Science From Home
Color Our Collections
Coloring can have many benefits for people of all ages. It can help enhance motor skills and vision, reduce stress and anxiety and improve focus.
Click here to download a PDF coloring book made of images from the Academy's Library and Archives.
Science at Home
Try these fun, interactive, hands-on activities that are easy to do with materials you usually have at home. Explore with your child and learn together while having fun. We hope you enjoy the activities listed here while you spend time with your child, sharing your knowledge and gaining new experiences as you explore the world of science together.
Happy Science Adventures!
Simple science activities to try at home:
Coming Soon to a Backyard Near You
© Tom Vezo/VIREO.
As this unusually mild winter comes to a close, many of us will start spring working from home thanks to COVID-19, making for another unusual time. While sharing a bigger cubicle with a 7-year-old will present some challenges, there will be opportunities too. Take your kids to a local park or spend some time outdoors around your home. Some birds from as far away as Central and South America will be arriving in our area to greet the spring. Can you find them together?
Learn what to look for in our new blog series: https://www.anspblog.org/coming-soon-to-a-tree-near-you
Exploring the World of Bugs
photo: Isa Betancourt
Reading as a family can be an excellent gateway to the natural world. Step Gently Out by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder encourages an exploration of the insect world. Featuring macro photography and poetic text, the book asks readers to consider what would happen if they looked at the outside world in a different way — quietly and carefully.
Find a digital copy of the book from your local library or on YouTube. Then step outside with your family for a closer look at bees, spiders, fireflies and more. If you can’t find a copy of the book, you can still learn about nature on your own. Just take a trip to an isolated area of your local park, sit quietly in a grassy area and fix your eyes on a patch of grass or a flower bed.
When you're ready, complete the activities in our Exploring the World of Bugs blog post.
Planting for the Environment
In Plant the Tiny Seed, Christie Matheson helps the youngest naturalists understand how tiny seeds bloom into stunning flowers. Through delicate collage and watercolor graphics and poetic, simple text, she demonstrates the steps involved in planting a few seeds, taking care of them and watching them grow.
Readers are encouraged to “push” the seeds into the pages, wiggle their fingers to water the seeds, tap the clouds to bring rain and clap to wake up the sun. They then can follow the growth of a zinnia and better understand the role it serves in a garden of bees, butterflies and other animals.
Find a digital copy of the book at your local library or on YouTube. Then, do the following activity (or help your kids help plant a garden of their own) to learn more about the process at home. While you work, explain the main things that plants need to grow, including sun, water, soil and space.
Don’t have the book at home? No problem! Follow the prompts in our Planting for the Environment blog and learn about planting on your own!
The Wild World of Water
Water is a powerful natural resource that is necessary for all life. Covering almost 3/4 of the earth’s surface, it flows in streams, rivers and oceans and exists in the forms of liquid, solid and gas. It heats and cools our homes, helps our foods grow and provides habitat for all kinds of wildlife.
In the book Water Can Be…, author Laura Purdie Salas and illustrator Violeta Dabija take readers on a thought-provoking journey through the seasons, describing the many roles of water. This poetic voyage provides ample opportunities for conversation about water, with a handy section at the end that helps parents delve more deeply into the scientific concepts.
Find a digital copy at your local library or on YouTube, and then complete the activities below with your family. Don’t have the book on hand? No worries! You can do most of these activities without it.
Reading List: Taking Care of the Environment
You probably care deeply about keeping the environment clean. You likely take steps to be an environmental steward, perhaps rinsing and sorting your recycling, composting, conserving water, reusing items and more. You may even encourage members of your household to do the same. But have you considered how to explain the importance of these actions to your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews or friends? How will you help to prepare the next generation to work hard to make the planet a more sustainable place?
Whether you’re seeking a starting point for conversation, you want to further your own knowledge or you’re looking to join a global movement, this reading list will help you find a place to start.
Looking for more? Our Academy Kids Club Activity Sheets have lots of great science ideas you can try at home. Download the sheets below for hours of entertainment for your kids:
What is science, and how can parents help?
Science is the effort to discover and increase human understanding of how the physical and natural world works. It is amazing how science touches every aspect of our daily lives; from turning on the lights in the classroom to the snacks we eat daily. Science is about encouraging and asking questions, it is a process rather than a set of facts to memorize. As members of society, it is important that your child gains understanding of what science is and becomes familiar with the work and activities associated with science.
In all types of science, we use the same tools for investigation. We question, observe, study, experiment, and then discover and uncover new findings. As parents, we can model these activities with our children and, through hands-on activities, build and nurture their sense of curiosity. Young children are natural scientists. It is our role to encourage them to continue in their explorations.
Ten Good Reasons to use Science as a Vehicle for Learning
- Science responds to children’s need to learn about the world around them.
- Children’s everyday experience is the foundation for science.
- Open-ended science activities involve children at a range of different developmental levels.
- Hands-on science activities permit teachers to observe and respond to children’s individual strengths and needs.
- The scientific approach of “trial and error” welcomes error and interprets it as valuable information, not as failure.
- Science strongly supports the development of language and literacy.
- Science helps children with limited language to participate in the classroom.
- The problem-solving skills of science easily generalize to social situations.
- Science demonstrations help children become comfortable in large group conversations.
- Science connects easily to other areas, including play, art, math, music, movement, and social studies.