33 Nerdy Science Gifts for Kids This Easter

Oh, Easter. Little wicker baskets full of chocolate and bunny-and-chick-themed junk. It floats around the house to be thrown away by the end of Spring Break, am I right? Why not science gifts?

After the first Easter basket junk explosion, I vowed to do it differently! Now, my girls get one “large” gift to share and a few small items to enjoy beyond Easter. I try to focus on things that will last the season (let alone the week) and bring continuous fun!

Here’s my list of 33 favorites to stuff your kids’ baskets with this Easter!

Please note that some of the links included are affiliate links. That means that if you follow the link and purchase something, I earn a small commission for my recommendation. This support helps keep my resources free and is much appreciated, so please consider using the link if you decide to purchase something from one of my posts!

The Science Mom’s Favorite Easter Basket Gifts

aCTIVITY Books

The Science Kids are obsessed with stickers and other activity books. I love them too, because they double as educational and fun for my kids. They also travel well, so I can stick one in my purse on our way out the door. And when they’re done, most can be thrown away (I’m Team No-Clutter-If-I-Can-Help-It!).

My favorite sticker books

My Favorite Activity Books

My Favorite Coloring Books

 

Discovery TOOLS & TOYS

I sometimes use holiday gifts as an excuse to buy a “bigger” gift that we’ve been wanting. These all fit that bill perfectly! These are gifts that can continue to be used and enjoyed!

Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Set – This set is perfect for your little scientists. I love it so much that I’ve talked about it before in my 5 Science Gifts for Tiny Toddler Scientists post!

It’s the perfect combination of durable and chunky, making it really easy for little hands.

You can also get the Lab Gear to complete the set, or even upgrade to the Deluxe Lab Set!

 

Educational Insights Geosafari Motorized Solar System Kit – I’ve used this in my classroom and it’s stood up to lots of elementary schoolers.

The planets really move (and at different speeds too!) and the sun doubles as a mini planetarium, projecting stars!

Learning Resources Super Magnet Lab Kit – This kit comes with 124 magnets of all kinds, including wands, marbles, chips, and horseshoes.

I love how magnets really encourage discovery and experimentation through play. Even as an adult, I love to play with magnets!

4M Tin Can Robot – I mean, what’s more fun than building your own robot? This kit also allows for some imagination and customization. That means your little scientist can build their very own, unique tin can robot.

This is one of a few different 4M tin can robots, so they can add to their robot army, if they feel so inclined!

4M also makes a bunch of other robotics kits, like the Table Top Robot, the Doodling Robot, and a Solar Robot!

 

We are completely obsessed with this LEGO Women of NASA set. I mean, it doesn’t get any cooler than this! These mini-builds feature the Hubble Space Telescope with Nancy Grace Roman, the Space Shuttle Challenger with Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, and a representation of the Apollo Guidance Computer’s onboard flight source code with Margaret Hamilton!

 

Plush sCIENCE GIFTS

The Science Kids are plush junkies. They expect them at every holiday and Easter is no exception. Here are a few of our favorites!

The Celestial Buddies are snuggly little pieces of space that look like the real celestial bodies they’re meant to represent and feature cute little faces too.

You can collect all eight planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth (and our Sun and Moon), Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune – and dwarf planet Pluto (and its largest moon, Charon), as well as a Black Hole and Comet!

We also love this plush Cuddle Zoo Space Shuttle. It actually features the NASA logo on its wing! Ruby got it as a souvenir on one our last trips to Infinity Science Center at Stennis Space Center!

If biology is more your thing, you have to check out GiantMicrobes! They come in a bunch of different sizes, from tiny to extra large.

I personally love the mini gift boxes for their variety, like the Blood Cells (red blood cell, white blood cell, plasma, platelet, and antibody), Body Cells (bone, fat, nerve, hair, and muscle), and Organ Cells (heart, brain, skin, liver, and pancreas). You can also get them in keychain form, like this DNA one, if your little scientist is in to fluffy keychains on their backpacks like Ruby is. The regular sized GiantMicrobes come in all kinds of fun and/or interesting microbe forms, like Vitamin CMRSA, and the heart. Ruby’s favorite is the XL Penicillin plush though.

Similarly, you can find just about any plush organ you can dream of from I Heart Guts, complete with cute names!

I love their All You Need is Lobe brain, I Lung Rock n Roll lung, and Party Pupil in the House eyeball!

 

What are your kids getting for easter? Leave a comment and share!

 

B is for Big Bang | Children’s Books and Other Media About the Big Bang and Universe

Here is a complete list of books, movies, TV shows, and other media to accompany the B is for Big Bang thematic unit for the Science ABCs!

Please note that some of the links included are affiliate links. That means that if you follow the link and purchase something, I earn a small commission for my recommendation. This support helps keep my resources free and is much appreciated!

Books

These books are all Science Mom tested and Science Kid approved! They aren’t just random recommendations, but all live on our bookshelves at home.

Click the book picture to be taken straight to Amazon’s details about the book!

Picture Books About the Big Bang

Other Picture Books for This Unit

Online Videos

About the Big Bang

About the Universe and Solar System

About Atoms

About Numbers

Online Kids’ Games About Space

NASA Space Place

NASA Kids Club

NatGeo Kids – Space Janitor

Discovery Kids Space Games

Magic School Bus Space Games

Have a resource you’d like to see included? Leave a comment or contact us!

A is for Astronomy | Children’s Books and Other Media About Space

Here is a complete list of books, movies, TV shows, and other media to accompany the A is for Astronomy thematic unit for the Science ABCs!

Please note that some of the links included are affiliate links. That means that if you follow the link and purchase something, I earn a small commission for my recommendation. This support helps keep my resources free and is much appreciated!

Books

These books are all Science Mom tested and Science Kid approved! They aren’t just random recommendations, but all live on our bookshelves at home.

Picture Books About Space

Picture Books About Astronauts

Fiction Picture Books About Space

Online Videos

About Astronomy in General

Songs About the Planets

About Astronauts


Movies and TV Shows

Movies With a Space Theme

  

Educational Movies About Space

    

TV Shows With a Space Theme

  

Space Themed Shows Streaming on Netflix

Fishtronaut, Sid the Science Kid, Space Racers

Educational Shows About Space

   

Educational Shows Streaming on Netflix

Bill Nye the Science Guy, Cosmos, The Magic School Bus

 

Online Kids’ Games About Space

NASA Space Place

NASA Kids Club

NatGeo Kids – Space Janitor

Discovery Kids Space Games

Magic School Bus Space Games

 

Have a resource you’d like to see included? Leave a comment or contact us!

Ice Cube on a String {Learning about Freezing Point Depression}

IMG_0127It’s been a few days since I posted a new experiment. I hope you’ve been experimenting without us! We’ve been busy preparing for Ruby’s dance recital… and I’ve been resting my pregnant body. This sudden summer heat is taking a lot out of me!

That’s why we decided to do something quick, easy, and COLD. This is a fun experiment that can be turned into a party game. You’ll stump a lot of people when you ask them to get an ice cube out of a glass with only a salt shaker and piece of string – no touching allowed.

 

Ice Cube on a String

Materials:

  • A full cup of cold water
  • Ice cube(s)
  • 1′ long length of string (we used butcher twine from the kitchen drawer)
  • Table salt

Procedure:

  1. IMG_0962Place your ice cube in the cup of cold water. Make sure the water is cold, so that the ice cube doesn’t melt too quickly before you even begin. We learned that through our first failed attempt!
  2. Lay your string carefully across the top of the cup, making sure it has good contact with your ice cube.
  3. Pour salt over the ice cube and string.
  4. Wait a few seconds and grab the ends of your string. Your ice cube and string will have frozen together and voila! You have an ice cube on a string!

 

The Science:

IMG_0964Ice is frozen water. When liquid water reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius, it becomes ice, a solid. That means the freezing point for water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, when you add salt (a solute) to the water (a solvent), you create a solution, which is two substances mixed together. The salt and water solution must get even colder to freeze into ice, than just plain water alone. This is called freezing point depression. With a 10% salt (and 90% water) solution, it must be 20 degrees Fahrenheit or -6 degrees Celsius to freeze. With a 20% salt (and 80% water) solution, it must be even colder at 2 degrees Fahrenheit or -16 degrees Celsius. Brrrr! As nice as that sounds on a hot, humid summer day like today, that’s reeeeeally cold! Frostbite cold!

IMG_0966If you’ve ever been to or lived up north, you may have seen big salt trucks driving around pouring salt onto icy patches of road or sidewalks. That’s because when the salt mixes with the ice on the ground, it melts. Many people think that the salt somehow heats up the ice and melts it, but that’s not the case! As we talked about above, the salt just lowers the freezing point for the water, converting it back into a liquid instead of allowing it to stay frozen as solid ice. It should be noted that salt can’t melt solid ice directly – it must be mixed with water and then applied to the ice. However, most ice and snow is actually covered in a thin layer of water, so when you apply salt on top, nature has already helped you create your salt water solution with no effort needed from you!

For this specific experiment, the salt lowers the melting point of the water that’s been frozen into the ice cubes. Because there’s so little salt and so much water, the salt doesn’t do a very good job of lowering the freezing point for long, so the water quickly freezes back  into solid ice, trapping your string in the process.

Let me know if you try this experiment – or better yet, if you challenge your friends to figure out how to make it work! We plan on trying to stump a couple of our friends with it this week!

FullSizeRender