Topic: Homeschool Product Review
I have to admit, I was never a fan of science in school. It wasn't until after I graduated that it really became interesting to me. Really, it wasn't until after we began to homeschool that I got really excited about science. Now, I am always on the lookout for neat science things that I can get for the kids. That's why, after hearing that we would be receiving some products from Buckets-O-Fun to try out, I was excited and a little bit intrigued.
Buckets-O-Fun really isn't known as a homeschool science curriculum maker. It's more of a "buy our stuff for your youth group's fun night" type of a company. In fact, the main thing that Buckets-O-Fun sells is "Yuck". Yep, you read that correctly..."Yuck". It has "Saucy Yuck", "Snowy Yuck", "Snowy Yuck" and the ever appetizing "Chunky Yuck"!
Now, before I go any further, let me just ease your minds by telling you that all of their "Yuck" is really just Polymers. Polymers are really large molecules that, when dried up, look a lot like crystals. Then neat thing about Polymers, however, is that they absorb water...a lot of water. So the crystals grow and are spongy funny looking and funny feeling. That's what makes them so fun for kids. They are ooey, gooey...well...just plain yucky. I guess that's why it's called "Yuck".
In real life polymers are very useful. You may have used them to help the soil around your plants to absorb more water. I used polymers last year as an object lesson at day camp. I had a bunch of hydrated (chunky yuck) polymers made up ahead of time. When I began my talk, I explained that the polymers were like sin. Sin is yucky. But, when we allow Jesus to wash away our sins, it's as if they disappear. I then add some water to the bowl of polymers and, since they are made up of mostly water anyway, when you add water, they...you guessed it...disappeared. Not really, they were still there, but the kids couldn't see them anymore. It's a neat object lesson, but not really what we're hear for.
Anyway, when we received the packet, we were given small samples of all four of the above mentioned products with some suggested science experiments. Probably Joshua's favorite experiment was the one using the "Saucy Yuck". We were to measure the yuck ahead of time then add two cups of water and observe how much time it took for it to begin absorbing the water. Then we continued to add one cup at a time until it was about the consistency of applesauce. Then we had to take one cup of the "applesauce yuck" and put it in a separate bowl to observe what happens when we continue to add water to it. Joshua had a blast, and, of course, Jacob had to get into the act and it was a hit with him as well. It's a fun, yucky, way to learn science. What boy doesn't like yucky stuff? A quick word of warning. Yuck is messy! And, it can't be put down a drain. It can be disposed of in the trash or outside around your plants. Just make sure that you have plenty of newspaper or plastic and a way to dispose of it before you do any experiments with it.
Also inside of the package was a list of games that you could play using "Yuck" products with your youth or kids group. Can you imagine using some of the saucy yuck on your giant slip and slide next summer? What about adding some of it into water balloons for your water balloon fight? Or, putting a bunch of chunky yuck into a kiddie pool with marbles and having kids fish out the marbles with their toes? There are loads and loads of games that you can play with yuck, and Buckets-O-Fun sells yuck in...well...buckets, so that you will have plenty of it to use for your group.
Okay, after all of that, there is one slight problem. Buckets-O-Fun has just begun their homeschool/classroom science project product line, and it isn't yet available. So, if you are interested in using it for science you can do one of two things. They do give away free samples of each of their products (one per individual/organization) so you could ask for that. Or, you could go in with some other homeschooling families and order a full bucket and divide it up. Or, if you are interested in using it for your youth group, you don't have to worry about smaller batches, you would just order the bucket. I'll bet that if you asked, they would send you the sheet of experiments that they sent to us. The letter that they sent along with the products said that their full line of homeschool/classroom products would be introduced within the next few months, so hopefully they will have smaller batches for homeschool use available soon.
Until then, buckets of yuck sell for $16-$20 a pound depending on which product you buy, but make gallons and gallons of yuck - again, different products make more than others. You can get to the Buckets-O-Fun website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. Check out the site, it has a lot of neat stuff other than just yuck that you can buy. I was just reading some of the creative ideas that other members of the TOS Crew had for their yuck. You can find them by clicking here. Hope you all have a real yucky time! Happy Home Educating!
Updated: Friday, 29 October 2010 11:49 PM CDT
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