Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a kid who wanted to move her life to one centrally scientific and seriously fun location – Science World.
Somewhere between the dinosaurs and Lego land, her brain engaged the science universe (or at least the serious fun universe) and now there’s no turning away. We must return.
Since the $140 round trip for the ferry automatically takes that off the regular to-do list, mom and dad have taken on the mission of recreating Science World (well, bits) a little closer to home.
Thankfully, an over-spend of time in the actual SW gift store meant I left Vancouver with some excellent tools to get us started in our usual learning mode – crafts.
As far as educational resources go, that place is one serious gem. It was a good thing that the tiny person is not even 4 yet. If she’d been ready for the science-experiment-in-a-box universe…you get the picture.
Instead, we went the direction of art (oh, shocking, I know:)), scoring some major make-and-do fun with Arty Facts art activities books from Crabtree Publishing.
It didn’t occur to me until we got home and I started planning projects that we had already been introduced to this awesomeness of linking art to the world around us last Summer when we checked the Insects and Bugs book out from the library and were inspired by it to create Snail Shells.
At that point, much of the rest of the book was a bit too advanced in terms of projects for a not quite 3-year-old. But, this year, we have graduated to age-appropriateness and discovered an entire series of learning books that rock (as well as something we can use for years to come).
I admit, I bought all of the Arty Facts books in the store.
Some could say I’m a bit project-obsessed (and I wouldn’t necessarily debate the merit of that). But, you should have seen the look on the tiny person’s face when we started pawing through Our Bodies & Art Activities. She was in life science heaven.
The tiny person has been totally engaged in learning about the human body since she started going to midwife appointments with me last year. She could tell you just about any body part out there and its relative location. She even took her body book (reviewed HERE) to preschool with her to show kids how food moves through the body (sorry Heather, I know there must have been a poop discussion involved).
So, making cool things like hairy-head models and funny face galleries are a huge score as far as she’s concerned. I love that I can tie it all back to learning about our parts and she doesn’t feel like we’re in some sleep-inducing biology class.
Ken didn’t make it to Science World with us. But, the Craftizmo 9-year-old inside him totally dug the Machines, Transportation & Art Activities volume. Monorails, submarines and cargo crane construction are totally right up his alley. This book was a bit too complicated for the preschool crowd. But, I knew my big kid would dig it.
There are a kagillion other versions of this great series including Weather, Space, Oceans and Structures and Material (just to name a few) that can suit just about any kiddo’s learning and art preference – which makes it, in my mind, the perfect learning series when working on engaging your kids in hands-on projects that take education into the fun realm.
I totally ended up loving the Communication & Art Activities book for its bent toward history and community. Projects like making an abacus, codes and ciphers, musical turtles and book making was just my speed. Again, another that we’ll tuck away for another year or so – or try together in a modified version. But, just thinking about all of these cool ideas is totally fun.
As a bonus, Crabtree has downloadable teaching guides to pump up the educational factor. Science World also has some awesome at home projects for Preschoolers and by Grade Level for parents and kids to dig into at home.
Learning is way too fun!
You can check a few of these titles out from the library or order them through your local, independent book seller.
Book covers courtesy of Crabtree Publishing