This is a book review for “Hands-On Science, 50 Kids Activities from CSIRO”. I came across this book in a bookstore and was very interested in the content. I am always looking for new ideas for STEM and this seemed like a great resource book for science. Hence, I purchased it and knew that it would be of interest to others as well.
What is it?
This book is a compilation of 50 different science activities that you can do. They all use items that you would have at home or you can easily obtain. It is suitable for learning about science at home and the activities do not require specialised equipment or tools.
Who wrote it?
This book was published by CSIRO publishing. The CSIRO stands for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and is Australia’s National Science Agency. It is an independent federal government agency that is a very well-respected science organisation in the Australian community.
This particular book was edited by Sarah Kellett, David Shaw and Kath Kovac. They are also editors for the Double Helix Magazine which is a science magazine for kids published 8 times a year by the CSIRO. This magazine often has activities for kids to do (amongst many other things) and this book is a compilation of some of the best.
Who is it aimed for?
It is marketed for kids aged 8-13 years. However, it is a perfect resource for parents and adults to give them the knowledge for doing science activities at home with kids that are younger. Older children (the target market) will be able to read and follow the information. However, preschool parents will easily be able to follow, instruct and explain what is happening in each activity. A lot of the activities are very appropriate for preschool engagement.
There are 10 different sections on a different scientific principle. Each section contains between 3-6 experiments related to that topic. The topics covered include
- Light and Dark
- Water and Liquids
- Gases and Air
Each activity has at least a 2 page spread of documentation. This includes
- A list of items required
- The method with very easy to understand diagrams
- A section covering the scientific principles of what is being shown in the activity
- An explanation of a real-world example of the principle being taught. This is a fantastic inclusion in this book (and one of my favourite things) as it puts these ideas into a real-world concept that is tangible and interesting rather than just being stand-alone concepts.
This book is very easy to read and understand. Each element is given in a step-by-step format that is easy to digest. The information is just enough to understand the principles of what is occurring without getting too technical and overwhelming.
One of the major benefits of this book is that you do not need to read it from start to finish. Since it is essentially a compilation of 50 activities, you can open the book to a concept that interests you and follow what to do. I find this a huge bonus at home, when you are often juggling lots of time commitments.
Where to get it?
You can source this book online.
Things to love
- This is a book you can flip through for STEM inspiration.
- It is an extremely accessible way to bring science to your home.
- It is perfect for multiple ages. You can start with more basic experiments when the kids are young and transition into the longer, more complex experiments as your kids age.
- Everything in this book is based on very sound scientific principles .
Would I buy this book again? Definitely. It is a great resource to have on the bookshelf and will be reached for time and time again for inspiration.