Sid the Science Kid: Little Scientist Day

Sid swag

First a big thank you to two fantastic bloggers who shared some sunshine with me this weekend. Check out Vivian Kirkfield at Positive Parent Participation and Jarmila Victoria Del Boccio at Making the Write Connections. These two ladies were gracious enough to pass on the Sunshine Award.

Here’s what makes me happy: hundreds of preschoolers, toddlers and their parents squealing with delight, dancing in their seats and screaming like crazy for….Sid the Science Kid. Never heard of Sid? Imagine animated, childlike Muppets conducting hands-on science investigations and encouraging kids to investigate, explore and discover. That’s Sid, a creation of The Jim Henson Company, which airs on PBS.

My children have enjoyed the show for a couple of years now. So, when PBS SoCal hosted “Little Scientist Day” featuring Sid at the California Science Center, I snapped up tickets. We enjoyed “real-live” Sid singing songs from the show and had a sneak peek at a yet-to-be-aired Easter episode about rocks. The museum also had a number of investigations set up throughout. We made slime out of polyvinyl alcohol and sodium borate. You can to the same thing at home with school glue and borax (scroll to the bottom of that post for directions for making “alien goop.”)

Our hosts: Sid and Jamie Annunzio Myers

As a parent of budding scientists, I love the Sid show. Each episode includes a real science investigation that you can replicate at home from instructions on the PBS Parents site. We’ve made applesauce to discuss irreversible change, bounced balls to explore elasticity and much more. Each activity includes learning objectives, a materials list and step-by-step procedures.

Parents and teachers also can follow the two Sid-related blogs for more activity ideas and ways to implement the investigations at home and school.:

Let’s face it, children are natural scientists. Early introduction to hands-on investigations plays into their natural curiosity and can instill a life-long passion for science.

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Celebrating Science Centers

How does wind work?

We have a running joke in our town: while we live in the middle of nowhere, we can be anywhere in an hour and a half — the beach, the mountains and a major city. That certainly holds true for museums and cultural institutions, including one of our favorites: the California Science Center. Since the science center is far from next door, we only make it there every few months, but each trip is a special treat.

Science centers make science fun through hands-on activities and exhibits. This is the type of science I remember from elementary school. While we’ve done our fair share of science experiments at home, there’s nothing like science kids can touch done on a large-scale (and backed by big bucks). Want to learn which materials are good insulators? Check out the giant ice wall in the polar ecosystem exhibit, where you can cover your hands in different materials and judge for yourself. Do you want to learn about solar power? Use a joystick to control a light that mimics the sun; when you shine it on a small car’s solar panels, the car races around the track!

I’m always heartened by the number of school groups and families we see at the science center. Here are kids learning that being a scientist can be fun. To find a science center near you, click……here.