This is a fun, hands-on activity book that helps elementary kids learn more about science. There are six recipes in this sturdy paperback book. But it is not just cooking recipes......
The book begins with an overview of the scientific method, and another page on safety in the kitchen. The meat of the book though is the recipes, each which focuses on a different scientific idea. The pages surrounding the recipe have valuable information in an easy to read format. There is an introduction page that brings out the topic. The recipe itself is simple and lists all equipment needed, things to do before you begin, and the instructions. These are not complicated recipes; they can easily be done by elementary kiddos with parental supervision. There are also pages after the recipe that explain what happened, give more information about what you learned while making the recipe, and also give ideas for further learning and experimenting.
We made all of the recipes in the book, but had two favorites.
Atomic Popcorn Balls
Before beginning the recipe, we read in the book about elements, molecules, and atoms. This part was written simply enough, so that even ten year old Nutsy could understand it. We then gathered all of the materials we needed and began to cook. This recipe was a favorite of Nutsy's; she was very excited because she is dairy free and since there isn't any dairy in popcorn balls, she could eat it. (We used vegan butter.)
We made two batches as the recipe suggested, and made them different colors.
In went the popcorn and we let it cool. We made them into atoms by shaping them into balls.
Then the girls started making molecules by sticking the atoms together with toothpicks.
Here you can see Nutsy stuck two blue and one green atom together to make water.
Then, of course, we ate our creations. As we munched on them, we looked at the periodic table in the book and talked about common elements. There was also a section of information on the states of matter, and how a change in that matter causes a popcorn kernel to pop.
Invisible Ink Snack Pockets
When looking through the book, both of the younger girls really wanted to try this one. We have pizza each Friday, so one Friday I made some extra dough so we could make these fun pockets.
In the book we read about oxidation, and how heat can change substances. We also read about the pH scale and how ions effect liquids. Then we made pockets out of our pizza dough, made our special 'ink', and painted things on the pockets.
This was Dasher's.
This experiment really did work; when this pocket went into the oven you could not see the smiley face on it.
We really had fun though, with the activity suggested in the pages following the recipe. The girls had fun making invisible ink with other things in our kitchen, and wrote notes to each other. We compared which 'inks' did a better job of writing and then showing up when warmed.
The other recipes are just as fun. In this book your child will also learn about fingerprints, rocks and minerals, black holes, and density.
At the end of the book is a science review, which is an overview of all that was taught through the recipes. There is also a glossary with simple definitions in the back as well.
We really had a fun time with this book! It did feel like we were eating our homework, and my girls learned a lot about general science. My only complaint was that I wish there were more recipes! I firmly believe that hands on learning is so important, and these books are a great way to accomplish this in your schooling.
There are other books from Ann McCallum Books that The Crew reviewed: Eat Your Science Homework, Eat Your History Homework, and a couple of other fun story books. Check out what they thought by clicking below.