Check-Out Science by Lawrence Hall of Science
Find it on the website, have it "reserved" and sent to your local branch, and then pick it up and check it out just like a book.
Our science studies have been very loose this year. I never chose a specific curriculum. So these kits have been really nice.
What you get:
1 or 2 nonfiction books
2 activity cards
1 blank notebook to write in and keep (basically just a few pages stapled together)
1 free pass to the Lawrence Hall of Science
Unfortunately, the last 3 times I have checked out kits, they did not contain notebooks or museum passes. The first time, I took the kit up to the service desk to ask about the missing pieces and she seemed pretty confused, as if she had never seen such a thing before. When I explained what was missing, she assumed that the kit needed to be sent back to the central branch in between check outs to be refilled. And it would appear that didn't happen. They have none of the missing supplies in the back room.
Then she started showing me how to get a free museum pass through the library catalog (perhaps I will blog this feature later). But I don't care about the museum pass. I just wanted the blank notebook!
So she apologized and took the kit and said she would send it back to central. A week later I reserved this same kit and another one because I wanted to see if it actually got refilled. Nope!
Oh, well. I digress!
Even without the blank notebook, it's a pretty great kit. The two cards walk you through everything step by step. It tells you when to read each book, what to write about, and also steps to a related experiment using objects you probably already have around the house.
When we did the Modeling a Stream kit, it had us fill a jellyroll pan with cornmeal, prop it up at an angle, and pour water down it from the top. We learned how water changes landscapes; water moves downhill; and that things like rocks, trees, and dams change the path of the stream. This kit inspired Primus' science fair project.