March 25, 2016

Science With Tots Deluxe Kit from Timberdoodle...It's Not Just for Tots! {Product Review}

We love science at our house. If the boys had their way, we would do science every single day of the week. Big messy experiments. But in the real world of our homeschool, that just isn't going to happen. One of the biggest issues I have with experiments is collecting all the materials needed--because I always seem to be missing something. The other is that Baby Britches (Age 5) doesn't always get to do cool exciting experiments like his older brother. Enter Timberdoodle Co, and their Science With Tots Deluxe Kit! We were all eager to review this product to see how it worked for our family!

Product Summary

Science With Tots Deluxe Kit is a product from the award winning Timberdoodle Co. Timberdoodle has been around since 1985 and is a family owned company dedicated to bringing you the best options for homeschooling supplies! 

Science with Tots Deluxe Kit brings you the My First Super Science Kit, the Learning Resources Early Science Explorers Kit, the Horseshoe Magnet, and access to the exclusive Science with Tots e-book download. This download has thirty-six weeks of easy, hands-on experiments that help you take this kit even further!

An example of weekly experiments/tips from the exclusive e-book.

Here are all the supplies that are included in the kit--which is inside of a zippered clear storage bag:
The only things you will need to provide will be odds and ends from around your house like cups, water, rubber bands, coffee well as potting soil and fast growing seeds (grass, beans, radishes, or flowers or whatever grows quickly). 

The Science With Tots Deluxe Kit retails for $56.60 and is also included in the Timberdoodle 2015 Pre-K Curriculum Kit

How Did We Use This Product?

There was much excitement when the box arrived from Timberdoodle and we started taking out all the items. Baby Britches was ready for me to bust it open, and was bummed when I mentioned that I wanted to look over everything first. 

The first things I dug out was the instruction manual, where I was very happy to discovered a whole host of experiments laid out for me. Each of the activities are labelled at the top noting the type of science, the area of science, and the science skill it is. Every activity notes what supplies are needed from the kit, and for you to grab. The experiment is very simply laid out. Included in the experiment is questions for discovery for the adult to ask the student. Once the experiment has been explained, there is a section that describes the science behind the experiment--giving a delightful little science lesson to the child. There are 70 different activities included in the manual, from simple magnifying glass use, to the messy ones that kids adore. 
List of all the Supplies needed (and the ones included)
Example of an activity (ie. experiment) from the manual
I also looked over the exclusive e-book that is included with the purchase of a Deluxe kit. It is full color, and ties in with the manual. It is a 36 week full curriculum guide for helping you use your kit throughout a traditional school year. I appreciated the tips included in the e-book with advice like --don't throw out your colored water! You will need it for the next experiment. The book can be printed out (it's in pdf form), or you could simply use it on a tablet for easy reference. I chose to just reference it as needed on my Kindle.

Throughout the manual--with every activity--your child is encouraged to record their results and predictions through words and illustration in a science notebook of sorts. We use a primary composition notebook as it has the lines for writing, and space for drawing.

This kit was originally intended to be used with my 5 year old (Baby Britches), but as we continued exploring the different experiments, it became clear that Little Britches (Age 10) was JUST as interested. 

Here are some photos of our times exploring some of the activities included in the kit...

Learning about a magnifying glass

Documenting his results
My little mixologist at work creating new colors

the Super Absorbent Crystals we turned into colored Jelly Crystals
Learning about how markers are made up of many different colors

Exploring chemical reactions with baking soda and colored vinegar

Fizzy Art!

Learning about basic laws of circuits with the Energy Stick

They REALLLY love this Energy Tube and how it works. They thought it was hilarious that you could make it flash and make noise when they completed a circuit by kissing me if we were all holding it.

As of right now, we have also made rainbow tubes, grown a spider and a starfish, and learned about primary colors. We have hardly scratched the surface of this kit--and so much left to do!

Our Thoughts on the Product

The boys think it's awesome. They would be content if we did nothing but one experiment right after another. Their favorites are anything that makes messes, or does the unexpected, however, they both REALLY enjoy the magnifying glasses included and the big magnet. 

I honestly can't say enough about this kit. I have written many posts about how the one thing I hate about doing science in our homeschool is the experiments--how I never seem to have what is needed. This kit takes that aspect away! I now have test tubes, pipettes, tweezer, magnifying glasses, and all the nitty gritty supplies to do the cool experiments. Another thing that I really like? The absorbent supplies they included--can all be dried out and stored to use again and again and again!

I love how the experiments are set up with information about WHY everything does what it does AND the science skill that each activity teaches. This kit is really ideal for starting your science adventures off fabulous! 

Although the age on this is suggested at age 4-8, my 10 year old has loved doing every single experiment with us. Having the observation notebooks as suggested, allows him to document what we discuss and what he learns. I would definitely suggest that the Science with Tots Deluxe Kit, is NOT just for tots--but a GREAT starter kit for ANY elementary leveled child. 

As a parent I appreciate that all the information is there for me--what to say, what to do, what to explain. No guessing. No creating from scratch. It would be very easy to add on to all of these experiments with additional reading and exploration--or to pick the ones you  need to match whatever curriculum you are currently using.

I would absolutely recommend this product as a great starter kit for any homeschool with elementary grade students. I also think it would make a great gift for any science minded child/family. We will definitely be pulling out the various elements of this kit for our science adventures in the future! I am very happy to have such success with my first Timberdoodle product and look forward to many more in my future!

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