If you are looking for activities for National Primary Science week or ideas to fill in a wet afternoon, this book has 84 experiments about materials, forces, energy, electricity and magnetism, and the natural world for you to try. It is beautifully set out with wonderful colourful illustrations. As well as the usual and exciting suspects like vinegar volcanoes and bottle rockets, there are a few different ones, such as making a metal detector or radio. Some experiments are suitable for younger children while others require adult supervision, even for older children. The instructions have symbols and warnings when hazardous materials and activities are involved.
The introduction says that most can be done with materials you find around home. While that appears largely true, quite a number of items will need to be especially purchased e.g. dry ice, alum powder, hydrogen peroxide, phenolphthalein indicator, and a germanium diode. I certainly don't keep all of those around my home! It will pay to read the instructions carefully before beginning.
Insect or spider? How do you know? by Melissa Stewart.
While it is easy to differentiate between most of the different types of minibeasts, children often confuse spiders and insects. Six distinct differences between insects and spiders are explained through beautiful clear photographs and simple fact boxes.
I found the two recommended websites mediocre. Much better sites for New Zealand students for general information about spiders and insects are Te Ara Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, and Landcare Research.
Review by Heather
image by Raven Photographic
image by photobunny