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Friday, April 27, 2012

Review of Lab in a Bag - Test Tube Discoveries


Review of Lab in a Bag – Test Tube Discoveries

I bought this kit at a hobby store for a fun and educational Sunday
afternoon activity with my 3rd grade son.  He will be learning about
matter in the upcoming science unit in science at school. I wanted
to find something related to matter and its properties give him some
prior knowledge upon which to build new knowledge!


My son was super excited about the prospect of using the 
big test tubes to do “real” experiments. 

Unfortunately, only one experiment actually utilized the
test tube, the others requiring cups and bowls from home.
I found this to be misleading. 
There is a paper included in the set with a long list of 
“uses for your test tubes”
such as collect things on a nature walk,
which made me think I had just wasted my $17.00.


My little guy was disappointed when he opened each test tube 
and found merely a roll of paper and one small bag with 
one ingredient.
 And disappointed again when we found that our kit did not contain 
the blue measuring scoop required
to make the Gravity Goo. 
(We winged it and it turned out fine, 
but we used it all up on the first try).

This kit requires supplies from home, mainly 
water, oil, and food coloring.
I think that this should be clearly stated on the 
outside of the kit so that you can
make sure to have what you need BEFORE 
you open it up and find that you have to
run to the store for food coloring.

After reading each experiment my son chose to do the “lava lamp”
because he could actually make it in the test tube.
It was SO COOL that his disenchantment quickly turned to smiles
and wide eyed shouts of excitement!
It really was awesome. 


Now he wanted to do the other experiments right away.

We spent the next few hours preparing them, waiting, 
hypothesizing and investigating. 
I personally was a little bummed that two 
of the experiments were basically the same thing; 
a polymer that grew from absorbing water,
 but my son didn’t care at all and 
the next morning he had even more amazing ideas and 
comparisons and thoughts 
about his
 experiments.



He put the final products in his test tubes and 
set them up to look really cool.
He did some of the alternative “experiments” 
suggested in the kit 
and loved it.
He did his own experiments and loved it. 


For example, he put dish soap in his goo and it
turned into a foamy, bubbly Awesome substance. 
He enjoyed fooling his family with the
disappearing ice cubes. 
And he can’t WAIT to use the other test tubes to make
another lava lamp.


(we did these a couple of weeks later)

He will be playing with this for a long time.
(He has been)

 Best of all, he is having important experiences from which to 
build more knowledge about science, 
explore the possibilities of matter,
and cultivate a continued passion for science. 

This kit kept him engaged and allowed him the opportunity to
go beyond the limits of the kit to do more on his own.

I would definitely recommend this science kit for your child.

He is having too much fun and doesnt want to go to bed!

The kit is designed to be used in conjunction with a 
scientific journal 
and it guides parents/children through 
the scientific process. 

The experiments have writing and drawing prompts your child
to make specific observations and record data along the way. 

These are perfect for a home school situation because 
they can be stretched out over days with 
additional activities for each. 
There are even alternative activities where the
separate experiments 
can be combined to learn more about how they
 interact with each other.

pH indicator strips to find bases and acids

My son is so excited to use the test tubes to gather specimens 
on a nature walk 
and learn more about his world. 
And with that I am off to the park with my scientist!

*I didn’t want to put too many pictures in this post to give away the 
experiments but I did want to show you what it is all about.*

He woke up very early the next morning to experiment. 
 YEA!

My son’s Review:
“I thought the kit was cheesy when I opened it because 
all the test tubes pretty much had in it was the directions.
 I wanted to take it back but I decided to do it anyway. 
The first on we tried was the lava lamp and it actually
 looks exactly like a real lava lamp in my test tube. 
I learned that water is heavier, which means more dense than 
vegetable oil which I never would have thought. 
Next we used the garbled marble and it was extremely fun 
because they look really fuzzy in water, 
but are pure round when you take them out!
Plus I only used a little bit of them in the sack 
and it made a ton of them! 
Now that I have done all of the experiments I want 
to go get all the other sets! 
Science is really fun and you should try it too. 
It is as fun as playing legos, just different. 
I am going to the park to get samples of the water
 and leaves and grass and rocks and put them in my test tubes 
to examine them. 
Sometimes I felt cool, like a mad scientist doing the experiments, 
but I am really more like a real, actual scientist.” 



*I was not compensated in any way for this review. 

4 comments:

  1. Wow!!! Hoe cool is that! I love activities/toys where kids love it and are learning too! I'm going to have to get these!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. O.K., I LOVE that you added a review by your son, that is fantastic. Great review, it does look like you guys got some fun results, but I've kind of stopped buying those many part do it yourself project kits for my kids because they do often end up feeling like a rip off and taking more work from me and less engagement I would have liked from my kids. I would buy ones that I knew for sure were simple, with super easy directions that the kids could really practically do by themselves without too much of my intervention, just supervision.

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  3. Love your son's review! Very cool. Thanks for a very honest and upfront review. I agree - the makers of these products should let you know on the box somewhere if additional items are needed from the kitchen so you can prep yourself before getting home and opening it up only to not have something key to one of the experiments.

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  4. That is super cool! :D I know my son would love that as well - and it is great to have your sons view of the product!

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