up every promotional flyer and leaflet for venues and attractions (it drives my husband mad) and check out the event dates. I make a note of anything we might like to do. Then I start putting together a calendar of ideas and workshops to do during the summer holidays.

I’ll add more as I go along, but I thought you might like to know about a couple of workshops that you’d need to book now, plus things to think about so you hit the ground running when the schools break up.

As part of their Children’s University initiative, B&Q are holding summer weekend free workshops in July and August for 7-11 year olds. With parental supervision, they will be shown how to make one of a variety of DIY projects: a robin’s bird house, perpetual calendar, bird feeder or trinket box. See here for details and workshop dates and times

Yo! Sushi are doing Sushi School for their Mini Ninjas.  

£10 will buy you a one hour class to teach your child about Japanese food knowledge and healthy eating, how to make 3 different types of sushi; maki, nigiri and gunkan. They get to eat their creation and take home a certificate and sushi rolling mat to try at home.

Your child (aged between 6-10 years old) must be accompanied by an adult and the classes are limited to 10 maximum, so book up now. Contact the Yo restaurants   (check link)  directly to check availability, dates and times.http://www.yosushi.com/parties/sushi-school/kids/

We’ve also made a list of all our favourite free play parks for sunny days, so we’re not stuck in the house climbing the walls. And we’ve made a rainy day list of places to go.

Watch this space here for our favourite places to go in the Yorkshire area.

I’ll also have some recommendations for fun things to do at home here.

Together, we can survive this. Can’t we?