Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Review: Science Maxi Ravensburger Prehistoric Expedition

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We were very excited to be sent a Ravensburger Science X Maxi Prehistoric Expedition set to review at half term:

Perfect for budding scientists! There is a fascinating booklet included in the kit with all 15 activities listed in it, each of which take you further through time:

  1. create a time line from the cut out photos in the book
  2. make a trilobite model out of plaster cast
  3. make a nautilus model from plaster cast
  4. make an Ichthyostega model in plaster
  5. examine an ammonite with a magnifying glass
  6. construct a giant dragonfly
  7. make an Ichthyosaurus model in plaster
  8. excavate a fossil
  9. make an Archaeopteryx plaster model
  10. construct a T. Rex in cardboard
  11. hatch triops
  12. look after triops
  13. light experiments with triops
  14. feeding experiments with triops
  15. harvest triops eggs and start again!

Typically my kids never bothered with the book they just grabbed the items that intrigued them the most. The first thing my son went for was the fossil excavation:


When he finished we had a mini dinosaur:

Next up my daughter chose to do the Tyrannosaurus Rex model. This is made of thick card and she easily managed to pop out the pieces and construct them by herself:

It makes a pretty scary and realistic fossil model:

She had a brief attempt at the dragonfly on her own but said it was too hard. We haven't had a chance to try either making plaster cast models or grow triops yet as they need more time and space than we have had recently! At least I know we have something to do on a wet weekend in the future and the triops will need to wait for the summer and some warmth as our house is too cool at the moment...

I have to say that even though £29.99 RRP seems quite pricey there are hours if not days of activities in the kit. We still have plenty more to be getting on with and I'm looking forward to making the models. Just hope I finally succeed in growing triops as we have failed in the past - the instructions in this set look so much better than in previous ones though.

If you have fans of prehistory in the house and they are 8+ then this would be a great present. Some of it will require grown up help and plenty of newspaper to prevent mess!

Family Fever

Monday, 7 November 2011

Monday Book Review: Discover the Extreme World

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We were sent this book for my 8 year old to review. She is a science nut and history buff so this was right up her street. The back cover says:

Our awesome planet as you've never seen it before

Feed your imagination with this unique insight into the world of extremes. Dedicated to exploring only the explosive, extraordinary, and incredible, these adrenaline-packed pages reveal everything from speed machines and storm chasers to ferocious predators.

The book has been put together by the Discovery Channel and has 6 sections:
  • Active Earth
  • Awesome Animals
  • Incredible Science
  • Ultimate Machines
  • Super Humans
  • History Revealed

When I handed the book to my daughter on the way home from school she immediately dived into a random page and started reading me facts about alphabets around the world. I was then regaled with the timeline of the history of the universe!

Each double page is dedicated to one theme with a bite size paragraph on each sub topic and plenty of illustrations. These manage to engage a child's attention for enough time for them to learn some fascinating facts. This is one of my daughter's favourite pages:

The other thing designed to appeal to its target audience is the gruesome details on some sections! To get my daughter to hand the book back to me to write this review took some coercion as she wants to keep it on her bed. As an adult I actually enjoy reading bits to my daughter and I'm being distracted by dipping into it now as I type.. The only negative thing I have to say is that the book is American and so therefore uses imperial measurements first (metric in brackets) which my daughter needed to have explained. It also uses American English which caused some confusion to her. 

The book has an RRP of £17.99 but I have found it on Amazon for only £9.17. It would make a great Christmas present for a child 8+ or indeed a great addition to the coffee table for adults to peruse.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Bang Goes the Theory Roadshow

The kids and I were very lucky and got tickets in the draw for the Bang Goes the Theory roadshow in Manchester today. My daughter and I are big fans of this science show so there was much excitement on nearing the venue:

There was quite a wait before the doors opened but once in there was so much hands on activity for children and adults:

The above selection included:
  • painting with maggots
  • using microscopes to look at water samples
  • sniffing good and bad smells
  • blowing bubbles into a box which contained dry ice
  • using a green screen to forecast the weather
  • balancing a beach ball on a jet of air

During the 3 hour session there were 3 stage demonstrations from the usual presenters: Dallas Campbell, Jem Stansfield and Liz Bowen:

Basically they recreated a few of the experiments they do on the series. There were a lot of bangs in the final session which went down well with all ages in the audience! Of course there was also a degree of audience participation and predictably my daughter managed to get herself chosen to test out Jem's pear drop glue:

She was presented with the 2 blocks still stuck together and autographed by a couple of the presenters!

Altogether a fantastic family fun and educational day out. We all had different favourite bits. My daughter was chuffed to have held the hand of presenter Liz on the way to taking part. My 4 year old wanted to go home and make explosions Mummy! As for me watching my children getting excited by science was just amazing.