A is for Atom: How to Grow Little Scientists

Everyone has dreams for their kids. I haven’t sat down and hashed out my potentially unrealistic goals for my children to date, but I’m sure there’s something brewing in the back of my mind.

I mean, I imagine they’ll make As and Bs and hopefully get into a good college. My husband and I were both honor-roll, brainiac, good-kid, Christian types, so that’s pretty much what I’m expecting. Then again, I also expected to have brunette children, and then my blondie rolled out first. So, what do I know?

I do know that since my husband is a biologist, my children will be exposed to and taught so many interesting things along the way. I am a fan of this, and, frankly, I’m learning a lot along the way.

swear I did not dress them in matching science shirts. Actually, The Hubs dressed George this morning for school. We’re not usually this nerdy…as far as you know.

I specifically avoided buying the Baby University board books, because I felt it was either 1.) too cliche to have baby science books in our house, or 2.) someone would buy them for my “kids” in honor of my husband. The Baby University slogan reads, “It only takes a small spark to ignite a child’s mind.” I love this.

Well, after three years of staring at them on the shelves, I caved to Books-A-Million’s buy-two-get-one sale and bought ABCs of Science by Chris Ferrie. Mr. Ferrie (possibly Dr. Ferrie) is a physicist, mathematician, and father of four “budding young scientists”. And he writes one heck of a board book.

ABCs of Science leads off with “A is for amoeba,” “B is for bond,” and “C is for conductor.” This definitely ain’t the ABC book from my childhood. My sweet George immediately soaked in all 26 letters of science. Hearing a 3-year-old describe the doppler effect is hil-arious. Also, “G is for gene,” which he describes as “why I look like Mama and Dada.” Presh.

Olivia, trying to join the party. She was also attempting to heave a Peppa Pig book at Dada.

And so, we now own the whole ABC series—ABCs of Physics and ABCs of Mathematics included.

Needless to say, Mama leaves these books for special “Dada and George reading time,” because Mama can’t explain string theory and black holes to a preschooler with much efficacy.

Admittedly, I didn’t think he’d get much out of these books. I was tired of “A is for apple,” and thought it might be nice for him to spout off “A is for atom!” during his preschool class one morning. In case his teacher his reading this, you’re welcome!

However, I underestimated my son, which I do from time to time. Does he understand the details of kinetic energy? No. Can he tell you the whole process of mitosis? Not really. But he does now have a familiarity and very, very basic working knowledge of these concepts. I credit my husband for this, and, thankfully, the books have very simple explanations as well. Otherwise, Mama would be lost and telling lies.

The Hubs’ shirt says, “Coffee first, then botany.” George’s reads, “Science: Like magic, but real.” My husband basically reproduced himself in our son. Something to do with genetics. Ask my 3-year-old for more details.

Each page is divided into three age groups. First, little, tiny ones can learn simply “E is for electron”. When they get a little bigger, they can pick up, “Electrons are particles that have one unit of negative charge.” And when they’re even bigger (or fully grown adults with college degrees), they can learn, “Electrons orbit nuclei to make atoms. They are very important because they play a part in almost all of nature.” Boom. Trump card at dinner parties.

Baby University also has a whole array of physics board books for babies as well, but since my biologist kind of rolls his eyes at physics, we’ll stick to the life sciences and math for now.

Have you ever thought something too advanced for your child, but when they tried it, you were shocked by your own offspring? Isn’t it fun?

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Published by Christine Boatwright


3 thoughts on “A is for Atom: How to Grow Little Scientists

  1. I am not sure if I could do the ‘ABC’s of Physics’ any justice but I would go for the ‘ABC’s of Mathematics.’ Worst case scenario is that my child isn’t interested in the book. It certainly won’t hurt them to answer your question on advanced subjects! Haha. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to add one to my list. – Em


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