Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Slime and Polymer Lab

Slime and Polymer Lab

Fall 2012 Toys
Ages: 5 & Up
Price: $39.99

Science kits fill many parents with equal parts excitement and apprehension. While we may want our children to learn and explore new science concepts, it is also true that the experiments described in some kits will be daunting. Some kits do not include enough materials to perform each experiment, while others explore science concepts that might be difficult for a non-expert parent to describe. The Slime and Polymer Kit by the Young Scientists Club manages to avoid these issues with a set of materials and experiments that are comprehensive, engaging, and clear.

Our tester wrote that when she lifted the top off the beautifully designed Magic School Bus shaped box, everyone around her table shared in a loud "WOW!". As she pulled out the trays of cool looking science tools (measuring cup, test tubes, mixing spoon) and the assorted lab "ingredients" (colorfully placed in small vials), her and her children knew the experiments would be fun. They couldn't wait to jump in.

The kit offers an initial, easy-to-read card which describes polymers and how they work. With this info, we were free to start with any of the 20 experiments on the stack of cards. Our tester's first experiment required milk and vinegar (not provided in the kit), and we made glue. Immediately, her children wanted to do another, so they made "snow" with the absorbent crystals. Each card has the easy to read and follow instructions for the experiment, and each experiment takes about 15-20 minutes. On the back of each card is a short explanation of what happened in the experiment. Testers found the time for the experiment, explanation and clean up was less than 30 minutes for each one. The explanations and instructions were easy enough for a 2nd grader to read, and for a 4-year-old to follow.

The experiments were so fun that our testers' children were prompted to declare "Science Saturday", and they pledged to do one or two experiments each weekend. On the first Science Saturday, they invited friends over to make slime and a bouncy ball. Considering how much fun and learning the kit prompted, our reviewer advises other parents to skip the toy aisle and look for the Slime and Polymer Lab kit when gift shopping.

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys.

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