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Please help me fill a box for science experiments

Poke Salad Annie

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I want to fill up a box (or two) of things on hand and other things that may be at Walmart, the grocery store, thrift store, or even a science supply store online. I'd like to have it at our fingertips, ready to go so that I don't I have spend valuable time hunting for some obscure item I'm sure is around here somewhere, KWIM?


So....would you mind helping me with some ideas of what you feel are necessities or flat-out-fun-gotta-have-this supplies? I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today.

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These are things we often need for science experiments, and which I keep around so I'm not always racing out to Hobby Lobby:




paper clips


glass jars (various sizes) w/ lids

test tubes & rack & brush for cleaning

stand with clamp


matches (or lighter)



metal washers


distilled water

masking tape

plastic petri dishes

various magnets


aluminum foil


I'll edit in any more that occur to me.

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I have a box like that, but I started with a SL box of required science supplies and a box for science 3+4, plus leftovers from science kits around the house. I'll list some of whats in it.



alligator clips

little light bulbs

battery holder


paper clips

coffee filter

rubber tubing

aluminum foil


eye dropper

measuring beakers

food coloring

baking soda

(borax and vinegar are on a shelf not in the box also not in the box but used are food coloring, lemon juice, dish soap and oil)

ph test strips


iron filings

copper wire

copper and some other kind of metal strips (for making a fruit battery)


stop watch

small motor


petri dishes


dry beans

paper cups

paper plates



tape - electrical, clear, and duct




small screws

nuts and bolts

magnifying glasses

those little hand-held microscopes

test tubes (not glass) with stoppers


ping pong balls




ummm that's all I can think of right now- when I make it down to my office, I'll look and see what is in the box in case there is something awesome in there that I forgot

Edited by Karen in CO
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  • 2 months later...

Reviving this thread to add on---so, if you now do this, do you just leave it around for the dc to play with/experiment with? Do you sometimes "assign" something like time to do something with the box time? I've had stuff like this around and it hasn't been used much. Otoh, dc sometimes set up their own labs. I guess, what I'm really wondering here is this....science isn't getting done enough these days. I have enough on my hands just trying to get everything else up and going again.:glare: So, could I have a huge box of sciencey stuff and hand it over and expect any real science to happen? Hmmm....even as I type this it sounds ridiculous. I think I need to get something together at least once a week. Thanks for listening. Still :bigear: to see what updates might be added here.

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I have a ten year old, too. He has a mishmash science "lab" in which he creates his own experiments. We did a round of RS4K/Chemistry but other than that our formal science studies have been non-existent (not included regular viewing of Mythbusters, and a slew of other Discovery Channel shows).


I don't assign science because he naturally gravitates towards it. Sometimes he'll mention he's bored and I'll suggest it, but for the most part he tools around his little lab on his own. I've outfitted him with several Jan Van Cleave books and a few inexpensive Science Project Ideas books, so he has some inspiration or starting point - not just a box full of things to tinker with. I also require he check out at least one science book each week from our public library, so he gets motivation there as well.


His trinkets and such are stored in various recycled containers from our home and our neighbors (huge baby jar food people). He also has one of those things that look like miniature plastic desktop versions of a library filing card cabinet. Some men keep them in the garage for their little trinkets, too. Blanking on what those are officially called, but it gives him several drawers in which to keep his stuff separated but easily accessible.


If he weren't as eager to do random experiments on his own, I'd probably assign him to do an experiment each week. His choosing (or mine, if he preferred) out of one of our random books. If he weren't so inclined already to re-live his experiment to me (the boy talks nonstop!) I'd expect him to write out a formal scientific method for me outlining his work. Maybe a brief written summary, too.

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