Help your budding scientists make some explosive fun with these tween-friendly lab sets (some household items required – and perhaps a fire extinguisher would be prudent)…
First there was Horrible Histories, and now there’s Horrible Science – and it’s explosive stuff! Inside the Explosive Experiments box, knee-high Guy Fawkes will find everything (almost – see below) they need to create and launch a rocket, watch a volcano erupt, make a lava lamp and mix up some seriously slimy snot (always a winner). There’s also a Top Secret Lab Notebook with easy-to-follow instructions and handy illustrations. Although the set comes with loads of goodies – from goggles to the all-important snotty slime powder – you’ll also need some household items, including a bike pump, vinegar and oil (the veggie kind – most definitely NOT the car kind!).
Explosive Experiments (age 10+): £15.99. galttoys.co.uk
Bath Bomb Factory
Get ready for some good, clean fun with Wild Science’s The Bath Bomb Factory. Your nippers can experiment with all the ingredients to create sweet-scented bath bombs with serious fizz. Exciting stuff indeed, but it also teaches them about the science behind the bubbles. Kids will learn all about the changes that occur when different materials are mixed together (and what happens when they meet water). In fact, the effervescent experiments in this kit support National Curriculum Science KS2 and have been created to encourage kids to explore science in a creative way. So, time to scrub up on some science while creating Marbelised Bombs, Haunted Balloons, Closet De-Pongers, Bathroom Volcanoes (that’s not as gross as it sounds), Suck and Spit Thingies (neither is that!), Soda Powered Submarines and more. And the best bit? There’s enough material in the kit to repeat the fun over and over again.
Wild! Science Bath Bomb Factory (age 10+): £11.95. prezzybox.com
Booms, Bangs! Fizzes
As the name suggests, you get a lot of booms for your bucks in this set, with a whole heap of noisy, messy, bubbling, fizzing, explosive experiments for your pint-sized physicist to get their mitts on. Explode a rock-salt depth charge, launch a film-canister rocket, fire a jet-engine balloon screamer, pump up a cola bottle spaceship, erupt an underwater volcano and lots more. As with most science sets, you’ll need a few other bits and pieces, but these are listed at the top of each experiment, so you don’t get half way through to find you can’t finish it. You’ll also find warnings at the top of each page to let you know if you should do this experiment outdoors, or wear goggles etc. There’s also ‘science bit’ for each experiment, which explains in kid-friendly language what’s happening and why, so they’ll sneakily be learning as they explode stuff. Nice touch.
Booms Bangs! Fizzes (age 8+): £21.99. Johnadams.co.uk
Exploding Booms Experiment Kit
Once 5th November has been and gone, and the family pooch and moggy think it’s finally safe to come out from beneath the sofa, they’d best think again, as every experiment in the Nickelodeon Exploding Booms Kit is designed to go with a satisfying ‘bang’ (seriously – nervous pets should be put in another room, or given ear muffs). That means boom bags, rockets and baking powder for blowing up balloons (again, check for the extra ingredients before starting an experiment, if you want to avoid your young scientists blowing up in frustration). Plus, there’s a working volcano to create that really erupts. This set is perfect for mini mad scientists who like things LOUD!
Nickelodeon Exploding Booms Experiment Kit (age 8+): £10. Thetoyshop.com
Kitchen Chemistry Set
There’s a whole cookery book’s worth of experiments packed inside this Kitchen Chemistry set. Using common household ingredients, kids will find things that fizz, stretch and change colour as they experiment with lemon, vinegar, soap, salt, eggs etc. What’s more, as they measure acids and alkalis, they’ll learn about chemical reactions, enzymes and mixing – all key concepts in the National Curriculum that the kids can put to the test. And Dad gets a treat too, as your wanna-be Heston Blumenthals may end up with a few results that look good enough to eat.
Kitchen Chemistry Set (age 8+): £20. Sciencemuseumshop.co.uk
Exploding Volcano Workshop
What child (or dad for that matter) could resist making a wicked range of volcano bombs, eh? Containing everything needed for experiments and an easy-to-follow activity guide, the Exploding Volcano Workshop will enable your volcanologists to master the skills of acid and base reactions to create colourful lava flows and bubbling mineral pools, explore and make different kinds of volcano bombs, create a themed ‘Island workbench’ based on Twin Calderas of the Little Sitkin volcanic island in Alaska, and watch eruptions up close without suffocating from sulphur poisoning. Awesome fascinating fun. (Warning: goggles, gloves and mask should be worn as slime can explode when squeezed – oh lordy!)
Wild! Science Exploding Volcano Workshop (age 8+): £12.99. flairplc.co.uk