My boys are disgusting, if it isn’t talk about farts, poop or snot then it’s Minecraft this, Stampy that. I have always tried to spark their imagination and get them active in learning by using things that interest them. For example, Jack and Oliver really love their Minecraft game, So I set the challenge for them to design a house (on paper) using materials only available in the game. Little did they know they were doing math and some science too, Burning wood to make charcoal.
I was asked recently if the boys would like to review the Gross Science set from John Adams. It is utter revolting and full of the icky stuff my boys seem to love! With British Science Week also happening this week it seemed to be the perfect opportunity, so Oliver got stuck in.
The set is aimed at children 7+ (although with help, younger children could do some of the instructions) and contains 12 activities to really entice them into learning. Included in the set you receive pretty much everything needed. Although (as with a few kits we have used in the past) there are always a couple of items that you need to have. The items you need are (some of these are used more than once);
- Petroleum Jelly,
- an old container
- sharp pencil
- a pair of scissors
- and a non patterned (preferably white) tissue
- plastic spoon
- wooden spoon
- powdered cocoa
- slice of brown bread
- sweet corn
- mixing bowl
- rubber band
- ladies tights
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Jelly (2 kinds)
- Cling Film
- Flaked almonds
The instruction booklet
Within the instruction booklet is everything you need to get started. These are science experiments and as such there are lots of warnings. They are all clearly displayed on the front but it is worth noting to make sure you give them a read before you start. On the first page is also advice for supervising adults and some basic first aid information should a child consume any of the materials.
“Hi. My name is Stumpy the Odious Ogre and welcome to Gross Science. My totally awesome kit that will take you on a voyage of discovery of just how gross the human body can be. It will teach you about such things as what poo is made from and how one is formed. How burps brew and just how big a human’s brain is.”
Stumpy features throughout the booklet as the one sharing the experiments and for each experiment he teaches the children (and adults too) all about the item they are creating. For example one of the first experiments we did was all about poo and Stumpy answered questions like “Why my poo is brown?” and “Why does Poo smell?”
Experiment 1 – Farts
First thing first and that is personal protection, within the kit you are sent 1 pair of safety goggles. You are also reminded to cover any work surfaces with newspaper and to wear old messy clothes. Fortunately for us our table is old and in dire need of a sand and varnish.
The instructions were really simple to follow and Oliver was able to understand them. What I found really helpful was when an item of equipment was needed they numbered them, so you can reference it to the main picture.
The experiment was really super easy and perfect way to introduce yourself to the set. We couldn’t wait to start experiment number 2.
Experiment 2 – Bouncy Poo
Bouncy poo is really similar to how Farts was made except you add some colouring to the mix to help achieve that brown colour. Oliver was impressed with how quickly it changed consistency but when putting the goo into the poo mould he didn’t like the texture. It was rather slimy and such an odd feeling to touch.
Experiment 3 – Snot
Who doesn’t like a bit of snot? To say Oliver enjoyed this experiment is rather a large understatement he loved it! Again, the instructions were really easy to follow and although we had to wait 24 hours to settle the mixture it was a really fun experiment. This experiment needed a little bit more concentration as you had to be really quick to pour the liquid from one cup to another. If (like us) you are a little bit slow then clumps form and it meant we had to wait a little longer to play with it.
Oliver was super impressed with how quickly his water turned to “snot” almost straightaway he noticed the difference.