Letterbox Lab provide innovative children’s science kits as subscription boxes.
Two different versions:
The Explore Box (£7.99 + 89p postage) is for kids aged 6+ and contains a least an hour’s worth of fun science.
The Investigate Box (£21.99 + £2.57 postage) has more experiments and more items of collectible lab equipment with enough to keep a junior scientist busy for 3 or 4 hours.
Both kits have full-colour illustrated instructions and online videos to make it easy to do all the experiments.
On to the actual review!
My lovely helper is my daughter, Little C, age six. I was sent an Explore Box, which is perfectly designed for her age group.
Fits perfectly through the letterbox.
Plus a couple of bonus fun facts!
This month’s theme is Gas Powered.
Yes, gas powered is exactly what I thought when I saw cabbage!
The first project was the cabbage-related one, Painting by Cabbage.
Again, everything is provided except for water and a plate.
You add water to the tube of cabbage powder using the pipette, and give it a good shake.
Pour the mixture on the paper, then the fun stuff starts.
You then soak the two cotton buds in vinegar and bicarb water respectively, and you can make patterns!
Yes, you guessed it, this was testing for acid (vinegar) and alkali (bicarb).
We also tried the fizzing paper.
You can see the red and blue coloured reactions.
Next up, Rocket Balloons.
This first meant blowing up one of the two long balloons and seeing what happens when you let go.
The balloon flew around the kitchen making the most ridiculous noise.
So now, time to control it.
We attached yarn to the window, threaded it through a straw, and then stuck the straw to the inflated balloon (holding the end closed tight!).
And away it flew to the window!
We also set up two pieces of yarn and had a race between the long balloon and the round balloon.
This was Little C’s prediction of the results:
She was correct!
This activity taught us about Newton’s Third Law of Motion.
And now on to the final experiment, the Bubbling Volcano.
This had a Messiness Rating of 3 (out of three) which is extremely promising.
I’m sure you can guess what this one was. Everyone has done this at school, and it’s a lot of fun!
The addition of clay to make a little volcano is a really nice touch.
In goes the bicarb.
And the dyed vinegar.
Behold, the eruption!
Another fantastic box from Letterbox Lab.
It was a wonderful way to spend an annoyingly rainy (August) morning. There was plenty of mess involved, and some really interesting stuff to learn.
You should be able to spend a happy morning or afternoon with the whole box, or you can do the activities individually whenever you like.
There are also things that are included you can use again, which is very helpful. It’s nice to build up a little collection of scientific equipment!
I’m really impressed at the little thoughtful details they add.
The long balloon was one of the ones that make silly noises, which gave it an extra-entertaining dimension.
The addition of food colouring to the volcano project is inspired. Having clay so little hands can make their own volcano is also a special touch, as every child loves playing with clay.
We’ve left our volcano to dry so we can play with it again. I may have to add red food colouring to the shopping list as well!
One fantastic thing about this box is that it felt like ‘real chemistry’. Test tubes and fizzing stuff feels terribly grown-up, and Little C was incredibly pleased with it.
She decided that it tied with the previous month’s Slime Box for fun value, as she couldn’t decide which one was her favourite.
There’s so much at the moment with girls and STEM subjects, and this is a wonderful and totally neutral introduction to science for all children. The little cartoon characters, Meg and Pico, that guide you through the activities are a boy and a girl, and it’s frequently Meg who takes the lead. I don’t know if this was intentional or not on the part of the creators, but it’s very encouraging.
There are several things that will resonate in school as time goes on, such as Newton’s Third Law and acids and alkalies. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity learn in such a fun and inspiring way.
Brilliant stuff Letterbox Lab!