On the move cover

The secrets of stinging nettles: natural navigation with Tristan Gooley

The August edition of Whizz Pop Bang: ON THE MOVE is about amazing migrations and is packed with the science behind all sorts of incredible journeys made by animals and humans!

Inside, we chat to Tristan Gooley, a natural navigator who looks for nature’s clues and works out how they can help us to find our way. Learning more about this fascinating skill is a brilliant way to engage children with the natural word – keep reading to learn a nifty tricky you can teach them when you’re outdoors together.

We asked Tristan to explain a little about his unusual job:

“Every single plant, every single animal, even every single cloud is telling us something about what’s going on around us. I’m a nature detective, trying to solve each clue. I don’t look for specific things that are interesting or amazing: instead, I wonder what the signs around me can reveal. Sometimes it’s a plant showing me which way is north, or a stinging nettle telling me I’m near a town. It’s so much fun!”
Tristan Gooley in Whizz Pop Bang: ON THE MOVE

Tristan Gooley, Natural Navigator

If you’re wondering how to keep children entertained on a long walk or how to help your child connect with nature, here’s a tip from Tristan all about the secrets of stinging nettles:

If you teach children a trick that is related to their experience of the wild then you could grab their attention

Find an area with both stinging nettles and white dead-nettles:

White dead-nettle
Stinging nettle

Ask the children what the white dead-nettle is – they will probably guess ‘stinging nettle’. Most kids can identify this before any other wildflower, because it has a big impact on their experience of the outdoors!

Next, show how brave you are by running your hands up and down the white dead-nettle, then dare them to do the same. Once they realise that white dead-nettles are different to stinging nettles, they take an interest. They understand that the white flower is the important clue to which one stings, and that’s something worth remembering!

It also tends to stick as this is a great trick for showing it off to other kids!

Nature appreciation that leads to fewer stings AND the ability to show off? That’s a recipe for getting kids interested!

Find out more in this brilliant blog post about engaging children with nature. Want more tips like this? Head over to Tristan’s website to discover all sorts of intriguing ways to read nature’s clues – they’re guaranteed to liven up a long walk with children!

Read more about Tristan’s fascinating job in Whizz Pop Bang: ON THE MOVE – it’s in our shop now.

On the move cover

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!


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Kit list for Whizz Pop Bang 61: ON THE MOVE

Find out about some of the most amazing animal migrations on Earth in the brand-new edition of Whizz Pop Bang: ON THE MOVE!

Come on an epic journey to investigate the science of migrations and travel. This issue, we’ll…
🐦 Build a welcoming bird bath
🧭 Make a compass in a jar
🌊 Investigate the impact of oil pollution
🐯 Learn how animal tracking devices work
🦜 Craft a brilliant balancing bird

Plus experiments, jokes, riddles, quizzes, competitions and more! Sign up by 4th August 2020 to receive this issue. 

Here’s a list of the extra bits you’ll need to complete every activity this month. As ever, there is loads of science fun to be had, even if you don’t have every single thing on the list. Let’s get going! 

Here’s a printable version of this month’s kit list 👇


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Whizz Pop Bang Coral Reef cover

Watch a Caribbean reef octopus change colour!

Want to watch an amazing octopus video? Using special skin cells called chromatophores, Caribbean reef octopuses can change colour at high speed to blend seamlessly into their coral home. This allows them to sneak up on prey and hide from predators.

See one in action here!

Discover more awesomely amazing coral reef residents in Whizz Pop Bang: REMARKABLE REEFS, available in our shop now!

Whizz Pop Bang Coral Reef cover

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!


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Whizz Pop Bang Coral Reef cover

Make an edible coral polyp

Have you been reading about coral polyps in Whizz Pop Bang’s REMARKABLE REEFS edition?

This video shows how you can make your own edible polyp using banana, biscuits and sweets. Yum!

Find out more in REMARKABLE REEFS, available in our shop now!

This is great activity for schools teaching Animals, including humans and Living things and habitats at Key Stage 2. If you’re looking for science activities linked to coral reefs, give it a try!

Whizz Pop Bang is a top-quality, gender-neutral, advert-free science magazine for families everywhere. Each issue is packed with experiments, activities, amazing facts, puzzles, jokes, riddles and more. Find out more here!


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FREE science activities for year 4 and P5!

Now that schools are closed, have you become a home educator overnight? Whizz Pop Bang is the world’s most awesomely amazing kids’ science magazine, bursting with hands-on experiments, facts and fun, and we want to help you and your children with the huge transition that many of us face.

Here are some FREE science activities and experiments to help you entertain, excite and educate your year 4 child! You’ll find a reading comprehension about toilets, discover how to make slime, meet an inspiring female scientist, discover how to make an erupting volcano and how to mummify a tomato!

Our experiments are designed for children from 6 to 12, but this list of experiments is particularly perfect for year 4, P5 (Scotland), 8-year-olds and 9-year-olds as they tie in with the relevant National Curriculum objectives and topics.

The reading comprehensions included here were designed to be read at A3 size, so text may appear too small when printed at A4. They work really well on a tablet or monitor, or you may need to print them on two pages of A4 if your printer allows.

If you have any comments or questions about our free year 4 science experiments and reading comprehensions, please leave a comment for us. Or do you have any science homeschool ideas or general home educating ideas for 8- and 9-year-olds? We’d love to hear from you!

Find loads more science activities, puzzles and games in our award-winning monthly kids science magazine, Whizz Pop Bang!

How toilets work reading comprehension

Toilets! We all use them but how many of us know how they work? Now you can find out what happens to your wee and poo when you flush the toilet. A diagram of a toilet is labelled with expanded captions, including key vocabulary such as dual flush, cistern, valve, float, s-bend and inlet valve. 

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A reading spread about toilets for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 4 Animals including humans, P5 Body system and cells


Make gloopy slime

Your slime-obsessed year 4 and P5 child will love this gooey activity! They will make their own slime, then decide if it is a solid or a liquid. This oobleck is guaranteed to provoke a lot of scientific discussion about changing states, reversible and irreversible changes, non-Newtonian fluids and more. It’s not as straightforward as it seems! 

You will need:
Cornflour
Water
Mixing bowl
Food colouring (optional)

Bonus activity: spot the difference puzzle

Topic links: Year 4 States of matter, P5 Properties and uses of substances.


Interview with an explosions expert reading comprehension

Meet chemistry professor, explosions expert and science communicator, Kate Biberdorf and find out why she blows up things to inspire her students!

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A reading spread about Kate Biberdorf for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 4 States of matter, P5 properties and uses of substances.


Make your own volcano

Print a paper volcano, then use kitchen chemistry to make it erupt!

You will need:
A small container (e.g. a spice jar)
Bicarbonate of soda or baking powder
Vinegar
Red food colouring
Yellow food colouring
Washing-up liquid or soap
A tray or outside space

Bonus activity: fireworks on a plate

This activity is taken from Whizz Pop Bang’s Awesomely Amazing Science Club – download the entire pack here!


Lava experiment

Discover the difference between viscous and runny magma in this gloopy volcano activity!

You will need:
Golden syrup, honey or other viscous liquid
Two paper straws per child
Safety goggles (or sunglasses!)

Bonus activity: move water with fire

This activity is taken from Whizz Pop Bang’s Awesomely Amazing Science Club – download the entire pack here!


Mummify a tomato

Anything that was once alive can be mummified! Create the conditions used by Ancient Egyptians to mummify a tomato.

You will need:
Two tomatoes
Antiseptic liquid or handwash
Kitchen paper
Bicarbonate of soda
Salt
Two small jam jars or glasses, slightly bigger than your tomatoes
Toilet tissue (optional)


Are you home educating children in other year groups? Then you might find these posts helpful:
Free science activities for year 2 and P3
Free science activities for year 3 and P4
Free science activities for year 5 and P6
Free science activities for year 6 and P7


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FREE science activities for year 3 and P4!

Now that schools are closed, have you become a home educator overnight? Whizz Pop Bang is the world’s most awesomely amazing kids’ science magazine, bursting with hands-on experiments, facts and fun, and we want to help you and your children with the huge transition that many of us face.

Here are some FREE science activities and experiments to help you entertain, excite and educate your year 3 child! Meet an orthopaedic vet, be inspired by an amazing female scientist, do a walking water experiment, investigate air pressure and surface tension and make bendy bones!

Our experiments are designed for children from 6 to 12, but this list of experiments is particularly perfect for year 3, P4 (Scotland), 7-year-olds and 8-year-olds as they tie in with the relevant National Curriculum objectives and topics.

The reading comprehensions included here were designed to be read at A3 size, so text may appear too small when printed at A4. They work really well on a tablet or monitor, or you may need to print them on two pages of A4 if your printer allows.

If you have any comments or questions about our free year 3 science experiments and reading comprehensions, please leave a comment for us. Or do you have any science homeschool ideas or general home educating ideas for 7- and 8-year-olds? We’d love to hear from you!

Find loads more science activities, puzzles and games in our award-winning monthly kids science magazine, Whizz Pop Bang!


Interview with an orthopaedic vet reading comprehension

This is a great one for animal lovers! An interview with Toby Gemmill, whose job is to put broken pets back together after an accident. He explains how long bones take to mend, describes the trickiest operation he’s performed and gives some top tips on how to become a vet. Small snippets of text ideal for reluctant readers. 

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– An interview with Toby Gemmill for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 2 Animals including humans


Agnes Arber reading comprehension

Read about sensational scientist Agnes Arber, whose career as a plant scientist started when she was just 13! Her dedication to botany helped the world to realise the amazing talent of women in science.

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A feature about Agnes Arber for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 3 Plants and P3 Biodiversity and interdependence


Walking water activity

Ask your child if they think water can ‘walk’? Set up a nifty experiment together to prove that it actually can move and discover how plants transport water using capillary action.

You will need:
Water
Kitchen towels
Food colouring

Bonus activity: upside-down glass experiment

Investigate surface tension and air pressure while learning a neat trick: how to turn a glass of water upside down without spilling a drop!

Topic links: Year 3 Plants and P4 Biodiversity and interdependence


Make a bendy backbone

Discover how the backbone is able to bend, even though it’s made of rigid elements, by creating a model backbone from vertebrae and cartilage!

You will need:
A 5 cm paperclip
A drinking straw
Scissors
A ruler
Sticky tack or Plasticine

Bonus activity: bendy bones experiment

Discover what happens when bones don’t contain enough calcium in this intriguing experiment.

You will need:
2 chicken bones (legs are ideal)
Jar with a lid (large enough to hold one bone with space at the top)
Vinegar
Cling film

Topic links: Year 3 Animals including humans and P4 Biological systems.


Are you home educating children in other year groups? Then you might find these posts helpful:
Free science activities for year 2 and P3
Free science activities for year 4 and P5
Free science activities for year 5 and P6
Free science activities for year 6 and P7


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