Kids think science is boring? It’s time for them to think again!
Once kids get to secondary school, they get to do experiments in the science labs, but for primary school children, there’s not many opportunities for hands-on science.
Science4You toys are newly-launched in the UK. They allow 8-12 year olds to have fun with science by creating something exciting, while they are learning. The toys encourage fun, education and quality time with the family – perfect for school holidays and dark winter evenings!
The range includes five different toys and we were lucky enough to be sent the Candle Factory to test.
For her first experiment, my daughter decided to use the rose mould to make a violet rose-shaped, apple-scented candle. We read the instructions very carefully in advance and made sure we understood them before we started work, but we still made mistakes along the way!
It’s remarkable how quickly the paraffin starts to cool and harden once it has melted, and we took too long adding the colour and scent. In retrospect, we probably took it off the heat a little bit too early. I knew the finished product wasn’t going to be right even as it went into the mould.
Sadly, our first finished product was like a bad sandcastle! It was crumbly and the colour wasn’t evenly spread. That’s the mould on the right so you can what it SHOULD have looked like!
But we had much better luck next time – when my 14 year old son took charge and made a perfect blue star candle!
My kids really enjoyed their candle making experience and it’s good to see that we learned from our mistakes first time around to make a really good candle in the end.
The box states that children will need adult supervision. I’ll be honest – I thought that would just be me occasionally glancing up from my work to see how my daughter was getting on, but, no, they really do need adult supervision! They’re dealing with the hob and hot paraffin – not the sort of thing you would want to leave an 8 or 9 year old to do on their own. It’s actually pretty challenging stuff for an 8 or 9 year old. I wouldn’t even let my 11 year old son do it on his own.
Word of warning! I was very worried when I opened the booklet and discovered I needed to use an old pan. I don’t have an old pan. I have an induction hob, which requires magnetic pans. We have just enough pans to go around for cooking in, with no old or spare pans! If I’d known this in advance, I wouldn’t have picked this set. Messing up a pan would be a very costly mistake. I’m pleased to say the instructions do include advice on cleaning pans, which did work!
All of the products come with a 36 page educational booklet which delves into the basic concepts of science and how it applies to our everyday lives. Making candles was a great way for my daughter to learn about the effect of heat and cooling on chemicals – as well as some art and craft skills with the colour mixing. I learned something new too – I always thought paraffin was a liquid!
Making each candle is described as an experiment in the booklet and each one is rated in terms of difficulty. The basic candles using the moulds are rated 2 out of 4 – intermediate. There is also instructions for making candles in different ways, including recycled candles, mosaic candles and sand candles, all of which have a higher difficulty rating. I think we will be saving those until we’ve mastered the basics!
The booklets are linked to the science curriculum, meaning you can support their learning with Science4You. There is often additional educational content online at www.science4youtoys.co.uk
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