Peter.D.Riley

International bestselling award-winning author Facebook Twitter

Taking science education across the world

Our future depends on exploring all the frontiers of science, on innovative technologies based on these explorations and on the development of scientific literacy in all peoples through science education.

The Curiosity Box

In Key Stage 1 (KS1) of the National Curriculum children are taught to experience and observe phenomena in the natural and human-constructed world. A way to encourage children to do this is for them to take part in an activity making and decorating a curiosity box into which they can put any interesting objects that they find.

Young children are well known for making collections of things they find curious such as pebbles, fossils, crystals. These are the kind of items that eventually find themselves on bedroom window sills. The Curiosity Box activity is designed to re-examine them in a scientific way and build up an even larger database.

Curiosity is a precursor of scientific thought and this section of the site is designed to help children think like a scientist. Creating a curiosity box builds on their natural curiosity and helps them develop their scientific skills of observing and researching and their general skills of communication as they make their presentations about the contents of their boxes.

I’m currently writing a series of science books called Curiosity Box that will be published in the spring of 2016. It will feature items that children often collect on their walks in the countryside or along the sea shore.

Each week I post a mystery item from my own curiosity box to identify, can you guess what they are?

See curiosities sent in by visitors to the site.

How to make a curiosity box

Take a shoe box or one of a similar size and decorate it with pictures, question marks and exclamation marks. Do not draw pictures of the things inside as this will spoil the surprises in your presentation.

A curiosity box created by Holly Jane in year 2 at Settle School.

Find out as much as you can about the objects you are putting in the box and try and remember all the facts.

Fill your box with your curiosities, gather your friends round then take out each curiosity in turn and talk about it.

Further Activities

Put ten or more objects on top of the box. Let your friends look at them for a minute. Cover up the objects and see how many your friends can remember.

See if they can remember some facts about each object.

If you find something interesting, send it to me at peter@peterdriley.com and I’ll feature it in the Natural World Photo Gallery on my blog!

Return to Science Enquiry Hub


My Books

Follow the links below to find out more about my books and book series, as well as downloadable resources for teachers and parents using my books.

Books for Primary Schools
Books for Secondary Schools

Books and Resources for Teachers

Contact Me

I can be contacted in the following ways. If you have a picture for the Natural World Photo Gallery or the Science Exhibition Gallery, please send it by email.