While it's true that doing hands-on science activities is a great way to learn, every child needs a little down time to relax and let their busy minds process their experiences. Science books can be a great way for younger children to learn before bed, after working and playing hard at school, or on a rainy weekend. Plus, reading lets kids build their science, reading, and critical thinking skills all at the same time. Booklist just released their Top 10 Science and Technology books for 2010. The books cover a wide variety of science subjects--from archaeology, biology, engineering, ecology, and much more.
If you're an educator looking for books to use in your program, the National Science Teachers Association has a huge, annually-released compilation of the best science trade books for K-12 students stretching back to 1996. Again, the books cover a wide range of science subjects and are organized by subject or purpose (such as "Science as Inquiry" and "Unifying Concepts and Processes in Science").
Do you use science books in your afterschool program? What are some of your favorites?