We were recently sent the Science Mad! Chemistry Lab from Trends UK to review. With schools currently closed due to COVID-19 we are currently having to homeschool so any educational toys were certainly very welcome.
The Science Mad! Chemistry Labis aimed at children aged 10+ and comes with most of the equipment you need to make over 80+ science experiments. There are some additional things you will need to buy such as methylated spirit (for the spirit burner), distilled vinegar and citric acid amongst other some other items in order to do some of the experiments.
The set comes with 10 chemicals, glass test tubes, vessels, a spirit burner, apparatus and safety glasses as well as a very comprehensive instruction manual. Its strongly advised that all experiments are done under close adult supervision.
The manual starts off by walking you through the steps in how you can set up your Chemistry lab and how to safely use the equipment. There are over 80+ experiments at different levels of complexity. You can choose to work through them in order or simply pick any experiment you like the look of.
As we were beginners with the kit and because we struggled to get hold of some of the items needed for the other experiments, we decided to start with the first few experiments in the manual. The first one had us learning about soluble and insoluble substances where we had to recover a dissolved substance (salt) by boiling off water.
For this, we had to use the spirit burner. However, we didn’t manage to get any methylated spirits for our burner so we unsuccessfully tried using rubbing alcohol. In the end, we improvised and used a candle.
We then did the same experiment, this time using just boiling water on its own and then distilled water to see if we could see any difference. E recorded all our findings in his own “experiment book”
Our next experiment was to make some invisible inks. This taught us that some substances can be different colours depending on whether they are hot and cold. The first step was to make invisible ink from a lemon, then we moved onto using chemicals such as iron sulphate and mixing two chemicals together (copper sulphate and ammonium chloride) We used cotton buds dipped in the ink substances we made and wrote messages on paper. Once they had dried, we heated the paper up with an iron to see our hidden messages.
My eldest has enjoyed the experiments we have tried so far. My youngest also had a go at writing his own hidden messages with the invisible ink substances we made. Each experiment clearly lists all the items you need at the start so you can quickly gauge whether its an experiment you can do straight away or whether you need to buy some additional bits and pieces.
I was impressed with the Chemistry lab set but would strongly advise parents to buy some of the additional items ahead of time to avoid any disappointment in not being able to do certain experiments. The set is very comprehensive and I can see it lasting a good while. We are looking forward to trying out some other experiments which include paper chromatography, looking at acids and alkalis and chemical reactions.
The Science Mad! Chemistry Lab retails at £29.99 and is available to order online on sites such as Smyths and Amazon.