We’re big fans of Steve Spangler Science at our house. He’s the king of making science fun, and his website is a treasure trove of experiments, activities, science projects, and videos. We occasionally caught his segments on the Denver NBC news affiliate when we lived in Colorado, and he’s also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. His catalog is as much fun to browse as any big box store’s Christmas toy catalog, and we’ve used several of his products and especially like the baby soda bottle test tube set.
I was as excited as my kids when I read several weeks ago on his Facebook page that he would be offering the enhanced eBook version of his new book Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes for a 1-hour-only sale price of 99 cents, so I jumped on the deal. What makes the eBook “enhanced” is that it includes all the photos and experiments in the hardback book, plus videos that show you how to do the activity or experiment. (Note: Because there are so many video files, it took several hours for iBooks to finish downloading the eBook at my mediocre connection speeds out here in the sticks—so be patient!)
My kindergartener, otherwise known as Miss J, loves the eBook and wanted to watch every single video in succession when I first showed it to her. Some of the activities only take a few minutes to complete, such as Color Changing Milk, in which you put food coloring in the center of a plate of milk and see what happens when you touch a cotton swab that has been dipped in dish soap into the center. Other experiments take more patience, such as the Naked Egg activity featured in the book’s title. Miss J had to wait patiently for a whole week so that we could finish that experiment. After we started the process one weekend, she burst into my room early the next Saturday morning to remind me that it was finally the day to take out our Naked Egg and see if it would bounce. So of course I had to get out of bed and encourage her excitement about science. She accidentally broke the egg in her exuberance and requested that we try it again.
As a parent-teacher, I like that I don’t need a chemistry set or a home laboratory to do these activities with my kids. I can easily find the supplies and ingredients needed, and with a few exceptions I don’t even need to look farther than my own kitchen or bathroom, as most are everyday items I already have at home. The text explanations of the scientific principles the activities illustrate are easy to follow and explain to kids, so they’re learning while they have fun.
I highly recommend Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes and Steve Spangler’s website. The book is regularly $9.99 and is available for iBooks on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch; the hardback book is $14.99. The videos, activities, and other content on the website are free.