Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Discovery Chest

 In preparation for this year, I bought this book, and it's companion Nature in a Nutshell -
 Because really, how can you go past the "10 minutes or less" selling point?!? Of course you can stretch all of these out to weighty lengths if you like, but they're not inherently time consuming.
Each page has easy to read material lists, procedures, and an explanation for the phenomena exhibited in the experiment. I really wanted to incorporate lots of hands-on science work, so this is perfect!

To make *actually doing them* easier once we start for the year, I put together the Discovery Chest!
It's got everything we need for each experiment (well, almost all of them.. I'm still missing a few things, and I flatly refuse to put live insects or a fish skeleton in the chest!), bar standard stuff like bowls & scissors, in labelled ziplock bags! There's a few spare things in there as well.. Now the kids just need to pick a page from the book that looks interesting, or that is related to something else we're doing, and find the appropriate bag!

There are all sorts of interesting things in there - magnets, balloons, coffee filters, modelling clay, LOTS of cups, funnels, tubing, magnifying glasses, felt pens (markers), rubber bands, LOTS of string, coat hangers, etc etc etc..

If the kids are interesting in repeating an experiment the bits can go back in their bag, and if not, then the materials get added to the spare stuff bag for free experimentation!

Funnily enough while I was still sourcing all the bits I came across this Pin, which is a very similar idea, and she's helpfully shared all the experiments that she used!! I'm going to incorporate some of those to our chest too :-)

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