Explore Science and History with Hands-on Fun!

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Anita Yasuda’s Explore books make learning really fun!  “Explore Simple Machines: With 25 Great Projects” would be enjoyed most by kids who enjoy understanding how things wor

Anita Yasuda’s Explore books make learning really fun!  “Explore Simple Machines: With 25 Great Projects” would be enjoyed most by kids who enjoy understanding how things work and making things that use simple machines.  You will learn how different simple machines are used today to “pull, push, lift, and divide” to make everyday jobs easier.  This book describes each type of simple machine, such as levers, inclined planes, wheels and axles, screws, wedges and pulleys and recommends fun and simple experiments to investigate each one.  You get to actually experience every simple machine and really see how they work.  An experiment even helps you to understand how Egyptians used rollers to move heavy blocks of stone when building pyramids!  I tried out the ice cream experiment where the ingredients are placed into a ziplock bag, enclosed in a coffee can and rolled down an inclined plane.   It was fun to try out different inclines and change the ramp length to see how these changes effected how fast the can rolled.  This book also gives interesting examples of how simple machines were used “then & now.”  It also encourages you to “be an inventor” by combining several different simple machines to solve a problem.  Engineering is also discussed and sounds like an interesting job since they create inventions!  Both math and science are used and there are several different branches of this career.  Civil, electrical, mechanical, environmental and aerospace engineering are described.
“Explore the Wild West: With 25 Great Projects” is a book which gives you good ideas to experience life as it was over 150 years ago!  Not only does this book provide you with facts about famous people who lived at that time but jokes, songs, recipes and crafts get you into wild western mode too!  You can’t help but get excited about all of the fun activities to try out using a simple list of materials that you probably have at home already!  Creating a “thaumatrop” was a really cool and easy craft to make!  This toy was popular with pioneer kids and I could see it becoming popular with kids today too!  You draw pictures on two cardboard disks, attach them back to back, connect a string or elastic to the sides and twist.  Both images combine as one, as they move so quickly!  “The pattern game” was played by Native American children to help them to improve hunter gatherer skills by improving their attention to details.   I tried this game with my sisters and recreating a button design after seeing it for a set amount of time was pretty tricky!  Making butter by shaking heavy cream in a glass jar was successful but exhausting!  It involved lots of hard work and lots of exercise!  Those pioneers really got a workout preparing their food but boy is it fresh and delicious!
Creative and curious kids would really enjoy reading both of these “Explore” books and learn so much by trying out the easy and fun, hands-on activities.