Awarded the Silver Medal in the Education Toy category at the Independent Toy Awards the Science4You Sweet Factory Toy is sure to be a hit with adults and children alike. It is educational to the point that even adults could possibly pick up a thing or two – whilst being fun (it makes sweets!)
The Contents of Science4You Sweet Factory
The set contains two books of instructions which explain the science behind things and allow children to experiment and learn, as well as making worm jelly sweets, lollipops and other tasty treats. Also provided is cornflour, a sachet of strawberry jelly, another sachet of tutti-frutti jelly, sachet of citric acid, sachets of gelatine, sachet of sprinkles, a thermometer, silicone mould, lollipop sticks, measuring spoon, small measuring cups, crepe paper sheets, satin ribbons, decorative stickers and straws. Unfortunately this is not everything you need so do take a look before setting up for a child. Everything needed should be easy to get hold of from a supermarket – but this is no good at 5pm on a Sunday afternoon. I guess it should be obvious that making sweets may involve sugar but this is not provided and not something we add into food/drinks so did not have the quantities required to do the experiments. Nor did we have elastic bands to hand to make the worms – something I personally feel would have been easy enough to add to the kit. Also it would have been good if there were containers to put the rest of the open powders once the packets had been opened – but perhaps this is to encourage the children to do more with the sweet factory straight away. Everything provided was clearly labelled.
Using Science4You Sweet Factory
Everything was very straightforward and easy to understand for my 8 year old. The kit is split into two books (cookery and sweet laboratory experiments & activities) and designed to get him thinking and talking about science. It is safe for children with clear guides on safety, first aid, information on what to do if things got swallowed or rubbed in someone’s eye etc, advice for the supervising adults and allergy advice (including all the letter/number codes of the ingredients).
The book introduces everything to the child – in case it is their first time. So what a thermometer does for example. Then experiments with sugar at different temperatures – and an explanation as to why this is so important for sweets. Then it introduces different states (here I learnt about Plasma which I never remember learning about at school!) Straight away children are introduced to lots of scientific terms such as pressure, atoms, matter, physical states of matter, melting point – I could go on and on. This is all done in an easy to understand and relevant to the task way and everyday life. Some of the recipes from each of the books build on previous recipes too – expanding what the child has already learnt. It also gets children to understand the link between maths and science – with different quantities needing measuring – and problem solving when we needed a different quantity than the measuring cups could fit.
Conclusions of Science4You Sweet Factory
The Science4You Sweet Factory was perfect for my inquisitive 8 year old who loves to learn. I like how it wasn’t just a one-time activity and that recipes provided a base for his new knowledge that is built upon as he progresses through all of the recipes. I am disappointed that the kit assumes that homes will have things such as sugar (which I guess most do) and that small things such as elastic bands could not be provided. But overall it was great fun, encouraged a lot of discussion and was very educational. It made my 8 year old use his problem solving abilities – which is part of the new curriculum. As it makes sweets it provides us with the ability to create tasty treats when the boys are good, or for special occasions, or to give as gifts even.
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I was sent a Science4You Sweet Factory for purposes of review. All words and opinions are my own. No other financial incentive has been given.