There's always a lot of talk about how we need to do more to get girls interested in science and math, and it's true there are lots of educational programs designed to inspire girls to expand their horizons. But kids' science kits always seem to have a "boy" or "gender-neutral" slant, so it was a nice change to receive a science kit geared towards girls to review from Team Mom. In fact, it's so girly, it's disguised as a spa kit! Here's what I thought of it:
We received a Make Your Own Shimmer Soap Kit from Scientific Explorer (MSRP $5.99, available at specialty toy stores such as Learning Express), which comes with everything you need to create and mold 4 strawberry-scented soaps.
Here's a description of the product:
In this kit, you'll find everything you need to make your own shimmer soap from scratch. You'll learn some really cool science about matter. Plus it comes with four different molds to create different shapes. Soap is scented strawberry–yummy!
The Pea had so much fun with this kit! She made 4 cute soaps that she's going to share with her friends. The instructions are clear and easy for a girl of 8 to follow all on her own; in fact, you'll want her to read the instructions because they contain facts about solids, liquids, matter and energy, with some fun soap facts mixed in. The instructions read like an experiment (i.e., "Step 1: Let's start with some observations..... is it a solid, liquid, or gas?" ) so girls really get the message that there's science behind the soap.
Science behind the soap... that's it, in a nutshell. The best part about this product is how it takes a "girly" activity like soap making and turns it into a learning experience. This kit really got The Pea thinking about how science affects our everyday lives, how science can be cool, and how the words "scientist" and "girly" can coexist peacefully.
The packaging needs improvement: the little bottle containing pink dye & fragrance had spilled at some point in time, so when we opened it was all over the instruction sheet. The instructions smelled heavenly, but I'd have preferred the fragrance to go on the soaps.
The Bottom Line
Scientific Explorer's Spa Kits combine scientific learning with girly fun. Buy it for birthday parties, sleepovers or playdates -- what a great way to get girls into science!
Disclosure: I received a product sample courtesy of Scientific Explorer Spa Kits and Team Mom, but was not paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is clearly indicated as such. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.