Friday, June 20, 2008

Playing With Matches

I recently checked out about 5 books from the library by Vicki Cobb. Vicki is a author of non-fiction science books for kids. Some of the titles include:

Science Experiments You Can Eat
You Gotta Try This: Absolutely Irresistible Science
Chemically Active! Experiments You Can Do at Home
Whirlers and Twirlers: Science Fun with Spinning
Bet You Can't: Science Impossibilities To Fool You
We Dare You: Hundreds of Fun Science Bets, Challenges and Experiments You Can Do at Home

Ethan has been having a lot of fun with "Bet You Can't." Specifically, he's located every experiment in the book where using a match is required. He's tried "Bet You Can't Keep A Match Burning Over a Glass of Soda", and "Bet You Can't Make a Flame Pass Through a Strainer" as well as several others.

Each little experiment has an explanation of the scientific principles behind the trick and I am pretty sure that Ethan is more excited about lighting the next match than he is figuring out why he can't burn a hole through the bottom of a paper cup full of water.

However, one burning question Ethan did have was how matches worked.

I quickly googled the question and came up with a 10 minute podcast that had the answer. Ethan spent the whole 10 minutes listening and absorbing the information. Later he told me about white and red phosphorus and the different properties of each.

It was almost as if we were having an educational moment.

If you are interested in having an educational moment with your kids this summer, check out Vicki Cobb's newest book, "We Dare You." The author is compiling video clips of real kids doing these quick experiements. You can simply watch the video clips with your kids, OR, you can submit your own videos of your kids doing the experiments.


claire said...

Are any of the books good for younger kids? I'm intrigued.

Afton said...

Vicki Cobb also has several pictures books that would be more appropriate for younger kids. There are lots of simple experiments for kids and parents to do together. Some of the titles are "I Fall Down", "I Face the Wind", and "I See Myself."

Another option would be to check out Bill Nye videos from your library. They are very entertaining and make scientific principles very clear and have experiments you can try at home. They should be available at your library. There are probably over 50 different titles.