Elementary school is a fun time to spend helping your kids with their science fair projects. At this age, science is still focused on the world around us. Your child will be introduced to subjects including the five senses, the moon and sun, the basic needs of living things, weather patterns and seasons, and forces, motion, and matter.
At the beginning of elementary school, students are mostly asked to observe, recognize, and describe the world around them. A good science fair project would be to describe the differences and similarities between certain living things, such as an ant and a caterpillar. Another great idea would be to describe differences in the night sky at different times of the month.
Towards the end of elementary school, kids are taught a more detailed process of observation and recognition. An ant and caterpillar are still different, but now a child should be able to recognize each animal's means of surviving, the difference in their biological makeup, and how caterpillars change into butterflies. Kids are starting to understand how human actions affect the environment. Use the science fair project as a teaching tool for your kids. A simple idea might be to observe how long it takes for a piece of food to decompose. Then compare that to other non-biodegradable items.
There are many resources out there that may spark an interest in your child and help create some ideas for projects. Try to expose your student to as many different learning experiences as possible. Taking a trip to the zoo is a fun way to get your child excited about different animals. While at the zoo, ask your child questions like, Why do polar bears live in the cold and lizards survive in the hot desert? Getting your child to think of topics like adaptation, habitat, and survival will help them decide on a topic for their project.
More free and easy ideas can be found right in your own home. Why does soap help get the dishes clean? What characteristics does your child share with your pet? You can find many good suggestions for science fair projects in your child's textbook, at the library, on the Internet, and even in your daily life. For example, look in your child's textbook and see that he is learning about force and motion. Think of ways to test force and motion.
You do not need to use items that are expensive either.
A simple test of gravity would be to drop an egg from a high point. Try
dropping the egg by itself. Then, have your child think of ways to build
a protective shield around the egg to keep it from breaking. This can
be a really fun project for a student in elementary school. Give your
child access to many different items in the house: Bubble wrap, rubber
bands, glue, tape, paper, tissue, fabric, etc. Most of these items you
will have on hand already, or can be purchased for a small price at any
craft store. Remember to suggest ideas to your student, but avoid taking
over the reigns of the project. You will be successful if your child is
able to build confidence by creating a project on their own, or with little
help from you.