We were sent this Learning Resources Beaker Creatures liquid reactor super lab for the purposes of this review. It is a fun, educational way of exploring some science concepts with children ages 5-9. We have one set to give away – see the bottom of this post for details on how to enter.
Beaker Creatures STEM activity review
What’s in the box?
This 15-piece lab set includes:
- Two Beaker Creature Reactor Pods
- Two Classification Cards
- Two double-sided Mini-posters featuring amazing science facts and fun images
- Two Hydroplungers
- Two Beakers
- Liquid Reactor Super Lab base
- A set of tongs and a stirring rod
- Experiment guide featuring step-by-step instructions for five experiments
- Full-size poster for display
You also get a clear plastic tray for the blue Super Lab base. Don’t discard this as packaging; you use it as a drip collector.
The first thing we did before taking everything out of the box was to cover the table. We used an IKEA desk pad, because it’s easily wiped clean and is fairly sturdy, but you can use anything – I do advise you make sure the table is protected. We didn’t have any problems with staining and I want you to experience the same. I imagine the colours in the reactor pods are pretty fixed on staying on whatever they touch – just guessing though, so maybe they’re completely innocent!
I also grabbed a towel – we used this often, and would advise you also get prepared with something you can wipe up any spills with!
Fill the two beakers both about 1/2 full of water. Don’t overfill because you need to push the syringe (hydroplunger) in, and you know if it’s too full the water will be displaced — good job you got the towel!
Setting up the equipment
You need to connect the hydroplunger towers (grey) to the blue base. Also, connect the tubes under the base to the hydroplungers. Then click the central beaker on to the centre of the base, making sure to connect the two tubes, too.
Ready to experiment!
This is a really cute science set for children. It incorporates the idea of a blind bag with education, and it does it in a fun way. You get two reactor pods, and once you’ve unwrapped one, use the tongs to pop it in the central reactor beaker. Fill the hydroplungers up with water, and clip them into the grey towers.
Now you’re ready to experiment!
Push the two hydroplungers down at the same time, and the water goes whoooshing through the tubes and fills up the central beaker. The reactor pod fizzes and bubbles – it may bubble over!
After a while, the fizzing slows and reveals a little capsule in the now coloured water. Use the tongs again to lift it out, dry it with the towel, then open it to see which Beaker Creature you have got!
There’s an identification chart so you can check on your collection. There are 35 creatures to collect, including some rare 24-carat creatures!
Further experiments using the super lab
The kit comes with a booklet to give some ideas for further experiments. We did try one more, which involved filling one hydroplunger with baby oil, and the other with water.
Pushing the hydroplungers at the same time didn’t really create the kind of pressure to make it look really cool while the two liquids refused to mix. Unfortunately, it simply filled the beaker, albeit that the oil sat in a layer on the top while the water was still tinged with the colourful water from the previous “experiment” with the reactor pod.
What did we think of the Learning Resources Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab?
This is an interesting activity for a child aged 5-9. I think the lower end of that age range will appreciate it more. James, at six, was spot on. We enjoyed finding out what would happen next and discovering the little Beaker Creature inside the pod.
You can buy packs of more reactor pods from Learning Resources or Amazon, and you don’t need the rest of the Super Lab to use them, of course, so they would make fun birthday gifts or stocking fillers.
However, the Beaker Creatures are made up items, perhaps realistic animals or insects might have been more fun. James discarded the creature almost immediately, whereas something cute from a blind bag (like these Oonies and Orbeez) will be played with for a week or more.
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Available direct from Learning Resources or from Amazon and other good toy sellers at around £25.
Enter to win a Beaker Creatures Liquid Reactor Super Lab
Ends 2nd December at 23:45pm – The prize will only be delivered to a UK address so please ensure you’re able to win thie Beaker Creatures Super Lab before you enter, please.