(StatePoint) A new school year means new classes, new teachers and new schedules. At home, you can riff on this theme with new books to be enjoyed outside the classroom, that spark interest in different subjects. To open doors for young minds, consider the following titles:
• Crafty coding: For kids with a potential interest in computers and coding, consider “How to Be a Coder.” Breaking down the principles of coding into bite-sized chunks, it will get them thinking like computer scientists in no time. Learn about loops by making a friendship bracelet, find out about programming by planning a scavenger hunt, and discover how functions work with paper fortune tellers. Children can then use their new knowledge to code by following instructions to build programs in Scratch 3.0.
• Inspiring true stories: In “DK Life Stories: Jane Goodall” kids can discover the inspiring story of Jane Goodall, a pioneer of primatology whose groundbreaking work changed the way we understand animals and ourselves. When she embarked on her career, women were discouraged from conducting scientific research, especially when that work meant living side by side with wild animals. A self-taught scientist, Goodall bravely ventured into the bush of Tanzania to discover the secret world of chimpanzees. This new biography series for kids from DK goes beyond basic facts to tell true-life stories of history’s most interesting people.
• Edible science: Cooking is chemistry, and all 20 science experiments inside “Science You Can Eat,” are edible and fun. Young minds can find out why popcorn go “pop,” explore how taste is affected by smell, then discover the secret to making the perfect cookie. Examining interesting ingredients and exciting eating, as well as peeking into the future of food, kids will get a better understanding of what's happening with food and why.
• A global celebration: Young readers of “Celebrations Around the World” will embark on an exciting journey through the most interesting and important festivals, celebrations and holidays enjoyed by people all over the globe. From why skeletons dance at the Day of the Dead in Mexico to how the world’s biggest tomato fight -- La Tomatina in Spain -- gets cleaned up, stunning original illustrations and fascinating facts will inspire and inform children about cultures and religions from all over the world.
• Medieval mania: Spark an interest in history and architecture with “DK findout! Castles,” which includes lots to learn about medieval castles, including knights, jousting, sieges, drawbridges and forts. Kids can learn about castle design, from the earliest motte and bailey styles to stone fortresses and beautiful castles in Japan and India, as well as view some of the most impressive castles in the world. Packed with information and color, this book is part of a series introducing children to a range of topics in a fun, engaging way.
After school is the perfect time to explore topics of interest, and a treasure trove of books can make learning new things fun.