An illustration of a bird, an molecule, and a magnify glass


An illustration of a pencil, a paint brush, a paint tube, and a succulent
Fun things to do at home, including science and art activities --and the books they connect with
Magnifying glass
Physics, Optics

Magnifying Glass Magic

In The Magic Half, Miri uses a magic lens to put things right. In this science activity, we’ll explore with a not-so-magic lens called a magnifying glass, then use our lens to turn a picture upside-down and backwards! Materials needed: magnifying glass white piece of paper or card stock computer or TV screen in a dark room First, examine your […]

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Inspired By: The Magic Half by Annie Barrows

Picture of ancient language

The Not-So-Alien Language

Today we’re taking a break from science activities and doing a language activity! Rosalyn Eves, a talented writer and an English professor, is here to teach us why the alien language in What Came From the Stars might not be as alien as you think… One of first things I notice about Gary Schmidt’s novel What Came From the […]

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The activity with a hanger

Weight and Mass

I have a feeling Ramona Quimby grew up to be a scientist. Here are a couple of reasons why: If Ramona drank lemonade through a straw, she blew into the straw as hard as she could to see what would happen. “Ramona, what did you have to go and do a thing like that for?” Beezus demanded […]

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Inspired By: Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

Supplies for the experiment

Fizzy Lemonade!

Evan and Jessie make plenty of lemonade in The Lemonade War. Let’s make some of our own and see if we can learn some chemistry at the same time! Here’s what you’ll need: Lemon juice (either from a bottle or from a real lemon) Baking soda Water Sugar drinking glass spoon First, pour 1/4 cup lemon juice […]

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Inspired By: The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

PLants growing in plastic

Exploration and Observation: Drinking Juice and Making a Plant Terrarium

This week’s science activity comes from my good friend (and a great author) Helen Boswell, author of the young adult novel Mythology. This is a great activity for young naturalists like Calpurnia Tate from this week’s book! Here’s we go: Plants are an important part of the ecosystem and equally interesting. (For instance, did you know that plants can actually tell […]

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Created By: biologist Helen Boswell

Inspired By: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

pile of skittles
Environmental Science

Exploration and Observation: Graphing Water Pollution

In this week’s book, Flush by Carl Hiaasen, Noah fought to keep the water from being polluted. We can help with water pollution too! This week’s activity comes to us from my fabulous little sister Hope Braithwaite, who is the Programs Assistant at the Utah State University Water Quality Extension. So she’s an expert on teaching kids […]

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Created By: Hope Braithwaite from USU Water Quality Extension

Inspired By: Flush by Carl Hiaasen

Ants drinking from colorful droplets

Exploration and Observation: A Rainbow of Ants

This week’s guest post is by author and ecologist (and all-around nice person) Heather Hawke. Thank you, Heather! Here we go: Halloween is soon upon us and few books are creepy and crawly as The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand. Mrs. Cavendish’s roaches are shiver-worthy with too many legs even for bugs! But here […]

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Created By:  by ecologist Heather Hawke

Inspired By: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

A bunch of pumpkins

Exploration and Observation: Solar System Model

In this week’s book, Oliver Olson makes a solar system model for his school project. So let’s make one too! Here’s how to make a scale model of the solar system using stuff you probably have left over from Halloween.      Materials needed:      2 small pumpkins     2 mini pumpkins     3 Tootsie Pops, sticks cut off  […]

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Inspired By: How Oliver Olson Changed the World by Claudia Mills

Audio book

The Power of Audio Books

I’m breaking from the normal schedule of science posts following book reviews. One reason is that M.E. Castle (the author of Popular Clone) already has lots of great experiments that you can find here. So I’ve called in another guest poster, the lovely and smart Tasha Seegmiller. You can find her blog here and follow her on Twitter here. I […]

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Inspired by: Popular Clone by M.E. Castle