Wild Versus Domestic Animals: How Animals Live

Science related activities and school curriculums for young children commonly cover life science topics related to animals. Most children tend to be naturally fascinated by animals of all sorts and these lessons capitalize on their deep interest. Plus conversations about animals open up opportunities to explore several basic tenets of biology. The goal of lessons about animals is helping children understand the characteristics and structures of living things, how they live, and how things interact with each other (including [...]

2018-11-05T14:11:03+00:00October 29th, 2018|Kids Activities|

Splendiferous Spiders: Give This Activity a Spin!

Spiders! I know, not everyone’s favorite subject. For children, spiders are the stuff of legend. Think of Charlotte’s Web, the itsy-bitsy spider, Miss Spider’s Tea Party, The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider. Spiders are a great subject to spend some time talking about with children because these conversations can clear up a variety of misconceptions and lead to an understanding that is grounded in science. First, spiders are NOT insects. [...]

2018-10-19T19:08:43+00:00October 18th, 2018|Kids Activities|

Real Reindeer!

Tis the season! Lights, tinsel, ornaments, trees and oh those reindeer! Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen…Vixen seems an interesting choice of a name for something associated with Christmas. But okay. And don’t forget Rudolph! Shiney red nose and all. These are all delightful references to be enjoyed this time of year, but maybe there is a window of opportunity here to explore real reindeer. Fascinating and spectacularly beautiful creatures that actually bear little resemblance to the cartoonish images we are [...]

2018-10-05T14:25:31+00:00December 19th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Animal Adaptation: Winter

As temperatures drop I find myself wondering how the animals in my yard cope with the cold. I have heard children ask questions that suggest that they too are concerned about how animals live in the cold. How do birds keep their little feet warm? Do they have enough feathers to keep from freezing? Do rabbits hop because their feet get cold on the snow? I live in the desert so temperatures rarely dip below freezing at night and [...]

2018-10-05T14:30:06+00:00December 16th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Flying, Stinging Insects

Our last post on insects explored the world of flying, biting bugs, or specifically mosquitos and flies. This post delves into the world of flying, stinging insects. What is the difference between biting and stinging insects? An easy place to start is to ask which end of its body is doing the biting (think the area of the head or mouth) versus the stinging (think about the other end of its body or the tail end)? Additional differences will [...]

2018-10-05T14:46:15+00:00September 28th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Kitchen Science: Milk and Dairy Products

The small moments of everyday life present huge opportunities for learning about the world around us.  Pouring a glass of milk is a learning opportunity.  Start with a question to get the conversation rolling. Questions Why do we have to drink milk? How is drinking milk good for you or what parts of you benefit from drinking milk? How does milk compare to other foods that are supposed to be good for you? Where does milk come from? Do [...]

2018-10-05T14:52:52+00:00August 27th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Activities for Summer: Biting Bugs

Summer is here and we’re all enjoying the warmth of the sun, longer days, and perhaps a vacation somewhere exciting or relaxing. We are also swatting at biting flies, scratching those mosquito bites, and hopefully taking precautions to avoid ticks. My recollections of my childhood include legs covered in red bumps and little scabs because I could not control the urge to scratch. The mosquitoes liked me, meaning that running around was as much about enjoying that Capture the [...]

2018-10-05T15:02:11+00:00July 14th, 2015|Kids Activities|

Backyard Birds

As I write this, a hummingbird flits outside the window of my office. She pauses, seemingly peering in, checking me out. I am lucky to live in Arizona where about 13 species of hummingbirds can be spotted at various times throughout the year. If you live east of the Mississippi, you have one species or the ruby-throated hummingbird. One species, but they are always a special treat to see. On a tree branch close to my back door, I [...]

2018-10-05T16:43:05+00:00January 9th, 2015|Kids Activities|