5 Traditions for Exploring Science


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Treat the library as a reward for good work in school, for finishing chores or for any other behavior you'd like to encourage. Find a subject that fascinates your children and buy them subscriptions to kids science magazines on those topics. Receiving a monthly magazine makes a child feel more grown-up, and chances are you'll enjoy reading them as well. The writers and editors of such periodicals know how slippery a child's attention can be, so they cover subjects with a high "gee whiz" quotient. Kid-favorite science periodicals include Dig (archaeology), Kids Discover (general science), Odyssey (space) and Your Big Backyard (wildlife).

Magazines and books also help round out your child's education when it comes to subjects that are less widely taught (or well-taught) in schools. For example, National Geographic Kids provides a port of entry into human cultures, landscapes and physical phenomena the world over, accompanied by stunning pictures that capture the explorer's spirit of adventure. For older and bolder youngsters, "The Worst Case Scenario Handbook" teaches problem solving while entertaining them with thrilling encounters.

If your child is too young for such approaches, you can always make science a part of story time. Libraries and Web sites maintain handy lists of recommendations for children and young adults. Don't spend all day with your noses buried in books, however. Take what you've learned and head out to …