Looking for some fun and educational hands-on activities to teach ecology to your kids? Here’s a book that delivers it well.
The Kitchen Pantry Scientist Ecology for Kids: Science Experiments and Activities Inspired by Awesome Ecologists, Past and Present is one of a series of great books by Liz Lee Heinecke, also known as the Kitchen Pantry Scientist.
Like her other books, this one has all kinds of activities to help kids learn while having fun.
The book features 25 hands-on activities like creating a tide pool in a plastic tub, using quadrant sampling to study biodiversity, planting chia seeds to learn how trees protect soil, and building a rain forest terrarium.
Each one is accompanied by a rather in depth biography and a full page illustration of a famous ecologist like Rachel Carson, George Washington Carver, Akira Miyawaki and E.O. Wilson.
The activities are accompanied by lots of photos and step by step directions, and each one relates to the scientist who has been profiled.
I really appreciate that Heinecke always profiles a diverse group of scientists. There are always plenty of women and people of color that we learn about through her books, even from time periods when they were denied the opportunities and exposure that other scientists received.
I also appreciate that she features young scientists who are working in the field now, and scientists from all over the world.
The experiments are in depth, educational and fun. They don’t require a lot of specialty equipment, just a bit of advance preparation.
This would make a fantastic spine for a homeschool ecology unit, doing one each week for 6 months. It will work easily for multiple ages. Highly, highly recommended.
The book was released in March 2023. You can find the book on Amazon (affiliate link) or through your local bookseller or public library.
I read an advanced copy of this book for review, courtesy of the publisher. All opinions are my own.