If your kids are curious about how animals like polar bears and seals stay warm in polar climates, you can go beyond just explaining it to them; you can actually have them make some of their own blubber and test it out. After you’ve filled up a large bowl with ice water and let it sit for a few minutes to get really cold, have your kids dip a bare hand in and see how many seconds they can last before their hand gets too cold. Next, coat one of their fingers in shortening and repeat the experiment. Your child will notice that, with the shortening acting like a protective layer of blubber, they don’t feel the cold water nearly as much.
A nature journal is a great way to encourage kids to be creative and really pay attention to what’s going on around them. All you need is a blank journal (you can buy one or make your own) along with something to write with. Then just go outside and encourage your children to write or draw what they notice. This could include descriptions of animals they see, tracings of leaves, a drawing of a beautiful flower, etc. Encourage your kids to ask questions about what they observe (Why do birds need to build nests? Why is this flower so brightly colored?) and explain to them that scientists collect research by doing exactly what they’re doing now.
Ah, slime. It’s the one thing that parents across the UK have been being pestered to make, so why not turn it into a science activity? For our concoction, we mixed shaving foam, PVA glue and a little bit of air freshener (fabric conditioner can work too!), to create a slime that you can swirl, stretch and crack, providing hours of fun. Try changing the quantities to see how the mixture changes, and ask the kids to explain the differences.