This week's science experiment is really more of an activity, but it teaches kids to observe the world around them, so I think it fits in here. Each summer since Ian was three years old I have headed off to the nearest State Park Office and picked up that year's "Wisconsin Explorer" workbook for each of the kids (this is Cam's first year).
These little workbooks are filled with naturalist-themed activities that kids can do either in the state park or at home. Once enough activities have been completed, the kids can turn return the forms that are included in the book and get a neat patch in return. There are nine books and patches altogether, three for ages 3-5, three for ages 6-8. and three for ages 9-11. Ian is working on his sixth badge, Brynn on her fourth, Blair on her second, and Cam is working on his very first badge, so these books are a summertime tradition in our family.
This week we decided to learn about birds and feathers. The activity in the little kids' book was to observe a Robin and draw a picture of what it did. Since it was raining outside we relied on observations made out the front window. The older kids' book had them find a feather and decide what sort of bird it came from and how it was lost. Thankfully Ian has a "look what I found, Mom" feather collection, so we didn't have to slog around the wet neighborhood to find a feather.
It was a fun way to spend a soggy afternoon indoors, while still learning about the world we live in.
Happy science, everyone.