(Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.)
Our children read books at home to practice and strengthen their reading skills. They review math facts using flash cards and other tools to master math skills. But how often do your kids do science experiments at home to reinforce their science lessons at school?
Science experiments are one of the best ways for kids to get excited about science when they are outside of the classroom. Steve Spangler Science has an incredible collection of hands-on science experiment kits that your kids will be sure to love. By working together on the experiments, your children will have the chance to get creative, follow directions, work with new science tools, challenge themselves to learn something new, and have fun being fascinated by science. The best part of these kits is that they connect the incredible aspects of science to everyday life so our kids can really relate to what they are learning about.
Who Is Steve Spangler?
Steve Spangler is a teacher, science toy designer, speaker, author, and an Emmy award-winning television personality. Featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, in Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, WIRED, the History Channel, Food Network, and TIME Magazine, he has made hundreds of television appearances as an authority on hands-on science and inquiry-based learning. He is best known for his Mentos and Diet Coke geyser experiment that went viral in 2005 and prompted more than 1,000 related YouTube videos.
Spangler created SteveSpanglerScience.com, a company specializing in science toys, classroom science demonstrations, teacher resources, and engaging science experiment videos. Spangler Science has developed hundreds of educational toys and science-related products featured by retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R’ Us, Discovery Channel Stores, and over 1,400 independent specialty toy stores. Their goal is to provide customers with innovative hands-on activities, captivating demonstrations, hard-to-find supplies, and creative learning tools that teach people to be amazing.
What Makes Steve Spangler Products So Special?
There is something magical about a Steve Spangler kit. When ours arrived, my kids were so excited to see what is inside and what our challenge would be. Our experiment focused on solar science, which was perfect for us because we live in a very sunny spot and I am always so concerned about my kids getting a sunburn.
Here are just a few reasons why these kits are so special:
You can spend hours online trying to research how to do a certain experiment to teach your kids about a topic and then tracking down all the materials and tools necessary, or you can simply open up a Spangler box that is shipped directly to your front door. You will find everything you need for your experiment inside that kit, minus a few simple items that most families have lying around the house. Our experiment, for example, called for sunscreen and sunglasses, but these items were not necessary by any means.
The instructions are printed out nicely in a colorful booklet—one for you to share with your kids and another “Top Secret” one for adults only containing background information and tips to ensure that the experiment is a success. All of the materials were neatly packed and in tip-top shape. Steve Spangler kits save both time and money because you have everything you need at your fingertips.
Although Spangler kits are targeted to ages 7 to 14, they can easily be modified for younger children to enjoy. They also provide multiple layers of learning by including questions at the end of each experiment and building on prior experiments in the same kit. Another reason the kits are flexible is that they include several experiments using the same materials, so you can fill multiple days of activities using one kit.
Well Thought Out
The kits are very thorough, and you can tell they put tons of time and energy into getting everything perfect. All of the activities and kits are developed by science teachers and tested by students in the classroom using a team of Spangler Science Ambassadors. Spangler staff visits about 65,000 students in 120 schools each year to share their products.
Each experiment follows the scientific method and links to specific science concepts. At the end of each book there are some bonus activities to further challenge young scientists on the concepts they learned.
The kits are also extremely organized, with clear step-by-step instructions to follow. Colorful photos are included to help guide you, and there are even links to online videos where you can see the experiments in action. My kids and I really enjoyed watching Steve’s video of the experiments in our Solar Science kit. He walked us through what we needed to do and provided so many fun and interesting facts that went along with each particular experiment.
Finally, each monthly kit delivered through the Club program is built around a theme, such as power of air, kitchen chemistry, weather, energy, and color science to give you variety in your science exploration. These well developed themes help keep kids engaged in learning about science.
Inspires Creative Science Learning
In a country where some people are questioning the value of science, it is so crucial for us to raise scientifically literate children so they can grow up to be confident critical thinkers. Working on fun, intriguing science activities together as a family helps get our children in the habit of evaluating information presented to them. It helps them appreciate the awe-filled aspects of science. And it inspires creativity and curiosity in their lives.
The following is written on the Steven Spangler website: “We teach people to be amazing by providing them with products and innovations that are educational, entertaining, and inspire the imagination.”
What We Learned
Our kit contained four different types of experiments to learn about solar science. The first involved creating a safe sun viewer. Another part was to use a solar bag to learn about how the sun’s energy heats up air, causing it to rise. The kit also came with some sun sensitive paper and fabric to create beautiful works of art using the power of the sun. Finally, we used energy beads to demonstrate the impact of the sun’s rays. We spent a lot of time on this particular experiment talking about how the sun’s ultraviolet rays are so strong and can damage our skin. We witnessed with our own eyes how quickly the sun caused the beads to change from white to bright colors. When we covered the beads with sunscreen, sunglasses, or a solid object, the color faded.
Each experiment we did was challenging, yet fun and interesting for my kids. After our discoveries, we had so much to talk about. I know that they will take this knowledge with them because the learning experience was so enjoyable and memorable.
Don’t Miss Out On All The Fun!
Spangler Science Club offers amazing STEM experiments delivered to your door each month. Subscribers choose from three levels of membership that range from $9.99 to $29.99 per month. These kits are the perfect gift that keeps on giving all year long. Your kids will seriously love getting a Steve Spangler kit every month. It arrives with their name on it, so they will be thrilled to open it up and get experimenting.