This school break has been a busy one. Both kids had very clear ideas about what they’re like to do, but sadly they were very different ideas! The big one (age 10) is really into learning and I think will probably end up going into a career in science. Luckily for her, we were very kindly gifted a couple of Thames & Kosmos science kits that are suitable for kids aged 8 and over.
These science kits have been a fab activity to do over the Easter holidays and I’d like to think they’ve kept her brain a bit more active than sitting on her tablet all day!
Our Thames & Kosmos Science Kits (What we got and what we thought!)
Thames & Kosmos have created a wide range of STEM toys/kits and we received a Monster Putty kit and a Molecule Beads kit. They have also very kindly offered the chance for one lucky reader to win a kit from their MBE STEM range (this could be any kit in the range, not just one the same as we received). The comp is at the bottom of the page, but first read, you should definitely read the review of the kits we received!
The Monster Putty was loads of fun. At first it seemed a lot like any other modelling clay, until we realised the one key difference – it melts!
The box included two suggested experiments, but really you can make what you like. We followed the guide the first time we used it, but we’ve been a bit more creative since.
The first experiment was to make a little monster figure:
The putty doesn’t hold its shape though, and after ten minutes, he started to melt:
I think if we’d left him a little longer, he might have been a bit puddle-shaped!
The second experiment involved rolling the putty into a long, thin sausage shape to make a snake.
The snake was then to be placed on the clear platform:
And when we returned to it after ten or so minutes, it had flattened and slid down.
If you watched long enough, you could see it move!
This set was a firm favourite and I think I’ll probably be buying another once we’ve used up all the stuff in this one.
Emma enjoyed it because it felt like a proper chemistry experiment. We had to add water to a beaker then pour in the calcium lactate powder to form a solution.
Once we’d given the solution a good stir to make sure the powder was properly dissolved, we could drop in either colour of the alginate liquid to make some tiny, colourful beads.
It doesn’t matter if you mix colours, so we added red first, then a few drops of yellow.
If you give them a stir, they bounce around like molecules under a microscope:
When you add the alginate to the calcium lactate solution, it forms a jelly-like solid. So when you just use a few drops, it forms little bead-like balls.
If you let the alginate flow without breaking off, it creates a jelly-like ribbon, not dissimilate to strawberry laces (only you can’t eat this stuff, so don’t try!)
You can pull the ribbons out and have a play with them.
They’re really quite weird! If there is an air bubble trapped inside, you can move it about by squeezing it!
We liked the beads best because they felt nice to touch. They reminded me of the bath pearls you used to get in the 90s (only smaller).
Both experiments were really easy to complete and loads of fun too! Thankfully they weren’t messy (which is a huge plus in my book), and they don’t take up a lot of room. If I was planning on staying in a holiday cottage or something, I’d probably pack a couple of these kits to keep my daughter busy in the evening.
We’ll probably be investing in a few more of these kits because my daughter is really keen on science and it’s an interest I like to encourage.
Win your own kit from Thames & Kosmos!
As promised, I’m also running a giveaway so you can win your very own Thames & Kosmos MBE STEM kit. The prize may not be one of the kits in my blog post, but will be from the same range of exciting science toys!
Terms & Conditions
- All entrants must be 18 or over with a UK postal address.
- Only valid entries will be counted, so read the instructions carefully!
- One winner will be picked at random, using the widget below.
- The winner will be notified via email.
- Once the winner has been notified, they will have 28 days to respond and claim their prize, after that period, another winner will be selected at random and the prize will go to them instead.