We are now up to month four of our Letterbox Lab and the excitement of it arriving hasn’t worn off yet – so much so that as we returned home one day we spotted the tell-tale purple box in the stack of post the postie was carrying down the road and Mr D and Miss E couldn’t wait to get their hands on it to see what fun it contained inside this month – even the postie knew that it was a particularly good post day for us that day!.
This month is ‘gas-powered’ and as usual, there are a good number of fun and interesting experiments to undertake. The box contained three packages – one for each experiment and the first one was ‘painting by cabbage’ which was a lot of fun and something I hadn’t done before.
We opened up the relevant package for this one and set about getting things ready for the experiment. Mr D carefully added water to the test tube that held the cabbage powder and then gave it all a good shake-up. We then poured it onto the paper (which we placed over a plate) and let it dry.
Whilst it was drying we had a chat about the colours that we could see, and what we thought would happen when we used the different things to ‘write’ on the paper with. Once the paper was dry (it only took a minute or two) we added some vinegar to a cotton bud and wrote on the paper, watching as it changed colour. We then added bicarb to see the different colours that the paper would go.
The purpose of this experiment is to look at the different effects of acids and alkalis. As I’ve said before it doesn’t matter that the children might not remember exactly what these things are, just introducing the language to them is beneficial.
Next up was ‘Rocket Balloons’ and with it a less messy experiment! This one was to demonstrate forces. The children really enjoyed this experiment – of course letting an enormous balloon fly around the room is going to be good fun! The children thought this was enormous fun and for some reason, I didn’t get any decent pictures of us doing this – I think they were a bit too eager to let the balloon go! I think they began to understand the concept that the experiment showed. This is one we have revisited already and we will definitely be doing again over the next couple of weeks.
Lastly, it was on to an old favourite of ours – bubbling volcanos. This builds on the first experiment a little and lets the children create a volcano. A nice little touch with this one is the inclusion of modelling clay to make the test tube look more volcano-like. We played with this for ages; adding more vinegar and bicarbonate of soda from our own supplies. This is always a popular experiment to do and I like that there is a really clear explanation of what is happening with the chemical reaction.
We had a lot of fun with this box – I think we spent a good 90 minutes working through it all and we have re-visited the rocket balloons experiment already. As ever, the attention to detail in the boxes is fantastic and I really can’t overstate the ease of having everything you need in one place ready to pick up and go. It means I can really make the most of Mr H’s naps and work through these boxes with the older two knowing that we will get it all finished before he wakes up, and have everything we need to hand.
We really do enjoy these boxes and Mr D is already asking when box five will be here! I am thrilled that Letterbox Lab have given me details of a discount for home educators to share with my readers.
Home Educators can now recieve 20% off the first box in the series and 10% off the rest. To access the code home educators need to get it touch via Facebook or email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Home educator discount” – and do let them know you found out about the discount via my blog. If you do take up this offer then do let me know – I’d love to hear how you’re getting on with Letterbox Lab.