These kids chemical activities are a great introduction to chemistry and the periodic table of the elements. A children’s book inspired me to put this chemistry unit together as our first science unit of the year.
We really got into some meaty scientific topics and it was all about books.
Chemical activities for children in grade K-7
I started teaching more subjects in a full group format to save time in our school days. Trying to teach 3 different grade levels and giving each of my children the one-on-one classes I wanted to give them made me feel too widespread.
Switching to curricula designed to be taught in multiple classes helped. That was my goal in creating this chemistry unit for multiple classes.
Our chemistry activities for kids included reading aloud, hands-on study, free printable worksheets, and some fun hands-on experiments.
Read chemistry books for children aloud
Reading for children helps make learning calm and fun, and can often explain big concepts in a simple way. I combined books I had, books I ordered for this lesson, and books I found in the library to round out our study.
Each book is linked so you can read more about it.
Let’s learn about chemistry by Stephanie Ryan, PhD – This book inspired all of my chemistry activities for children! I recently reported about it in a chat with Mom Meetup Monday (repeated on Facebook or IGTV).
Several chemistry concepts and vocabulary are used and simply explained as a board book. This was perfect for getting my first graders engaged and for clearly explaining the basics of chemistry to my fourth and seventh graders.
I know you think, “A board book for 4th and 7th Grades?! ”
I read this out as a lecture to specifically explain these concepts to my first graders. That surprised me Let’s learn about chemistry I’ve done a really good job explaining the same concepts to my older kids so that they think, “This is going to be easy. It’s a boardbook! “
A Children’s Guide to the Periodic Table – This book is really comprehensive. I was very pleased with the representation of the periodic table and the history of chemistry, and went into each element.
It is a book that we read from several times during our chemistry activities for children.
We read a few pages one day and a few pages the next. That was a great book for teaching kids about chemistry, Atoms and molecules. So much vocabulary can be gleaned from it, and the book is beautifully crafted.
Usborne Big Book of Experiments – I love this scientific resource book! My copy is quite old, but check with your preferred Usborne representative for the latest version.
The Big Book of Experiments had many different hands in learning chemistry experiments. Most use items that you already have in the kitchen or that are easy to get hold of. The kids even enjoyed simple experiments with baking soda and vinegar.
The Young Oxford Library of Science: Atoms and Elements – This encyclopedia of atoms and elements was very comprehensive. We read the intro of each page while reading one day. Then we focused on certain pages that were connected to atoms one day and states of matter on another day.
There are really several ways you can use the book. There’s so much information in a book like this that is great for teaching multi-age groups. It also has great real life application.
Experiments with solids, liquids and gases – This is essentially a children’s lab notebook. Perfect simple explanations of multiple experiments examining states of matter.
We have used this book for many group experiments.
Night light – In science I like to work in a moody way. This book combined fiction and non-fiction and was a fun read for the kids.
Everything about the northern lights and the fireflies is told by two bears experiencing the beauty of nature. The scientific explanations at the end were very easy to understand for all of my children too.
I wrote down every key phrase on index cards. We checked the words every day we studied chemistry. I also used the cards to question the children.
Periodic table of element activities
We went to a science museum one spring and I found it Periodic table of the elements poster in the gift shop. I knew at the time that it would be useful during some of our school work.
We were able to incorporate the periodic table into a few different activities in our kids chemistry unit. This poster is an asset to chemical activities for kids and immersing children in science concepts.
After a quick web search for worksheets to complement our chemistry unit, I found a pair that are perfect for some practical and critical thinking activities.
Matching the Elements game (free to print)
Download the two printable worksheets for the periodic table and create a matching game with them. You can get it Black and white printable periodic table here, and the Color printable periodic table here.
We used the black and white periodic table as the game board for our matching game. I also printed the color periodic table worksheet and cut apart each square.
The children worked to adapt the element to its place on the game board. As a result, the children worked together and used information to learn more about each item and to learn how the items are arranged on the table.
You could do certain items one day and meet a different group the next to make this activity less overwhelming for younger children.
Read information about each item in A Children’s Guide to the Periodic Table When the children are in agreement, the squares are helpful in expanding knowledge.
Worksheet for filling in items
I only had my 4th and 7th Grader completed this worksheet while I worked on their reading with the younger two. For the worksheet for filling in elements, see Scientific Notes Really tests problem-solving skills and solidifies knowledge of the order of the periodic table.
Infobits are given for a group of elements, but some information is omitted from each square. You can Download your free printable elements worksheet here .
Using the information provided, children will need to search the periodic table poster to fill in the missing information on their worksheet. I was so glad to find this free printable elements worksheet for older kids. It deepened the learning for them.
What are your favorite things to do in this chemistry department for kids in an age group? What are you going to try with your kids this year?
Thanks to Stephanie Ryan for contributing her book to my chemistry activities for children’s unit research. Your book inspired the entire unit and was a great tool in making this unit a multi-year approach to chemistry learning.
Enjoy your time at home!
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