We have been enjoying the monthly Letterbox Lab boxes so far, and box three is all about slime and swirls so I knew this would be a great box to get stuck into.
As ever, the box is packed with everything you need – you can literally pick up the box and just get on with the experiments. I love this. It requires zero planning from me and it means we can get stuck straight in without the children getting frustrated whilst I gather a selection of different materials and equipment together.
As I unpacked the box Mr D reached straight for the guide – he does enjoy leafing through this. We then decided to set about with experiment one – making slime.
This was a little messy but lots of fun. We added the cornflour and shampoo into a bowl then mixed the food colouring with some water, before mixing that into the bowl with the cornflour and shampoo.
The children did struggle a little mixing this so I mixed it all together before they then plunged their hands in. They were a bit unsure about it at first so made sure they had their gloves on. They were soon convinced though to have a feel of the slime with their bare hands.
The slime is great – it’s perfect for getting them to use their language skills to describe what happens as the slime is moved around in their hands and then as they keep their hands still. I then (attempted!) to explain to them why it acted as it did and explained the idea of solid, liquid and gasses.
The children spent a good while playing with this and talking about how it felt, and whether it was how they had expected.
Once we had cleaned up our hands and wiped the table down, we moved onto the cloud in a bottle – this is a beautiful experiment to do and I plan to do this on a larger scale with them again in the future. The children enjoyed doing this – and they loved how when the test tube was tipped up then the swirls appeared even more vividly.
We then shone a torch light at the test tube – great for showing the swirls in greater detail and I really must try this at night time when it’s darker – see how the effect is changed.
Finally, we moved onto the last experiment with the ready made putty style slime. The children took the warning about the slime not coming out of clothes a little too seriously and decided to take their t-shirts off and replace with aprons! They spent ages playing with this, stretching it and making lots of different shapes with it. I showed them how to ‘snap’ the slime but pulling it quickly and they set about trying that – it took them a while to get the hang of doing that.
We are really enjoying these letterbox lab boxes and I really can’t speak highly enough about them. There is a lot to go at in these boxes, and everything is explained in brilliant detail. It doesn’t matter that the children don’t 100% grasp the concepts at the moment, just doing stuff like this and using the language too helps embed those ideas at this early stage.
You can read about the first and second boxes at the links below and more about Letterbox Lab and how to subscribe here.