Thursday, January 10, 2013


Today was one of those days when interests and supplies fell right in line. Eamon has been mentioning an interest in the periodic table and elements lately. With this in mind, I picked up a few books on the topic from the library. That was a few weeks ago. They have been sitting relatively undisturbed in our book basket.

Then the topic came up again today. I reminded Eamon of the book, and he came back a bit later with a big book tucked under his arm. He carried The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe around for the rest of the day (a big thanks to Roberta and her blogs for the recommendation). While I worked in the kitchen, he quizzed me on the symbols, and was quite impressed with my recall. Aine joined him, and the two reviewed chemical properties trying to stump each other with their knowledge.

As they were talking I remembered a PBS special on the elements. We headed into the other room and after a quick search of PBS were watching Hunting the Elements. When this initially aired, neither were interested. This time around all three kiddos sat mesmerized by the dialogue (note to other parents, there is a discussion of a chemical bomb and a few photos of the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing). There was even talk about watching it again.

At dinner, we again talked about the periodic table. The recounted many parts of the PBS special and again the book was brought out. I think it may be time to pull out some more of our experiment supplies. I think the elements will be the topic of much discussion for the weeks to come.


  1. oh that sounds like a great book and a good special. so great when everything sort of falls in to place like that. :)

  2. I have always loved the periodic table, I am a huge science geek and lucky for me so it my 15 year old!
    Have a great weekend.

  3. They should call Pap for a discussion on the elements!!! :-)

  4. Sounds like a good book! I really love it when interests and resources all click into place.

  5. Have you checked out the book The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
    by Sam Kean - I listened as an audio and it was pretty of it at least.

    Also here is a link to a periodic table game that I had saved on my computer for when my daughter showed interest in the same subject - maybe your kids would like it

    plus there is tons more on the site:

  6. I was mad on science when I was little always asking lots of questions. The resources mentioned in the comments above sound fascinating.

  7. we have that book! and the documentary sounds great. that is the way it works here too.

    1. The documentary has an app too that the kids found interesting. Nothing like figuring out atomic mass and number on your own!