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Friday, October 4, 2013

Easy Science with "Discovering Nature."


This is a non-solicited review of Your Backyard (Discovering Nature)
which you  can find on Amazon or at your local library. It is an excellent supplemental science text for young children which involves easy, hands on experiments using household items.

Coryn loves hands on science. One way to get her excited about school is telling her we will do what she calls a "science experience."

While I was searching for nature books at her level I came across Your Backyard: Discovering Nature by  Sally Hewitt. It looked like fun so I brought it home and this morning we tried out the first of the activities.

The first section of the book is about soil. Now, normally Matt would  freak out if I dug up any section our our newly laid sod, but thankfully Mr. Caen had done some damage yesterday and I could take advantage of his mischief and already dug holes.

The first part of today's "assignment" was to put dirt in a colander and separate things like roots, leaves, and pebbles (maybe some insects, but we didn't get any) to show the different components of soil.
This turned up leaves and sticks and pebbles and allowed us to talk about composting as I showed Coryn how the  bits and pieces she found were breaking down to make more soil.

It even kept Claire busy. She loves playing in dirt.
Next we put some soil into a jar with water and shook it up to watch the different layers settle.
Apparently our soil is mostly sand, but you could see the bits of plant material floating at the top and what little there was of darker clay.
Coryn looks so cute in natural light
Coryn loved it and wanted to continue doing the experiments on her own. Here she is, continuing to soil sort (looking for bugs).
Here she is (with Caen in the background wondering why we can dig in the yard but he can't).
And here is an earwig.

We can't wait to  continue using this book. Some upcoming experiments involve composting items to see what breaks down and what doesn't, putting a stalk of celery in water with food coloring to see how it absorbs water, and making an earthworm farm. Pretty cool stuff.





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