Books for Children about How Things Work

The Activity Mom

Children are often fascinated by the world around them and the many inventions and objects they see every day. Encourage their curiosity with this collection of books.

Many children are inquisitive about how things work. Everything from the television and family car to the microwave, computer, and their own bodies is an object of great fascination. Unfortunately, parents aren’t always equipped with all the answers, and adult reference books are generally too complicated or simply inappropriate for younger readers.

Here are some books that offer the answers to questions kids ask about how things work.

The Way Things Work Now by David Macaulay

This book offers simple yet detailed explanations for a large number of objects, from the simple, such as a can opener, to the more complex, such as digital machinery and microchips. Topics include the mechanics of movement, electricity, and automation, working with waves, and harnessing the elements.

Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross-Sections by Richard Platt

This collection of incredibly detailed illustrations of 18 buildings and machines will fascinate children and adults alike. The images cover a double page, with occasional gatefold pages that double the illustration size. Images feature items with cross-section “cuts” that show the inner workings and structure of objects such as an oil rig, submarine, ocean liner, car factory, opera house, helicopter, and subway station.

How the Human Body Works

Finding age-appropriate books about how the human body works isn’t always easy, particularly for inquisitive children who want detailed information but aren’t old enough for adult reference books on the subject. These books offer information in a style that is entertaining as well as educational.

The Way We Work by David Macaulay

Similar to The Way Things Work, this is a comprehensive guide to human body systems and functioning. It includes information on sexual reproduction that parents might wish to screen before allowing younger children access to the book.

How the Incredible Human Body Works by Richard Walker

Once again, featuring the Brainwaves characters, this book focuses predominantly on body systems and organs. Reproduction is not covered with only basic information about DNA and cell division. Quirky facts, humorous illustrations, and the gatefold design of pages offering interesting and enjoyable reading.

What Makes Me Me? by Robert Winston

This interesting book answers the questions “What am I made of?”, “What makes me unique?”, “How does my brain work?” and “What kind of person am I?”. It includes information on genes, body language, personality, dreams, and some fun tests for memory, verbal and spatial ability, numerical skills, lateral thinking, personality, and genetic traits such as color blindness. Reproductive information focuses on genetic material and development from the fertilization of the egg by the sperm.

Offering children age-appropriate information to answer their questions about how things work can help to encourage their natural curiosity and foster a love of learning. These books, and others like them, can help parents to offer informative and informed answers to many of the questions posed by their inquisitive children.

**Links are Amazon affiliate links. That does not change the price of the books for you.**

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