Lock down has turned most parents into stop gap teachers, myself included, with some subjects being easier to navigate than others. For me science is a tricky one, it’s not my strong point and I struggle to make it fun without the help of pre planned lessons, equipment or games, so when John Adams offered to send me two science kits I was more than grateful as it meant I could take a break from googling “how to teach science for dummies” and hopefully help raise science loving children.
So far we have used the Beating Heart kit to learn about biology. It says on the box suitable from age 8 but I used it with both my 7 year old and 10 year old and they both understood the information, worked together to create the model, and retained information when I quizzed them afterwards so i think slightly younger is fine too.
As a science novice I think the kit is great as it comes with a leaflet which contains the instructions but also additional information about the role of the heart in the body that gives meaning to the hands on creative side of the kit. The information is written in an easy to understand way and breaks down the medical words to show you how to pronounce them which is really useful for the children as it does introduce a few new words. There isn’t too much information that it will bore them or overload them but at the same time there is enough that it is educationally beneficial.
As we were using this kit as a lock down science lesson I read this info to the children and stopped at different parts to discuss the facts with them and checked what they already knew and what surprised them. Then we followed the instructions to create the model and have a play with it and then, using the info sheet again, I quizzed them on what we had learnt and was really impressed with how much they had retained.
Both my boys enjoyed using this and didn’t seem to view it like a lesson more like a fun activity which is great.
1.Build and play with the model over a tea towel as the water does go everywhere!
2. Your child will probably need some help building this so I wouldn’t use it as an independent activity but more a group or pared session as some bits are a little tricky.
If you have a child that has a particular interest in science or, like me, your aren’t sure how to teach science, then I would recommend this kit.
Another one of our favourite educational games is through others eyes.
(We were sent a copy of the beating heart kit to try in exchange for a review).