There is nothing better than seeing the kids’ faces light up when they learn something new or watch something they don’t expect. Hands-on science activities always seem to produce those moments, and they learn so much while at the same time really enjoy the experience. A gift kids will enjoy that encourages learning? Perfect!
Disclosure: I received the product complimentary to facilitate my review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and those of my family.
If you’re looking for educational gifts children will love, Lakeshore Learning is a great place to go! They offer a variety of products for Infants – 11 years old as well as educational products for parents that encourages learning in all areas! If you have homeschooling families on your list, educational products are a big hit! Of course, as a homeschooling mom, I love getting our children educational products as well! Of course, any parent can appreciate educational products!
For our Lakeshore Learning review we received the Beginner’s Science Lab. It is recommended for ages 5-11 (or grades K-6) and includes easy to follow step-by-step instructions.
What I love about the Beginner’s Science Kit is that it includes a variety of experiments with a variety of materials and even includes safety materials. Some experiments share materials while others use different materials. The best part is, the box itself is the perfect storage system for all of the materials.
The book is written with simple instructions. Because our children are younger (ages 9, 7 and 5), I did the reading and writing and let them do the activities. Older children may be able to do it on their own but would still need adult supervision, of course.
Although I’m sure the projects would be done more easily in the order provided by the book (because the projects that share materials are follow each other), we decided to skip around. Our kids wanted to do the biggest, “coolest” experiment first, of course, which is the volcano, but I ultimately decided to save that for next week – the final week of our homeschool year.
We have done a few of the other projects, and the kids have really enjoyed them. This is definitely something they really want to do. It’s always a good thing when kids love to learn!
Some of the projects use strictly the materials that are provided with the kit. The kit is very extensive to even include measuring spoons, beakers, etc. Of course, things like water will need to be provided by you.
Some of the projects are more basic like this color project that is a hands-on and visual way to teach primary and secondary colors.
Other projects, require a little more and may even need items from around your home. Some projects I couldn’t do right away because I didn’t have the items – like plastic cups (we almost never use plastic cups), but others simply used items most people would have readily available like bowls and spoons.
The kids had a great time sculpting the Space Sand under water!
Each project is followed by a question session. What did you think would happen and what actually happened? I assume this is supposed to be asked all at once, but I wanted to challenge the kids to really form a hypothesis before we began the project, so I asked them before we began what they thought would happen. I think if you ask them after the fact, they may not actually say what they thought would happen because it might be so wrong or different from what really happened.
We would then talk about what really did happen. Following each question is a detailed, scientific explanation of the project. Although I did read everything from the text, I did also ask a few questions – for example, it notes the Space Sand is covered with a hydrophobic substance, so I asked them what they think hydrophobic means by breaking the word down into parts. Of course, that’s what I love about learning, we can always find moments to help them learn new things!
Lakeshore Learning Review
Overall, I think the Beginner’s Science Kit is great. It includes such a great variety of items and projects. The projects are presented in a way that is easy to follow and allows for teachable moments. It really has been neat to watch their faces when something totally unexpected happens. It’s also exciting to really watch them explore and want to discover more for themselves.
I’m a huge advocate for educational gifts. Children really learn a lot through play, and this Beginner’s Science Kit really offers many educational opportunities. The best part is, it offers them in a way that is simple to set up and use, so anybody can do it! You don’t have to be a science whiz to use this with your children! This would make a great gift for any children between the ages of 5-11 – particularly children who love hands-on projects!
Lakeshore Learning offers such a wide variety of great educational products both in stores and online! You can receive 20% off any single nonsale item with this special coupon! This coupon is valid through 12/31/15 at 11:59pm PST, so be sure to take advantage of this great 20% off coupon to get a gift your kids will love!