Especially nowadays, with many parents juggling work and remote learning, finding non-screen activities for our kids that are fun and educational is more important than ever. Enter Ooze Labs and their STEM kits! When the Colorful Crystal Lab showed up, our kids could not start wait to ‘experiment and make diamonds’!
Obviously the Ooze Labs Colorful Crystal Lab doesn’t make diamonds, but the kit is packed full of supplies, information, and experiments to make a variety of crystals. Included in the kit are all of the parts to build the lab along with a sticker sheet to decorate it, a book full of experiments and detailed information on crystals and how they relate to the experiments, a wealth of mixing and measuring tools, and a few packets of various solutions and dyes.
Step one, of course, was assembling the lab itself. The build was pretty straightforward, and the kids assembled everything without any assistance. I applied a couple of the stickers myself and then let them take turns picking and putting on stickers. Once the decorating was all done, it was TIME FOR SCIENCE!
Every experiment in the book lists which parts and ingredients you need from the kit and, where applicable, ones that aren’t included are in italics. This makes it really easy to flip through and check for supplies you may need to acquire before starting. Each experiment has detailed instructions along with diagrams plus a bunch of information about the science behind what you’re seeing.
We were able to do the first three experiments before we hit our first missing supply – distilled water. Quite a few of the experiments beyond #3 need it and we didn’t want to jump way ahead, so we did the first three. The nice thing about the lab station is that it allows for multiple experiments to be happening at once which is great, especially for the crystal growing since they are not speedy results in most cases.
The first experiment was the most exciting for the kids because the results were really quick. Within about 15 minutes tiny crystals had started forming at the top of the volcano and by the next morning we had what they dubbed ‘pink cauliflower crystals.’ I’d be remiss to not point out that the paper cone looks an awful lot like Pac-Man before rolling it into shape.
The second experiment is supposed to grow a crystal structure along the cotton string. I’m not sure if it was because of the humidity and/or temperature in the house but while we could watch the capillary action in real time thanks to the blue dye, no crystals grew inside the test tube. However, it was not a complete failure as crystals did grow at he very top of the string outside of the tube. The kids didn’t seem to care where they grew as they were just excited to see a different type of crystal growing.
And probably the most underwhelming of the three for the kids, but the coolest in my opinion was experiment three. It’s really simple in that it’s just table salt dissolved in water then poured into the petri dish to evaporate but the square crystals look REALLY cool! I thought it was so cool, I poured some of the blue saline solution from the test tube into the petri dish and did it again. The blue version was definitely a bigger hit with the kids. And because there is red dye included, they were immediately clamoring to try to make red and purple ones too – which we will very soon!
We just got our hands on some distilled water so will be cleaning out our first three experiments and then moving ahead this week. Knowing how much fun they had with just the first three, I know the remainder will blow their minds even more.
And if your little scientists finish all of these experiments, there are several other STEM kits from Ooze Labs as well that can either be used standalone or can connect up with the Colorful Crystal Lab to make one gigantic lab! Check out the Chemistry Station, Alien Slime Lab, and the Soap & Bath Bomb Lab.
Note: While this kit is targeted for six-year-olds and above for comprehension of the science, this is not a toy for children to play with alone and all of the experiments require parental supervision at a minimum, but many require parental involvement (boiling water, transfer hot liquids, opening and pouring the solutions and dye packets, etc.). That being said, our four-year-old really enjoyed the experiments just as much as our seven-year-old.