Did you ever have a chemistry set? Or try the experiment of getting electricity out of half a lemon to work a light bulb?
The wonders of science are something kids love. Later in life, we often take its products for granted.
For instance, motion detectors integrated into lighting units can light that dim bit of the yard where you keep the trash can whenever you go out – no need to reach for a switch. Magic!
Perhaps it’s time to rediscover the magic. If you have children, why not share it with them?
A microscope or even just a large loupe or magnifying glass gives you access to a miniature world. Go bug-hunting and look a fly eye-to-eye, analyze the multiple life forms in a single square foot of garden, or explore the miniature landscapes of mosses and lichens.
Or look the other way, out into the universe, with a telescope pointed at the sky. You’ll want to get a couple of good books on astronomy, or an app like Sky Safari or Star Walk to navigate by.
Buy a Raspberry Pi or an electrical science kit to understand how electricity works and start programming your own computer. Keen mechanics may prefer such toys as Meccano, and you can even get kits to build your own steam engines and internal combustion engines. Beginners can start with LittleBits’ or SnapCircuits’ modular circuits to switch lights on and off; or grab the Lego Boost to create a robot, which is fully extendable if you have other Lego kit lying around.
Crystal kits allow you to grow crystal ‘trees’ and see how liquid solutions crystallize. They’re fascinating and beautiful, though some kids will enjoy the ‘stinks’ side of chemistry more (a full chemistry set should give you both options).
Meanwhile, budding biologists can build model skeletons or get the SmartLab Squishy Human Body, a disgustingly yukky skeleton which comes with removable organs tucked inside. Other ways to get involved with the animal world include growing silkworms, or even keeping bees, though the latter is possibly not a great idea if you live in an apartment.
And of course there remain all the things we did as kids, like growing mustard and cress seedlings on kitchen towel, or making a tiny vegetable garden. Though probably, “taking Dad’s watch apart” is not a great idea, although one of our team still claims it’s the single thing that taught him the most about how things work.
Look for cool gizmos on Vipon, and you’ll also benefit from a discount. That’s math, not science, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with math!