School is out for some kids and the countdown of the final days is on for most other students. Parents are pretty aware of the summer brain drain and their efforts often focus on reading and social sciences like history and geography that tie in to summer trips. Science can be an academic area that doesn't get as much attention when school is out.
Here are some fun and easy ways to make science a fun part of summer learning.
* Space Out
In Chicago, we are lucky enough to have the Adler Planetarium. It's impossible to go there and not learn something. The idea of outer space can be a great way to get kids who claim to not like science interested in constellations, planets and space exploration. What sounds like a fabulous adventure to other planets can be the gateway to learning all kinds of science.
Check out an Astro-Overnight sleepover at the Planetarium, available for kids ages 6-10. The Astro-Overnight on June 6, 2014. The event's theme is Reading Under the Stars with lots of educational activities and give-aways will include books, flashlights and glow-in-the-dark bookmarks. (There's also an event at the California Academy of Sciences called “Penguins + Pajamas” on June 13, 2014.)
The planetarium also offers a Science of Everyone section on its website, including a recipe for Flubber, which is a great way to bring science fun home and a fun way to spend a rainy day.
* Science Books
Meet two academic goals with one book. Summer reading is key and the Scholastic Summer Reading Program's theme is Reading Under the Stars offers lots of fun activities, book ideas and motivation.
Great space-themed books for kids ages 8-10:
* 13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar
* Stink: Solar System Superhero by Megan McDonald & Peter H. Reynolds
* Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires
* Cars on Mars: Roving the Red Planet by Alexandra Siy
Great space-themed books for kids ages 10-12:
* A Black Hole Is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano & Michael Carroll
* How Do You Burp in Space?: And Other Tips Every Space Tourist Needs to Know by Susan E. Goodman & Michael Slack
* The Silver Six by A.J. Lieberman & Darren Rawlings
For more advanced readers:
* The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson
* These Broken Stars: A Starbound Novel by Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner
* Alienated by Melissa Landers
Find more great summer reading suggestions with a focus on science here.
* Summer Brain Games
Specifically designed to keep kids' brains engaged during summer vacation, the Museum of Science and Industry's Summer Brain Games are online and offer eight weekly free and fun at-home science experiments available to everyone. You can sign up here.
Weekly emails will begin the week of June 16, but if you want to get started now, you can access last year's experiments here.
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