Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chemistry Games . . . and more!

I just have to share the link to this fantastic website:  Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop:

I learned about this on a homeschool forum. This site is like a treasure trove for those who are looking for interesting ways to study science and history.  Especially science; Ellen has written several science courses for children, available for sale on her site.  We have not used any of these yet, as we already have chemistry course materials for this year, but have really enjoyed using the free board and card games she has-- these are PDF downloads; it's easy to print them out and make the games.  

James and I have played "The Periodic Table Game" several times-- this game board is printed onto 4 pieces of card stock, and forms the entire Periodic Table.  To play the game you start on the element with atomic number 1, and go in numeric order across the elements, rolling a die to make moves.  At each stop, you acquire a certain number of pennies-- depending on the element, you may gain pennies or have to give some back.  Also, certain elements get bonus pennies or an extra roll if you identify them as being named after a person or place, or having certain characteristics.

"Quick Six" is a card game-- these cards are very interesting to read; there is a card for each element, and they have information about how the elements are used, with some simple artwork.  You read through a list of "clues," and see if any of the five cards you have been dealt match with each given clue.  You set aside the card, if it does.  The goal is to be the first to have six cards in a set aside pile.  A new card is drawn each time a match is made.  Chemistry info is both learned and reviewed by doing this game, and we have enjoyed playing it.

There are some other chemistry games, too-- we haven't tried them all yet.  

The games are all free downloads; we've found them well worth the effort to print out and prepare (very minimal work is needed, but cutting out cards can take a little while).