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Excuse how long it has taken me to get this post up since mentioning it in my Christmas gift guide in November but I wanted to make sure I really did the box justice. Letterbox Lab are kids’ science experiments for children aged 6+ which can be posted straight through your letterbox.
Jack is science crazy – he even mentioned it as one of his favourite subjects at his latest parent’s evening – and he loves trying new things and seeing how things work so I knew he’d be excited about giving the experiments in this box a go. The box we were sent was the Investigate Box for ages 8+ and featured six different experiments. Jack was 6 when we did the experiments and has just turned 7 but I wouldn’t say he struggled with any of these. You can choose the Explore box for ages 6+ however if you so wish.
What I loved in particular about this box is not only is it small enough to fit through your letterbox – so no need for Mummy or Daddy to wait around for the delivery of each monthly box – but it also has absolutely everything you could possibly need to do the experiments with – safety glasses, bottles, petri dishes, pens, scissors, pipettes, safety gloves and so much more. It can be so frustrating to settle down to do an activity with your child and realising that there are things missing so you can’t complete it there and then.
From just £9.50 a month, your child can get hands on experiments that surprise every single time. You get the reassurance that they are designed for children and completely safe to use and that the experiments are linked to – and go beyond – the KS2 curriculum in all parts of the UK. Below I will talk about (with photos) two of the experiments we did.
This experiment was Brilliant Breathless Balloon which had a messiness rating of two out of three. I think this was Jack’s favourite from the box as it was very exciting. Within the bag you had a clear plastic bottle, bicarbonate of soda, a balloon and citric acid. You needed the safety gloves and goggles from the main box and some water.
You had to pour half of the bicarb of soda into the big bottle then half fill it with water then put the lid on. You then needed to shake until the bicarb had dissolved and pour about half the citric acid carefully into the balloon. You then had to carefully stretch the neck of the balloon over the bottle whilst leaving the balloon hanging over the side.
This is where the magic really happens – and Olivia was in awe, watching from a distance with her Daddy. Jack lifted the balloon so that the citric acid fell into the bottle and as he did, it mixed with the bicarbonate of soda which caused the balloon to blow up – without any breath or helium needed. Very exciting and interesting to watch. Jack really enjoyed this experiment and reading the booklet to find out why it had done what it had done – he had made two solutions and when they reacted with each other, they made a gas which blew up the balloon.
What I liked about this experiment is that it is linked to an experiment to come in a future box – I like the way Letterbox Lab are tying the boxes together and keeping the knowledge fresh and exciting.
The other experiment I wanted to talk about was Incredible Inks which has a messiness rating of two out of three also. This required the felt tip pens from the bag, chromotography paper, petri dish, coloured sweets, two bottles of salt, dropper tips, scissors from the box and some water.
Jack had to add water to the bottles of salt, insert the dropper tip and screw the cap on, then shake the bottles to dissolve the salt. Jack then had to pour some water into the petri dish, get a bit of the chromotography paper and draw a big black line about 2cm from the bottom with the black pen. Jack then held the paper into the water to see what happened and was amazed as the black ink dissolved into different colours – he very excitedly said which colours he could see!
He then tried the experiment with the sweet – he put the sweet in the water and watched as the dye was removed from the sweet. He then placed another piece of chromotography paper in the water and wathed as the dyes made their way onto the paper – a sight to behold for sure.
All in all there were six different experiments to do in Jack’s Letterbox Lab box and they were all very exciting and different. He loved trying different things, seeing how they worked and investigating. He has already asked about getting another box so it is certainly something I am considering for a Christmas gift.
Are your children into science?