Science is an intriquing and yet intimdating subject. Our kids, for the most part, are excited when it comes to science.
They want to dig the fossil out of the dirt.
Looking at skin under a micrscope is gross but fun.
They love to learn about the animals of our world and their ecosystems.
But what are lab kits? With everything else you purchase for your kiddos school, do you really need to buy a lab kit as well?
Are your kids literally going to blow up your house with one?
While lab kits won’t have your kids blowing up your kitchen (if things are done wrong in a high school chemistry kit it might smell though), they are not always neccessary.
Over the years I have learned how to judge when a lab kit would really be helpful and when it is just another added expense.
Tot School and Lower Elementary
When it comes to tot school, there really is no need for a lab kit. Most of their science learning is on the weather, ecosystems and other such basics. The hands on activities for your tots are their labs and just about every single one of these activities involves things you have around the house already or could easily pick up at the store for a dollar or two.
For the lower elementary kids, first grade to around fourth, it is very similar to tot school. The science activities still tend to only require basic supplies. Construction paper, paper clips, and tape are the usual required items but on occasion you could need an extra thing or two that costs four dollars or so. To me, it is still not enough to motivate me to purchase a lab kit.
This is the age range I start really looking at what the labs for that year would require and whether or not the supplies are things I already have or can easily purchase. If the items for that year’s chosen science are inexpensive and easy to get, I will buy them either all at once or once a quarter and keep tucked to one side. If the science level requires more challenging items or chemicals that are not typically in stores, I will invest in the lab kit.
This is the level I feel it would be best to invest in the lab kits. Your kids need to do a certain number of hours of lab time for each year. The work for the science focus of each year is a more challenging one, and the supplies are often more difficult to find in typical stores.
Earth Science requires various rock samples, and equipment for studying them.
Biology requires cell models to be made but often also dissections.
Chemistry requires specialized equipment as well as various chemicals.
Physics you may or may not need a lab kit for. It depends on the program you use and if their labs are conducted on the computer.
Lab kits are not always needed
When you look at what is required for science each year and plan where you might be able to find everything, it makes it easier to answer the question, “Do I need to buy a lab kit?”
We need simple and we need easy. Our days are long and challenging at times trying to teach our kiddos. Lets try and keep things simple and not complicate it with unnecessary things.
Have fun with science and enjoy the journey.