Crafts4kids kindly sent us a Physics Discover Kit from Thames and Kosmos.
The Physics Discovery kit is for ages 8+ and has 17 experiments in total where kids can learn physics by making fun models to use at home. There are a whopping 14 models that can be built with the kit we were sent and kids can learn about Mechnaical Advantage for pulleys, blocks and tackles, kinetic energy by building a rubber band powered dragster, leverage, speed and much more.
The kids being kids, they were determined to start with the rubber band powered dragster. We duly sat down and separated out all the pieces that we needed to get it done. Eldest started off and began threading through wheels and then got stuck. I had a look and I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. I wasn’t sure if the instructions were how my pieces were in front of me, or if it was reversed like a photograph.
I have to say that we found it quite challenging, although fun. I gave up and left the car to the man when he got time to help with it. From the time he sat down until the time the car was completely finished, it took nearly 4 hours in total for that one model alone. My kids being my kids refused to go back and start with any other model or experiment until the one they wanted was done. They did pick one of the hardest ones to start with though. We’ve not managed to explore the rest of the box yet and I suspect this kit is going to last us the rest of this year for things to do on miserable days / evenings.
We’ve had some discussions around throwing contests and how to work out the ball’s trajectory, but are yet to put it into practice. Summer will help teach how that relates to gravity.
Dad ended up taking over as it was a little too challenging for my kids, and even he had to scratch his chin many many times and he struggled with the small pictures.
His suggestions were for bigger photographs or more detailed instructions.
We also struggled with the 6 washers provided and that it said was needed, but the photo seemed to show 7. We still managed to get it to work and if you loosen the paper that makes the car body, it goes faster. I have a video of them making it but our Internet connection isn’t letting me upload it as it is a bigger file.
It’s a fab wee kit and most kids will need adults to help them with it. It’s a good way to bond really as I doubt eldest and his dad have spent that much time alone together working on something all year.
I did manage to upload the wee video, so, see our dragster go…..