If you are anything like my husband you do not allow kids to have sparklers for the 4th of July or any other holidays, and you look for other ways to get a fun "Wow!" factor from them so you turn to science. If you are anything like me you think science is so fun and any "project" (as my kids call it) is fun to do on a daily basis.
I was lucky enough to have Myrick Marketing send me Cola Fountains and Spattering Paint Bombs by Jesse Goossens and Linde Faas, a fun hands-on science experiment book to review. My thoughts and review are my own, and as you can see from the above picture I was all about tabbing aka post-it note marking the fun experiments I wanted to do and had the supplies for already.
More than a few times a week I would pull out this book and select another fun learning activity to do with my kids. We even did at least one experiment, if not more, during play dates my preschoolers had. My kids and their friends loved seeing grapes spark like firecrackers, M&Ms lose their M's, and soda pop erupt like a volcano. Even my husband and I enjoyed the fun science activities and found actually doing these activities to be easy and painless which is not always the case with "learning activities."
I give Cola Fountains and Spattering Paint Bombs 3.5 out of 5 Stars in my book review. You may think it is weird that I was praising and commenting how much fun we've had with this book, but yet I took one and a half stars away. However, those that truly know me know that I am tough critic/reviewer; I really pick things apart. I feel this makes you more knowledgeable in what you check-out and/or purchase for a personal library or a library collection.
Overall, I think the experiments are fun and easy to do b/c the supplies are common. I liked the pictures and thought they were fun; however, they didn't add to the explanations as much as I would've liked. Though that is a personal preference and what I am used to; it doesn't mean that is how it always needs to be done. I really like the Why It Works section with each experiment. Being able to explain to kids why something did what it did is great and really brings in the "learning" aspect. I also really liked that these experiments are fun for a wide range of ages. My toddlers and preschoolers enjoyed this as much as middle school kids would. The only difference with ages is the young kids need parent or teacher help and the older kids could do all of the fun activities themselves.
There were a few reasons why this book lost some star points. I felt the experiment instructions were unclear at times. This may because it was originally published in Dutch. I felt the format was unique as far as science experiments go, but it was more difficult than if they had used the more common recipe like format or had numbered instructions. I also wish every experiment would describe what is supposed to happen, otherwise you feel a little lost. Some experiments tell you, or the title of the experiment lets you know what is supposed to happen, but not all of them. This was frustrating at times. For example, the experiment Elephant Toothpaste sounds cool, but I have no idea what the end result is supposed to be. My last change for the book would be to include a short paragraph about the author and illustrator. It is always nice to feel a connection with who wrote and illustrated the book.
All in all, if you are looking for a STEM or science activitiy book for your classroom or home this is a good choice. It's good, but it isn't great. Though more than a few of the 47 experiments are my favorite among the many "Science Experiment Books" I've checked out. The Grape Firecracker was really awesome!
"Bring STEM home with this colorful collection of science experiments that use everyday household objects. Turn your home or garden into a laboratory and create paint bombs and elephant toothpaste, let crystals grow, volcanoes erupt and CDs fly, build your own lava lamp, and discover how you can bounce an egg. Jesse Goossens has collected 47 spectacular, exciting, and sensational experiments with clear instructions and helpful information presented in a graphic way. Illustrator Linde Faas has exploded her palette to introduce even more giggles. The result is a festive book for budding inventors and other sorcerers' apprentices. Parental supervision recommended."
Do you have a favorite science experiment? I'd love to hear what fun learning activities you do with your kids.
Happy Doing Science Experiments and Fun Learning Activities!