Toy Fair Blinded Me with Science

by Amy Kraft on February 15, 2010

There’s no question, Olive’s turning into a little scientist, much to our delight. She recently received Scientific Explorer‘s My First Chemistry Kit as a gift (thanks Kurt & Carrie), which has led to some excellent home experiments on liquids and solids, acids and bases, dissolving, magnification, and more.

Olive-chemistry

Walking the floor at Toy Fair 2010 I noticed and exciting new trend – science is everywhere. More and more companies are making home experiments easy, affordable, exciting, and accessible to a wide range of ages.

Thames & Kosmos featured a huge selection of elaborate science kits in all areas of scientific exploration. There are kits for electronics, engineering, wind power, physics, and climate change. I particularly liked this Power House, with experiments showing how to live sustainably.

TF_TK_powerhouse

They also have kits that show how science is crucial to products that we use every day, like candy, perfume, and cosmetics. These are nice for kids who don’t really want to think about the fact that they’re learning science.

TF_TK_candyperfume

Tedco Toys features a similar array of products in small, easy to use kits with their Ein-Os line. In categories of Basic Science, Human Biology, Crystal Growing, Electronic Devices, Environmental Science, and Electricity Science, each kit represents a scientific area of inquiry with 4-5 experiments, each for around ten bucks.

TF_Ein-Os

What would you say if I told you my 7th grade science project was hydroponics? I know, I’m awesome. Well, it would have been a much easier project if my partner and I had this Hydroponics Lab from Educational Insights. It has everything you need to start growing plants without soil.

TF_hydroponics

For the study of nature, Backyard Safari Outfitters has tools to get your kids outside and exploring. A product combo I liked was the Bug Vacuum and the 2-In-1 Habitat. You suck up bugs with the bug vacuum (which I’m told does not harm the bugs) and release the chamber into the habitat for observation and enjoyment. You never have to touch the bug, making it perfect for the curious but squeamish explorers like me.

TF_BackyardSafari

Speaking of science, today I met my parenting hero, Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids. Just this morning I read this Outrage of the Week on her blog, where one school effectively banned science from the science fair in the name of safety. Please promise me that if anything like this happens at your child’s school you’ll fight it tooth and nail? Kids need science!

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