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Lab science for 5 & 7 year olds

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I need some ideas for my kids, 5 and 7. They are desperate for an actual lab. Most of the things I have seen are more like magic tricks, but I was hoping there would be a curriculum out there that we could loosely follow. My (newly) 5 year old in particular has all these wacky ideas of things she wants to do and test. Most recently she has been begging to follow Hennig Brand's lead and "invent" phosphorous. She even suggested we could ask our neighbor, who has horses, for the horses' pee... 'cause that wouldn't be weird or anything. My best guess is that we're doing science around a 5-6th grade level. Math is on a 3rd grade level. I really want something that emphasizes the scientific method and leaves plenty of room for exploring the rabbit trails. But it needs to largely be safe enough for little hands. Chemistry would be good, interdisciplinary would be great. I don't mind investing in lab equipment within reason, which to me means under $400 total but nothing too fragile (that will make me cry when it gets dropped)


Our current science book is Cartoon Guide to Chemistry with Gray's Elements and Molecules. Also using the Periodic Videos. I just purchased McHenry's Botany in 8 Lessons, but I have barely cracked it open yet. Hoping to investigate some botany soon. 


Is there anything out there even close to what I am looking for? 

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My five year old and I are starting in on Ellen McHenry's The Elements. It includes games, but not much in the way of labs. We're using a Thames and Kosmos kit to get more hands on - Candy Chemistry in our case, but the company has several more serious chem lab kits, all/most of which come in well under your budget. The Elements says for ages 8+ and the chem packages mostly say for ages 10+ but I've become accustomed to ignoring age recs.

Edited by Jackie
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We recently started inquiry in action and my kids really like it. It's very simple (so far, not much difficult science, even though it's intended for grades 3-8), but my kids really like that it's "hands on" and they are learning good things about designing experiments, close observation, etc. And it's completely free, which is a bonus. :D



Edited by deanna1ynne
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Yes. BFSU is a good program (lots o hands on experiments) as is Ellen McHenry. 


If you are looking for project ideas to add on to your existing curriculum, there are several available. My favorite site is this one:


these are not very expensive and most of items are things that you might have lying around the house and each experiment has procedures listed so that your kids will know what they have to do beforehand. There are experiments in all areas of science in there, not just chemistry.


Edited by mathnerd
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