Letterbox Lab – Explore Box 12: Engineer the Future

Letterbox Lab – Explore Box 12: Engineer the Future

Letterbox Lab provide innovative children’s science kits as subscription boxes.
The Explore Box (£8 + £2 postage) is for kids aged 6+ and contains a least an hour’s worth of fun science.The Investigate Box (£22 + £2 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.My lovely helper is my daughter, Little C, age seven. I was sent an Explore Box, which is perfectly designed for her age group.
This month’s theme is Engineering the Future, and is the last Explore Box in the series.
The first project was Solar Photography. This one was quite simple but had a great effect!
There were two pieces of Sun paper in the box, in a black envelope to ensure the light doesn’t get to them.
The idea was to put some small objects on the dark blue paper, then leave it in the sun and see what happened! It happened to be a cloudy day, so it took a little while. 
But this is what it looked like afterwards! Very cool! You also needed to put the paper in water then leave it to dry, to ‘set’ the effect and stop any more light fading the paper. This picture was taken when it was set. You can see all the different shapes very clearly.
Next was the Third Dimension. 
First we used the 3D glasses to see how the green and blue lenses changed the colour of the blue and red dots.
Not the easiest thing to photograph, but it shows nicely how different coloured light is blocked by the coloured lenses. 
The next part involved making a holder for a polarizing filter.
I helped with the cutting out of the foam, and then Little C put it all together.
The filter was held against a tablet screen or similar, and as you turn it, the filter turns black! It’s something can is easily photographed, but Little C was impressed!
Finally came the moderately messy project, Moulded For Greatness!
This was definitely the favourite.
We added hot water to tiny plastic beads. 
After a little time in the water they became clear! It was at this point they could be moulded.
Little C decided to make a plastic boat, as suggested in the booklet.
It floats!
The solar paper activity was simple but very effective. Little C was amazed at how well the picture turned out!  We’ve got an extra sheet of Sun paper to make another picture with as well.
The Third Dimension activity was something else that was simple but had really impressive results. The concept was also very easy to grasp, and Little C was delighted to see the differences in each coloured lens of the glasses. The polarizing filter was also a lot of fun, and it was very interesting to look at the effect the filter made on clear plastic objects. It also meant we could talk more about light refraction from a previous box.
Children love to use their hands to make things, so the mouldable plastic was a great hit. The beads are made of thermoplastic, that can be heated and moulded again and again. It’s also a great way to talk about things like throwing away plastic and recycling.
We’re both very sad this is the last box in the series. It’s been a fantastic adventure, and Little C has had enormous amounts of fun! She’s remembered quite a lot of what we’ve done over the past year, and I know that these things will come up again in school in the future.
As a lovely bonus there were also a couple of little puzzles in the box, as gifts for completing the series. I can see there’s going to be some puzzling fun with these!

Our score: 9.4/ 10

Letterbox Lab is a lovely way to introduce young children to having fun with science, and to some of the basic scientific principles. Even if they don't understand everything at the time, it will mean that when these things are done again at school, there will be a little bit of familiarity. The perfect way to spend an entertaining and educational afternoon!

  • Quality of products9
  • Originality10
  • Packaging and delivery10
  • Value for money10
  • Selection of products8

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Rating: 4.5/5. From 4 votes.
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Letterbox Lab

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Letterbox Lab

  • Science experiments for kids
  • From £8