You learn science by exploring the world around you, and these books offer some structured experiments that help you begin looking through the world. Many of these books are great for kids of various ages, including adults.
This book is from the fine folks over at Wired
magazine's Geek Dad blog and presents a range of great parent/child activities to help promote interest in science. The emphasis on these is specifically about using the science as a bonding experience, though there's also plenty of information included to provide the basis for a child (or adult) to work on the projects alone or as one component of a more extensive science fair project. Check out the full review for a complete list of the experiments included.
The Mad Scientist Handbook
offers 48 different experiments, intended for kids age 13 and older. There are some basic chemistry experiments - fake blood, invisible ink, green slime, stink bombs - but the majority of the experiments are more physics oriented. For a good, basic book of experiments for a child to perform, you can't really go wrong with The Mad Scientist Handbook
Henry Holt and Company, LLC
In How to Fossilize Your Hamster And Other Amazing Experiments for the Armchair Scientist
, Mick O'Hare collecteds topics discussed in the "Last Words" column of New Scientist
magazine over the last thirteen, transforming them into at-home experimental fodder.
The title experiment is intriguing, but takes millions of years, so is hardly the most immediately pressing presented in the book. The experiments here tend to involve mostly easily-accessible items from the home and are intended for personal amusement at least as much as educational value.
Unlike several other books on this list, this is written with the intention of an adult (or European) audience. Some of the experiments involve alcohol, so adult supervision is suggested.
Klutz Labs has an extensive line of all-in-one science kits, packaged together with books that provide great information about how to assemble the kits. Many of the books also provide background information on the scientific concepts at work. We have a list of several of their physics-related products, along with some reviews.
This 2008 book features 35 experiments which are pretty common fair for this type of book - some magnetic and electrical experiments, invisible ink, exploding soda bottles, defying gravity, and so on.
The major selling point of The Mad Scientist's Notebook is the artistic and writing style of the book which is written as if it were the notebook of a budding mad scientist. This allows for some amusing asides, such as the author's various plans of world domination, including zombie vegetables and crashing the moon into the earth, not to mention entertaining doodles and images of sticky notes throughout its pages. The font, meant to emulate handwriting, can be a bit annoying, but is easily readable.