Category Archives: Cool Products

Melt It, Blow It Up, Smash It But Don't Eat It – New Book Shares Lots of Candy Experiments

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

Our office recently received a copy of the new book, Candy Experiments, by Loralee Leavitt. If you love candy, but don’t want it to all go to your waistline, this book is for you.

Candy Experiments covers a wide variety of activities with what else? Candy. Learn about secret ingredients hidden in your favorite candy, then blow it up, smash it, freeze it, melt it and experiment every which way with it. So don’t eat all of that holiday candy, experiment with it. The best part of this book is all of the activities use candy and other household materials.

The experiments have easy to follow step by step instructions and a What’s Happening section. It isn’t big on the science, but it is something all parents can do with their kids on a lazy afternoon.

We have followed Loralee on Pinterest for awhile and have enjoyed seeing her playing with her food. She even showed us how to sink a marshmallow and use up that extra Halloween candy.

We received a complimentary copy of Candy Experiments to review. All comments are our own. 

Leprechaun Science Secrets – The Best Activities for St. Patrick's Day

During the month of March, everything starts to turn green, and not just the grass and trees. It’s leprechaun season. Time to catch a sneaky little devil who hides gold coins while wreaking havoc all over.

For years, we have shared our secret for surprising the kiddos on St. Paddy’s Day morning by turning all of the water green in your house. Just unscrew the screen in the faucet, place a blue and yellow Fizzy Tints True Color Tablet inside and carefully screw it back on. Wiping any drips. Don’t use Easter Egg coloring tablets – they will stain. In the morning, when the kids turn on the water, it will run green. You can also drop a few tablets in the toilet to turn that water green too.

But don’t stop there. Take the kids on a journey to explore all of the Leprechaun secrets. Uncover hidden rainbows, fish for Leprechauns with appearing green worms, use a little green magic to grow Leprechaun eggs and inflate a giant eight-foot long Leprechaun sandwich with only one breath.

If your kids like St. Patrick’s Day, they’ll love this Leprechaun Science kit – and you’ll enjoy the opportunity to conduct each of the activities with your young scientist. This kit comes complete with an activity guide and the scientific explanations behind all of the experiments. The all-in-one kit is only $34.99.

New this year – the Leprechaun-ologists at the Steve Spangler Science Labs have pulled together all of the best St. Patrick’s Day experiments and activities and put them in a downloadable PDF. This 21-page St. Patrick’s Day Science Experiment Guide contains additional experiments not found in the kit. Some experiments require science materials and others use stuff you can find around the house. (Psssst. Here’s another secret. Purchase the pdf and receive a discount for 20% off the Leprechaun Science Kit, if you miss today’s deal.) The PDF is available to download right now for only $5.00.

What does it teach?

The St. Patrick’s Day Science Experiment Guide uses different fields of science to capitalize on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and make it a scientific learning experience that is fun and engaging.

  • Air movement and Bernoulli’s principle – The Leprechaun Bag
  • Light and refraction – Rainbow Glass and Leprechaun Eggs
  • Plants and movement of water – Color Changing Carnations
  • Polymers and water absorption – Leprechaun Snow and Green Worms
  • Design and fine motor skills – Leprechaun Footprints and Leprechaun Trap
  • Chemistry – Leprechaun Rainbow Milk and Leprechaun Treasure Polish
  • pH (acids and bases) – Magical Leprechaun Cabbage
  • Ultraviolet light and UV-reactive pigment – Rainbow Beads
  • Air movement and vacuums – Leprechaun Breakfast
  • Non-Newtonian fluids – Green Quicksand

Test Tube Valentines – A Science Message in a Bottle

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

I am not incredibly crafty, although I enjoy breaking the paper Valentine mold each year and finding something new and different. This year, my second grader and I are breaking out and making Valentines with test tubes. They are super easy, super fun and super unique. What could be better than a little love, a little science and an activity all wrapped up into one?

Materials

  • Test Tube Baby Soda Bottles
  • Candy
  • To, from stickers
  • Valentines stickers, ribbon or anything you want to use for decoration on the outside.
  • Experiment print out
  • Experiment materials

Start out filling the test tubes with Valentines candy. Add the stickers to the outside of the tube to include to and from. Then choose an experiment to include with the test tube. It can be something really simple or something a little more advanced. You can even mix up the experiments and share several. I have included a few test tube experiments that you can add inside the test tube…

 

 

 

 

 

When my oldest was in first grade, we made similar Scientific Test Tubes for her class. They were a huge hit, but I quickly learned that including Fizzy Tablets in a Valentine when kids expect candy wasn’t the best idea. (You can include them with the bubbling blobs experiment)  If you put together Test Tube Valentines, make sure they are age-appropriate.

Make a Love Connection with Valentines Day Science

Valentine’s Day is a holiday known for its dedication to love, chocolate, and… science? The Science of Love of course!

This year we are celebrating Valentine’s Day science with a kit full of the most eye-catching, heart-grabbing, hands-on science we can find. You can use the Valentine’s Day-themed activities however you want, with whoever you want, but we guarantee that the fun you’ll have will make for a holiday you’ll never forget.

Whether you are looking for activities to do in a classroom setting, at a Valentines party or just with some of your favorite kids, this kit has the experiments for you. So turn down the lights, turn up the music and start in on some science lovin’. In this kit you will find enough materials for nine experiments and suggestions to take them further.
Start off with testing how hot you are with the Love Meter. Gently squeeze the bulb on the bottom of the Love Meter 3000 or Hand Boiler for scientific purposes. The colorful liquid will begin to rise to the top and boil. You are that hot! Or it could be that it isn’t your love that makes the liquid boil but your body temperature.
Now that you know how hot you are, move on to the Energy Stick to make a love connection. Grab a friend or 20 and touch both ends of the Energy Stick. When you complete the circuit, or “connection” the lights and alarm will go off.
Design science jewelry to make amazing Valentine’s gifts. Use special color-changing UV Beads that change color in the sun. When your love takes their unassuming white beads outside, the beads magically change to brillant red. Forget the diamonds and chocolate this year and give them the gift that serves as a reminder for sun protection. If the beads are red, it’s time to put on the sunscreen. Can a diamond necklace save a life?
What about leaving your love a secret message to decode? Forget the boring paper heart Valentines and think like a scientist. Hydrate a bowl full of Water Jelly Marbles and hide a message underneath. When your Valentine fills the bowl with water, the water beads will magically disappear and reveal the message.
The Valentine’s Day Science Kit also contains Magic Color-Changing Flowers that turn pink when exposed to “love potion,” Fortune Telling Fish that identify just how you’re feeling about your crush, and a little Love Potion #9.
Those are just a few of the activities included in the Valentine’s Day Science Kit, and we bet you’ll combine them to create even more. The science of love is incredible! You will also have Professor Cupid with you every step of the way to explain the science behind each activity. This kit is great fun for all ages, but is recommended for scientists ages 10 and up with adult supervision.

What’s included?

  • 4 sheets of Magenta Heat Sensitive Paper
  • 1 Energy Stick
  • 1 Hand Boiler
  • 2 white carnations
  • 30 Fortune Telling Fish
  • 150 Red UV Color Changing Beads
  • 25 grams of Jelly Marbles
  • 12 pack of Fizzers Coloring Tablets
  • 2 Jumbo Test Tubes with rack
  • 4 oz spray bottle of ammonia
  • 4 oz bottle of phenolphthalein
  • 30 pipe cleaners
  • One pair of Clear Safety Glasses
  • Activity Guide

What does it teach?

The Valentine’s Kit uses different fields of science to capitalize on the Valentine’s Day holiday and make it a scientific learning experience that is fun and engaging.

The Perfect Gift for Budding Scientists – Do It Yourself or All in One Science Kits

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

Do you have a pint-sized scientist in your life? Do they want to set up a mad scientist laboratory in your kitchen?

We meet so many parents, grandparents and other influential adults who know a child who is obsessed with science. These supportive adults are constantly looking for new ways to inspire their budding scientist, even if they themselves, are either scientists themselves or completely clueless in the world of science.

One question we are asked a lot is – what do I give the kid who loves science to keep that love alive?

Here are a few suggestions to think outside the box and away from plastic toys and video games.

We sell several different types of all-in-one science kits for kids of all ages, interests and price ranges. Here are the kits, as a mom, I recommend as the best science gifts.

1. Splash of Color Kit  $7.99

Perfect for ages 2 and up. No science experience needed! How fast can you mix 24 different colors using only red, yellow and blue water? Combine art and science as students experiment by adding droplets of primary colors to the 24 tiny mixing cups and create an amazing splash of rainbow colors! Discover how to mix a rainbow of colors, and learn how scientists keep track of portions when they experiment with different colors and materials. Once the mixing is done, don’t throw your masterpiece down the drain! Pull out a bag of Water Jelly Crystals and drop a pebble-size crystal into each of the compartments. In just a few minutes, you will end up with 24 jiggly, jelly-like crystals in all the colors you made! This kit will need adult supervision – it contains tiny pieces. Older kids will also have a ton of fun mixing colors and making jelly crystals.

2. Six Test Tubes in a Rack $19.99

Perfect for new or inexperienced scientists ages 4 to 12 (and beyond). Seasoned scientists will also enjoy the activities. Each unbreakable test tube in this kit holds materials for one experiment that can be done over and over.  Experiment with a growing alligator, ooey gooey jelly crystals, bubbling potions, magic sand that stays dry under water, color-changing beads, polymer plants, a test tube rainbow and erupting snow! Each test tube is a stand alone experiment with easy to understand instructions and simple science explanations. This kit does contain small pieces.

3. Big Bag of Science $39.99

Perfect for seasoned scientists ages 5 and up. Also good for scientists that like a lot of different activities. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own laboratory, look no further than this bag of science secrets.  This kit contains over 60 different experiments in a reusable bag.  Blast off with a soda explosion from a Geyser Tube‚ learn about the science of polymers including giant spheres, growing crystals, and Insta-Snow, learn about acids and bases, or even make your own slime… over 70 activities in all!  The Big Bag of Science uses materials covering multiple fields of science to help develop specific skills.  You’ll use physical science, chemistry, life science, and biology to learn about observation techniques, measurements, experimentation, and classifcation.

4. Chemistry Kit $62.99
Perfect for seasoned scientists ages 10 and up with adult supervision. (This kit contains chemicals.) The CHEM C1000 may just be the best way for young scientists to dive into the captivating world of science and chemistry. In this fascinating kit, Professor Probenius will guide you through 125 awe-inspiring experiments. Learn how to build a mini fire extinguisher, make water flow uphill, float a soap-powered boat and entertain your friends and family with amazing chemistry “magic” tricks. Discover how to identify the elements in different chemical substances with brilliant flame tests, and then use chemical reactions to make an American flag mysteriously appear.
5. Do It Yourself Kit  $Unlimited
The best part about this kit? You set the spend, you choose the science supplies and experiments and you tailor make it for the scientist in your life. Many items can be found in stores or online or at SteveSpanglerScience.com.
Here are some ideas to include in your science kit:
Check out all of the amazing science kits at Steve Spangler Science. You are sure to find the perfect gift for the mad scientist in your life. Don’t forget Test Tube stocking stuffers and for more ideas, visit our Top 12 Smart Toys gift list.