Chewing Gum Lab Review (Thames & Kosmos)

Chewing Gum Lab
PRICE CHECK
   
EDITOR'S REVIEW
OVERALL EDITOR'S RATING:
What It Is

Turn your kitchen into a bubblegum-making factory with the Geek & Co. Science! Chewing Gum Lab. This science activity kit comes with almost everything kids need to make their own bubblegum, and then conduct different science experiments with it to learn about polymers, the phases of matter, and crystallization. The kit's contents include gum base, powdered sugar, corn syrup, natural cherry flavor, natural grape flavor, a metal tin, 15 wax paper sheets, two sticker sheets for the gum, and a sticker sheet for the tin. Additional tools and ingredients will be needed from home, and you can find a list of what you need at the start of each experiment in the instruction booklet.

There are enough ingredients to make two batches of gum: one cherry-flavored and one grape-flavored. Follow the instructions to melt the gum base, soften the corn syrup, and mix both with the powdered sugar and flavoring. Then, knead the gum on a cutting board or flat work surface, roll it out into a cylinder, and cut the cylinder into small pieces of gum. Use the wax paper and stickers to wrap and decorate your gum. You can even store a few pieces of gum in the included metal tin.

From there, you can simply chew your gum or do one of the four science experiments on the gum, including removing the flavor from the gum, finding the gum's volume, weighing the gum, and then comparing the stretch of a rubber band to gum to understand how polymers work.

The instruction booklet also includes more information about polymers, natural gum from trees, the history of chewing gum, phases of matter, and the chemistry of sugar crystals.

Is It Fun?

This is a pretty easy, if fairly sticky and messy, activity, but we think kids might like that. After all, they get to turn the kitchen into a science lab and make their own chewing gum, then wrap it up to look just like the gum you'd buy at the store, perfect for sharing with friends. But the real fun extends beyond just chewing this fruity all-natural gum. Kids will want to set aside a few pieces of their gum to do the experiments, which is going to give them a fun and hands-on introduction to scientific concepts.

The gum tastes pretty good, but as with all gum, it quickly loses it flavor (something kids will come to understand through the experiment to remove the flavor from gum). It took a lot of chewing before ours reached a gum-like consistency. We wouldn't blow bubbles with it.

Who It’s For

The Geek & Co. Science! Chewing Gum Lab is for ages 8 and up. Adult supervision is required.

The kit will be fun for curious kids who have an interest in science and chewing gum, but it might also be a nice hands-on way to show kids who think science is boring that science can be fun.

What To Be Aware Of

The instructions were easy to follow, and it took us about 10 minutes to make one batch of gum. You can make two batches of gum with this kit, but the ingredients are not pre-measured and divided into two batches. We kind of wish this was the case because it might be hard for an 8-year-old to eyeball what half of the gum base or the powdered sugar looks like, and you don't want to use too much or too little of the ingredients and not have success making the gum.

Making the gum is going to get messy and sticky, so make sure you cover your workspace, use tools from home that you don't mind throwing away at the end, and wear old clothes or an apron.

The gum ingredients contain natural latex rubber, soy, and corn. Some ingredients have been processed in facilities that also process milk, egg, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans.

AT A GLANCE:
  • Fun

  • Finished Product

  • Assembly & Instructions

    Easy