Tiny Gardening and Tiny Ice Cream STEM Toys Review (SmartLab)

Tiny Gardening and Tiny Ice Cream STEM Toys
PRICE CHECK
   
EDITOR'S REVIEW
OVERALL EDITOR'S RATING:
What It Is

With Tiny Gardening, kids get 34 pieces for performing 20 growing activities. Just follow the instructions in the 48-page gardening guide to grow and experiment with beans and seeds from your kitchen cupboard. The kit includes a tiny greenhouse, three tiny pots, three tiny test tubes, a tiny hand shovel, a tiny hand fork, a tiny beaker, three tiny garden markers, greenhouse wall and roof panels, string, a tiny ruler, a petri dish, green and blue acetate sheets, decorative clings, and marker stickers. The different experiments introduce kids to scientific principles, such as capillary action, photosynthesis, transpiration, and phototropism. Plant seeds in the tiny greenhouse that has a plastic see-through roof to let in light energy from the sun, which keeps the plants warm. With the experiments that involve growing plants, kids will need to wait until the plant actually grows before completing the activities. However, while they wait for their plants to grow, there are other experiments to do. For all of the experiments, additional tools will be needed from home - seeds, celery, plastic bag - and each experiment's instructions tell you what you need from the kit and from your kitchen.

With Tiny Ice Cream, kids can make 15 tasty treats using the kit's 21 pieces. You get a tiny ice cream canister, a dasher, a lid with crank, a tiny silicone waffle cone mold, a tiny waffle cone and bowl shaper, a tiny ice cream scoop, a tiny spatula, tiny ice cream bowls, a cone holder, a tiny mixing bowl, a tiny mixing spoon, wee-spoons, and a papercraft ice cream truck and menu board. These tools let you make ice cream year-round, plus waffle cones, ice cream taco shells, ice cream sandwiches, and ice cream bowls. For the basic ice cream recipe, all you need to add is cream, half and half, sugar, vanilla, crushed ice, and salt. All of these cold ingredients get churned together in the ice cream canister until ice cream forms. This process can take up to 30 minutes. Everything starts with the basic ice cream recipe, and then kids can add other flavors and toppings to customize their ice cream. The fold-out recipe sheet provides fun facts about ice cream, as well as the science behind how ice cream is made.

Is It Fun?

As long as kids have patience while waiting for their plants to grow and understand that, just like in real plant science, tiny plant science also involves trial and error, we think kids will have fun growing pint-sized plants with the Tiny Gardening kit.

Kids who like eating ice cream will like making their own with the Tiny Ice Cream kit. Because you're using your own ingredients, you'll be able to make tasty tiny ice cream flavors that you like! We also think this means that kids with food allergies will be able to substitute ingredients to make ice cream that is safe for them to eat.

Who It’s For

Both of these kits are for ages 8 and up.

What To Be Aware Of

Some experiments in both kits do require adult help.

Tiny Gardening includes a disclaimer that differences in soil, light, temperature, seed type and health, and water may affect how the experiments work.

Assembly of the Tiny Gardening greenhouse was difficult as the pieces were not very sturdy.

Before making the ice cream, be sure to chill the metal canister for at least one hour.

Tiny Ice Cream does not come with any food ingredients.

AT A GLANCE:
  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions

    Easy