Primary Science Lab Set – review

Primary Science lab set

Austin has let us know his first career ambition. He wants to be a paleontologist.

His bedroom wall is decorated with dinosaur posters. For his second birthday, he requested a dinosaur-themed party. And now, as a reward for being kind towards his sister, he is given a weekly treat of a book from the Dinosaur Cove range. They’re so precious to him that he stores them in the top drawer of his cupboard, rather than with all the other commonplace reads on his bookshelf.

Austin’s itching to begin his career as a scientist. He’s always asking to do some experiments (which, I have to say, I know little about. I remember something about bunsen burners from my own school days, but I don’t think it would be wise to unleash my four-year-old on one of those….).

So we were delighted when Learning Resources asked us to review some products from their Primary Science range.

Primary Science lab set

The Lab Set has plenty in it to keep curious minds occupied: 12 pieces of kit, which are sturdy and easy for little hands to grasp. The bold primary colours are a good alternative to a lot of the hideously gendered stuff that’s out there, and it comes with a chart explaining what each piece is (I didn’t know the correct names for all of them). So you can discuss the tools of the scientist’s trade with your child before you get going on any experiments.

Primary Science Lab Set

Best of all, the set includes step-by-step cards describing easy experiments. These were spot-on in the amount of information they gave: only a small bit about the science behind the experiment, which was perfect for Austin. He was most interested in what was happening when he carried out the experiments, not how it happened (though I’m sure requests for more detailed explanations will come later).

We tried the mini volcano experiment first. For this one, Austin needed to wear the goggles, which prompted much excitement about how he needed to ‘protect his eyes from danger’.

mini volcano 1

First, he added water to the beaker.

mini volcano 2

Then, a couple of teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda.

mini volcano 3Austin shook vinegar into a test tube, and added some red food colouring.

mini volcano 4

Next came the fun part: Austin used the eye dropper to transfer the vinegar and food dye into the bicarbonate of soda mixture.

mini volcano 5

There weren’t enough bubbles for his liking, so he added a bit more vinegar….

mini volcano 6

then, the whole lot went in.

mini volcano 6

Whoompf! An eruption worthy of the Jurassic Era.

We also tried the shiny penny experiment, where you put one penny in water, the other in lemon juice.

shiny penny experiment

We were instructed to leave the pennies for ten minutes; while we were waiting, we decided to try out the Primary Science metal detector, which we had also been sent.

metal detector

The metal detector is chunky; very easy for children to grasp. It has a dial which you have to calibrate when you switch it on, which is a bit fiddly, but Austin seems to have worked out how to operate it unaided.

metal in mint

Any metal in the mint?

metal detector 3

No, but the garden shed lock produced a piercing beep.

These pieces of science equipment are good value, and they’re not in the slightest bit flimsy, so they should last well beyond the point when Austin’s outgrown them. Their sturdiness is a virtue, except for one aspect: the red tweezers, which the experiment cards tell you to use for taking items out of the test tubes, are so chunky they don’t actually fit into those test tubes. And some of the measurements on the cards needed interpretation rather than following to the letter: for instance, we had to add a lot more vinegar to the bicarbonate before it ‘erupted’, and the pennies needed to stay in the water and lemon juice for longer than ten minutes before we could notice any difference in shininess.

These are minor points, though. And – as Austin said, unprompted by me (*proud face*) – part of the science was in working out exactly how long we needed to leave the pennies in the liquid, and how much vinegar to add.

Austin’s gearing up to discover his first dinosaur bone before his next birthday, so watch this space….you heard it here first.

If you liked the look of these, why not check out my review of the Learning Resources Geosafari Jr Talking Microscope and Animal Eye Viewers; or their Buggy Balance measurement set, Shapes Don’t Bug Me geometry set, and Primary Science Discovery Lab.

Disclosure: we were sent a Primary Science Lab Kit and metal detector for the purpose of this review, but all views are my own.


  • Sonia
    June 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Oh wow I love the look of this, Must get it for Bugs for his birthday this year! Lovely photos! Great review x

  • Em @ snowingindoors
    June 27, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I love the look of that little metal detector, imagine the hours of fun the kids would have searching for buried treasure

  • Rollercoaster Mum
    June 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    They sound fab. I wish this sort of thing had been available when Bigger Miss was younger.

  • City Coastal Lifestyle
    June 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    That is so brilliant Nell! Love the volcano and such great photos of Austin so engrossed 🙂

  • Anne
    June 28, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Oh I have a Little Man who would love something like this.

  • The Diary Of A Jewellery Lover
    June 29, 2014 at 6:38 am

    This looks great fun. My son had a science kit when he was in primary. Looks like your little one enjoyed experimenting.

  • Emma T
    June 29, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I always wanted a metal detector. In fact I got one for nephew no’s 4’s Christmas present. He loved it.

    I love the idea of these kids science kits, great idea for getting them interested.

  • agatapokutycka
    June 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Wow, just look at his face.. he looks so happy and focused

  • Tracy Angus
    July 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    This is so cute, I love that it is over sized for little hands. Sadly my boys have outgrown this kind of stuff but I have a nephew…..

  • Jai @ Kiddy Reviews
    July 15, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I love this! Can’t wait for A to get a little bigger and do science experiments with him. Very cool. Thanks for sharing on #britmumsreviews.


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