Thursday, July 4, 2013

My First Science Experiments - Product Review from Lakeshore Learning

The brightest and hottest days of the summer are approaching.  Why not stay cool inside while learning some new and exciting things in cool ways?

Summer learning is is something I'm very passionate about.  I spent 4 years teaching 1st and 2nd grade and watching kids come back to school in the fall with such different summer experiences.  I was always delighted with the children who had the opportunity to grow and expand their learning over the summer and sad for those who didn't.  Exercising the mind is such and important thing to do all of the time.  I believe that as parents we are responsible for providing experiences and opportunities for our children to grow year round, whether or not they attend a formal school.

I am thrilled to be able to do a couple summer time product reviews for Lakeshore Learning.  They are one of my favorite places to visit and I always walk out having found everything I needed plus many things that I wanted.  I've even scheduled play dates to take my mom friends there to share the awesome.  Man, the teacher in me is all giddy now :)
We received 2 products from Lakeshore to review this summer.  The "Trace and Write Alphabet Center" geared toward EMan's ability will be featured on July 18th.  Today we're featuring "My First Science Experiments" geared toward CJ's ability.

When the box first arrived and I set the science kit on the piano the boys were immediately drawn to it.  I shared in their excitement and we set a time to get to work learning.
 When we opened it up there were immediately engaging elements that the boys really wanted to dive into right away.  We started with the step-by-step instruction guide and I was SO pleased to see that it was set up in a child friendly manner.  CJ was able to read much of the titles ("What you need:" and the language was interesting to him as I read aloud the instructions.
 He had so much ownership of the project after reading the instructions that he was ready to lead this exploration.  We got to work following the instructions and pouring the water.
 We dropped in one color tablet at a time and watched it fizz and bubble.  I wish that the instruction manual had an extended science section because the boys asked why the color tablets reacted that way in the water and I couldn't find the information online anywhere.  They did love watching the magic tablets dance in the water.
 I'm not too thrilled with the color coding of the color tablets. I *luckily* guessed correctly and we did end up with a red, yellow and blue square like we intended too.  I wish the packaging specified what colors where in there so you didn't feel so uncertain.
 This set is engaging our minds and muscles on so many levels.  We're reading, asking questions, and working on fine motor skills!
 EMan jumped at the opportunity to work on this project with brother.  We were mixing colors and experimenting with the outcomes.  I love the conversation that happens while we explore life together.
"I want to add some blue and see what happens." -CJ
"What would happen if we did a lot of red and a teeny bit if blue?" -me
"What if we add a lot if blue and a teeny tiny bit of red?" -CJ
"How about 2 scoops of red, 3 scoops of yellow and 1 scoop of blue? Mommy, it kinda turned into black!" -CJ
 For the second experiment we added some gel crystals and had to leave them in the water for 1 hour.  The boys sat staring at the timer.  What a great chance to learn about length of time!
 We learned some new vocabulary (primary colors and secondary colors).  We experimented with time to discover how long an hour is.  We explored different textures and discussed what changes had occurred.  We even applied math skills in counting out drops of color.  My First Science Experiments touched on numerous brain building skill sets all while being actively engaging, and that's merely in the first 2 experiments out of 13!  Isn't that what we all want in our learning?  Keep an eye out in the next few weeks for more posts of our engaging science fun!
"What's happening?" -me
"The crystals are changing into the same color as the water. They grew and sucked up the water. It is soft as jello." - CJ

Inside the Box:
*Step-by-step instruction guide
*Materials for 13 different experiments
*Plastic Test Tubes
*Color mixing tray
*Color Tablets
*Gel Beads
Cost: $19.99

Not only does Lakeshore have a great selection of items both in store and online, they also offer great customer perks.  They have free crafts for kids every Saturday, there are teacher workshops throughout the school year and a teacher's club available even for homeschooling parents (yay for cheap laminating!)!  If you follow Lakeshore on Facebook you'll have access to many things that may have gone unnoticed before. I love their July PreK-3rd grade daily activity calendar!

"Make this the summer of learning!" Stop by Lakeshore today and grab that something special to engage your child's mind this summer!

*I was given a copy of this product from Lakeshore to review.  All opinions are my own. 


  1. Wow! I'll definitely have to check out Lakeshore!

  2. That product looks like a lot of fun and i'm sure my little munchkins would enjoy it!! I own a preschool near Tacoma, WA and have been looking for some things for the kids to do that pertain to science. Thanks for your post!

    1. You bet! We've really been enjoying the activities in this set and I bet your littles would love them too!