Tag Archives: Science

Magic Science Kit – Review

On Tuesday afternoon our friends from 3 Kids and a Gluestick came to our house to test the Science kits we had been given at the Junior Scholars event on Saturday.

magic science kit 1

The kit we chose was Magic Science, because the children love pretending to do Magic shows, and any practical Science activities are always popular, so it was the perfect combination.

magic science kit 2

The full price of the kit is £12.99, and it is currently on sale on the Junior Scholars website for £11.99.  The kit includes ten activities, so I think that is very good value for money.

magic science kit 3

The kit contains a detailed and informative leaflet, with advice for supervising adults, safety rules and information, a history of wizards and clear instructions for completing each of the activities.  The history of wizards feels a bit random among the practical information, but it is quite good fun!

magic science kit 4

Once the safety goggles had been thoroughly tested and modelled by several of the children, we got started on making our shimmering purple magic wand!

First we dropped a blue colour tablet into a test tube of water, then we added a red colour tablet to make the water turn purple.

magic science kit 5

Next, we put in a teaspoon of polyacrylamide, and at that point we had to wait for an hour for the crystals to soak up all the purple water.

magic science kit 6

In the meantime, we started on another activity called Fizzing Frenzy.  First we mixed citric acid and bicarbonate of soda in a test tube, and then we poured water in.  As you can see from the video, the children were suitably impressed!

Later, when the purple crystals were ready we played with them for a bit and then used them to fill the wand tube.

magic science kit 7

We have had many Science kits over the years, and I would recommend this one as it is particularly good value for money.  It has plenty of activities, a large number of items included and very clear instructions.  There is also an explanation of the Science behind each activity.  Thank you, Junior Scholars, it’s a great success!

We were given the kit for free by Junior Scholars.  All opinions are our own.

The Big Bang Science Fair

This post is written by Owl.

On Friday 15th March we (mummy, Monkey, Rabbit and I ) went to the Big Bang Science Fair at the Excel Centre in London.  We went on four trains to get there, and waited for our Home Education Group friends to arrive.  Then we went and watched a Strange Science show with lots of good experiments.  These are a few of them:

  1. The man presenting the show placed a glass funnel in a large jug of oil, and put his finger in the narrow end of the funnel to keep the air inside.  We could see the funnel clearly.  Then he took his finger out and the funnel became invisible.  It was still there but we couldn’t see it because there was no air trapped inside and it filled up with oil.  The reason we couldn’t see it was that oil and glass have the same refractive index, while air is different, so the path of the light going through the oil does not change when it hits the glass, but it changes when it reaches the trapped air.  The man demonstrated this by shining a laser on it, to show how the path of the light bends when there is air in the funnel, but it is straight when there is no air.
  2. The man passed a low level of electricity through three volunteers from the audience.  It didn’t hurt them but was enough to play some music.  One person on the end of the line held a wire connected to a laptop which was playing music, another stood in the middle of the line, and the one at the other end held a wire connected to a speaker.  When their fingers were touching the music played, and when they separated it stopped.
  3. Finally the man touched two plasma balls at once with one hand and held a fluorescent tube light with the other.  The electricity passed through his body and the bulb lit up.  He said it hurt a bit so he didn’t ask for volunteers this time.

After the show, we had lunch and met up with some of our friends.  Then we explored the exhibition, which had so many stands but we could only look at a few.  These were some of the best ones:

  1. There was a stand about drugs, and I helped to do an experiment about caffeine.  I had to use a dropper to pick some daphnia out of a jar of water and place them on a slide under a video microscope.  We could see a heart beating on the screen and I had to count the number of heartbeats in 15 seconds and then multiply by 4 to calculate the number of beats per minute.  We then added some caffeine and counted again, and the heart rate was higher.
  2. On another stand there was a presentation about what happens when someone is in a car accident.  There was a dummy the size of a man, and some air was pumped into his chest to make it look like he was breathing.  There was lots of fake blood.  Some volunteers put bandages on him, and we discussed ways of making him comfortable.  I helped to put a mask on his face so he could have gas and air.  They said he would have to go the hospital for further treatment.
  3. Then I talked to a man about the landscape of Mars and he showed me some pictures of features of Mars to compare with similar features on Earth.  There were craters, volcanoes, plains and river beds that would once have been filled with water.

After that the little ones were tired so we went home.  I hope we can go again next year.

Science and milkshakes

Today Monkey decided he wanted to learn about how bees make honey, so we read together quite a lot of the information about it from The Usborne Pocket Scientist – the Blue Book.  There’s more to read, but so far we have found out about different types of bees, the anatomy of a honeybee, beehives and beekeepers, pollination, how bees make honey and different kinds of honey.

After reading the book, Monkey wanted to try out one of the suggested activities which was making honey milkshake.  So he and Owl and Rabbit made it together and it was a great success.  Even Tiddler sliced his own banana.  It’s a nice simple activity, suitable for all ages – with or without the scientific learning about honey!

Honey milkshake

Blend together a cupful of milk, a scoop of ice-cream and two teaspoons of honey.  Pour into a glass and top with banana slices (though as Owl pointed out, the banana slices sink so it’s not exactly a topping.  Leads neatly on to the next science lesson…)

Thanks to Usborne Books for the idea.  Obviously it’s a pretty simple “recipe” and there could be endless variations.  Anyway, it was a fun activity to go with the topic, and I’m sure we will be making it again soon.  Whether our hands-on learning will go as far as keeping bees in the back garden, I don’t know.  I think the idea appeals to Suburban Dad but I’m not so sure!