From cooking to creating, keep kids busy with fresh, fun activities delivered to your door. We’ve tested out a variety of boxes and will roll out a new review for you each week. Up this week: Loop Lab from Mad Science.

Portland families know Mad Science from their summer camps, free community programs around town, and their award-winning after-school program (a PDX Parent reader poll Top 5 pick)! Mad Science also offers a limited-series subscription box, Loop Lab, for kids 8 and older, that brings their hands-on and fun approach to science to your home. 

My 9-year-old daughter Maggie and I tried out the Gross Science box this week. We were excited to unpack the box — which included an instructional booklet and supplies like a beaker, flask, cornstarch, hydrogen peroxide, and goggles — and get started.

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After completing a few experiments, here’s what we found:

The Mom Perspective

From the parent perspective, there were a lot of positives to this activity box:

  • It arrived at our door, and nearly everything was included. We only needed to add a few common items like dish detergent or a tablespoon. I didn’t need to research to find a fun experiment and then scrounge around hoping to find the right supplies.
  • I was happy to see that the packaging was pretty eco-friendly and many of the items could be used again.
  • It was easy to follow along with the instructions, and every experiment had a clear and interesting scientific explanation. (This is a serious compliment from an even-more-distracted-than-usual mom.)
  • Experiments were rated on a messiness factor so we knew what to expect, and there was some advice about prepping and cleaning up. 
  • There were four different experiments in our kit. It took a few days to complete them all, and it was an unexpected surprise to have several activities (all using the same included materials).

The Kid Perspective (Maggie, age 9)

  • I recommend doing Ghost Goo first. It was fun to squash it in my fist, then let it go and see it run through the cracks in my fingers.
  • The foaming fountain is fun, too! I would recommend doing it outside. I liked it when it overflowed. And if you have food coloring, I would use it in there.
  • You also will like the lab coat, safety glasses, and gloves. The box has really nice decorations!

The Verdict

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Overall, the Loop Lab box was fun and educational, and I was impressed that we were able to do so many experiments and use the same box for several hours. We found the science lessons interesting and easy to understand; in fact, the lessons lent themselves to conversations about other applications and ideas. There was some mess and a little prep, but the Loop Lab box was pretty turnkey.

Whether you are looking to introduce some fun in your day, or add to your homeschooling plan, the Loop Lab subscription box delivers the same high quality and fun that we expect from Mad Science.

Loop Lab boxes are available through monthly or 3-month subscription options. An individual box is $32.99 plus shipping. Right now, they are offering a social distancing special: You can order three boxes at once for $99 and receive a free lab coat with the code LABCOAT40.

Michelle Carew
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