Use this to look at anything and everything. Get one with a large glass lens.
This is useful for playing with light...you can bend light rays, split white light into rainbows and join colored light back into white light. Can also be used as a mirror.
You'll probably want two pair...a durable pair of plastic binoculars that you feel comfortable banging off of rocks and a high quality pair for astronomy and birding.
Bigger binos are better for astronomy, but they also weigh more and may be hard for kids to handle. Get at least 7x35 or 7x50 magnification. In my experience, Minolta binoculars have superior light gathering capabilities when compared to other binos in the same price class.
The Mini Mag is a small, sturdy and durable flashlight. Useful for peeking under rocks, playing with your prism, and for reading your astronomy guide when you're looking at the stars.
Plastic zip sandwich bags
There are too many uses for these for me to even begin to list. You can stick just about anything in them, and nature walks are likely to produce collections of just about anything.
Any kind will do, though the cosmetic type are probably too small. Useful for picking up things you don't want to touch with your fingers..either because you're squeamish or because you don't want to get the thing dirty.
Any kind of notebook will do, although sketch books are better. University bookstores and office supply stores will often carry true field journals which have a few ruled lines at the bottom of the page and an expanse of blank space for sketching. A must have for recording your scientific observations.
Any knife will do, but Victorinox is well-known for the quality, durability and functionality of their Swiss Army knives. Rightly so. You'll need a knife in your pocket on any nature walk; they are especially useful for cutting small samples of plants, but can also be used for a quick insect dissection in the field (of a previously deceased insect, of course).
No science tool kit would be complete with a strong magnet. Get several so you can see what they do to each other, as well as what they do to tableware, dirt and loose screws. Keep far away from your computer, floppy disks and video tapes.
This will really come in really handy...you have no idea. Food color is an essential ingredient in homemade flubber, ocean in a bottle, and baking soda volcanos.
If you have a cake decorating supply store in your town, buy the large bottles of airbrush food color. They are far, far cheaper than the little bottles (per ounce) and they will last for years.
Of the two, calipers are probably more useful, at least for measuring things like rocks and beetles. Both are handy.
You need something to smash open all those treasures from your river walk.
A small garden spade will do. Useful for dislodging interesting rocks and strongly-rooted plant specimens.
Widely available from education and science supply catalogs and stores. Used primarily for measuring the temperatures (from very cold to very hot) of liquids.
Create your own biological fieldwork lab with a backyard habitat.
An introductory guide to robotics: materials, books, web sites.
A list of essential science reference books.
Science tries to answer the question: “How?” - Warren Weaver
©2000-2013 Barbara L.M. Handley