Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Are your kids into science? Give them a chance to try out some simple science experiments with this “lab in a box” set up.
Make a mini-science lab for independent science play
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Do You Have Too Many Science Kits?

My daughter was always interested in science, and over years we bought and received as presents several science kits. To be honest, many of them looked terrific in their bright boxes but contained experiments that could be easily procured out of our kitchen cabinet. Our favorite kit was this Lab in a Bag kit and it was not because of the chemicals that it contained, but because of the thick plastic test tubes with a rack. Strangely, it doesn’t seem to be easy to get just test tubes with a rack that are good for little hands. Learning Resources has this set of jumbo tubes, but considering a small difference in price, Lab in a Bag seems like a better deal.
In addition to Lab in a Bag, we accumulated bits and bobs from other science kits and Smarty’s after school Mad Science handouts. Eventually we consolidated all electrical components in one box, and all chemistry components in another box that we call our “Lab in a Box”.

Lab in a Box Must-Have Items

  • Test tubes (or small jars with lids)
  • Food Coloring – the one item every beginning scientist must have :)
  • A science notebook with a pen and some colored pencils
  • Protective eye gear – we encourage our daughter to get used to wearing it.
  • Baking soda and vinegar (duh!)
  • A sponge to clean up spills
  • A medicine dropper
  • A magnifying glass

Optional Items for Lab-In-a-Box

  • Measuring cups and/or spoons
  • Oil for oil/water mixing experiments
  • Litmus paper (ours came from Mad Science class, but you can make your own)
  • Bubble producing tablets, such as Alka-seltzer (I got some cheap equivalent in a Dollar Store)
  • Strong smelling spices for “potions” – ground cloves, cinnamon sticks, etc.
  • A science book – we have 52 Amazing Science Experiments that comes on small cards and doesn’t take a lot of space.

Take Obvious Precautions

The concept of lab-in-a-box assumes that your little scientists have graduated from “put everything in your mouth” class and know how to keep their science materials away from pets and younger siblings. In fact, I strongly recommend this “lab-in-a-box” kit for kids over 7 or to younger kids with adult supervision.
Once these disclaimers are “put away”. let your children enjoy some open-ended science play:

Your Turn

What would you add to our lab-in-a-box?
Make a mini-science lab for independent science play

More Science Ideas for Kids?

This post was written as part of A-Z of STEM series. Check out the landing page for amazing STEM ideas from creative kid bloggers.

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Ticia said...

Batman would love this. seriously love it.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I totally agree that science kits are best for the bits and bobs you can collect out of them, than for the science experiments they provide. If this is just your chemistry lab in bag...then I would add a magnifying glass or pocket microscope, and for older children - some rubbing alcohol and peroxide, and maybe borax, glue, and cornstarch :)

jeannine said...

We've never purchased a lab in box but over time we have collected science lab items just like you. The more experiments we do the more bits we collect.

Charlotte said...

This looks so awesome! I love it :D Thanks again for sharing with Frugal Family - don't forget to link up another post next Thursday! xx

Helen @ Witty Hoots said...

I think this is just great - anything to encourage youngsters to enjoy science. Thank you for joining in with #frugalfamilylinky

Helen @ Witty Hoots said...

Thanks for joining in with #weloveweekends

Samantha said...

This is such a great idea! Thanks for linking up at the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop! We hope you join us next week!

Carolin said...

I love the idea of setting up a lab box, but I would have loved one as a child. This would make a super unique present too.

Thanks for linking up with Monday Parenting Pin It Party x

Phyllis said...

I made one of these years ago for my son Sam when he was into the whole lab experimenting thing. I love how you have laid out this post.