Tuesday, 13 March 2012

National science and engineering week 2012

My two year old is like a sponge soaking up everything and it's great! I get asked about a million questions a day, all starting with ten rounds of "mummy"

He's starting to take an interest in science - we often do little experiments - usually with paint or other things from our craft box and I would say we've got engineering covered with thanks to building bricks and making robots from things in the recycling bin!

I was really lucky to be sent two kits to review in honour of national science and engineering week (9th - 18th march) and have loved getting Blake involved!

Great gizmos 4m science kits endorsed by the science museum has plenty of green kits - from building trash can robots to weather stations! We are doing a weather project so the weather station kits are on our shopping list already!

I've been talking to Blake about how we can use energy from the sun, one of his favourite books is the hungry caterpillar and I've been talking to him about the roll the sun plays so I was excited to test out the great gizmos solar rover kit - Blake can use it to learn how sunlight is turned into energy, the solar rover kit is a tin can car which we built to glide across the floor using solar energy – and the hotter it is – the faster it moves!

It was fairly simple to build although I did have to go back and check the wires as the first time it wouldn't run, but we got there - tested it by light bulb as there wasn't enough sun today. You can either use a fizzy pop can or the plastic body in the set. We started out with an empty pop can but swapped as the plastic body is easier for Blake to decorate.

Blake enjoyed helping me build it and we talked about different bits such as what the reflectors were for and which bit was the engine and how solar energy can be used.

We were also lucky to be sent an InterPlay my living worm world - Blake is a bit worm obsessed - he crawls around singing "I'm a wriggly worm" and points them out when we go puddle jumping!

I have to admit to being a little disappointed - it said on the box "just add worms" but the kit is actually missing soil - we're not in a position to just pop out to the garden for some so will have to wait until we can buy a small bag of compost. We hadn't realised this until we opened the box so a very excited toddler had to be quickly distracted. The kit includes 4 different shades of sand, the plastic housing, feet and a cardboard shade - there's also a great booklet full of worm facts - did you know, theres a worm that can grow to be 3metres long!!!

You can either go worm hunting - which is our plan! Or you can buy worms either from the order form in the box or a local supplier - we can buy earthworms from a local pet shop.

Looking forward to updating you with a worm photo! Blake will get to see the worms burring and churning the layers, watch them make chambers and eat leaves.

My living world From InterPlay is available for ants and triops too! - triops is already on blake's shopping list!

Interplay have a great collection of kits available - I can imagine Blake loving the weird slime laboratory when he's older! And having four nieces and a daughter, I'm imaging the lip balm factory would be a major hit!

Both the kits we reviewed are aimed at slightly older children but I chose to do them with Blake as he is at a stage where he wants to get involved and be my little helper - he asks a lot of questions!

What are you doing to get involved with national science and engineering week?

Emma in Bromley xx

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Emma x