Jul 26, 2010  •  In Funny, Geek, Parenting, Science, Toys

Fear Itself [Chemistry Kits]

Although I thoroughly suck at science, I received a chemistry kit as a present one birthday some twenty years ago and loved it for years on end.

J owned multiple chemistry kits as a child and also has fond memories of mixing strange compounds together and “blowing sh*t up.”

We fully intend on gifting our children with chemistry sets when they reach the proper maturity level, but I have become discouraged at the types of kits that are available at toy stores these days. No actual chemicals? Nothing sharp or breakable? Glass beakers and test tubes that have been replaced by shatter-proof plastic? Nothing that has the potential to create sizzling/smoking/foul-smelling reactions?

Where’s the fun in that?

That’s why I let out a chuckle and a sigh when I saw this cartoon at SMBC over the weekend:

Did anyone else own chemistry sets as a child? Do you miss the old days of being able to play with potentially harmful (but perfectly safe when handled properly) toys without government bans or the fear of the mommy police coming after you?

For what it’s worth, I’m glad to see that there still exist some chemistry kits, like the Thames & Kosmos CHEM C3000, that come relatively close to what we had as children.

6 Responses to “Fear Itself [Chemistry Kits]”

  1. Lisa:

    Check out this book:
    Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture
    By Robert Bruce Thompson
    I was reading something (blog, article?) about the lack of quality modern chemistry kits a while ago that recommended this book. You have to source your own materials, but it’s better than nothing.

  2. Jimmer:

    Surprised you didn’t link to a MSDS for that hazardous chemical referenced above

    http://www.hsegroup.com/hse/text/water.htm

  3. I LOVED mine (except when I accidentally died my grandmother’s sink purple… oops. I was in a lot of trouble for that) so much that I made a career out of it. I have long considered one of the perks of being a chemist the fun I will be able to bring home for my future kids someday — no kit necessary!

  4. Emily:

    I never had a chemistry kid growing up but that’s what I majored in. Interesting.

  5. 1.) I LOVE that you read SMBC. I read it all the time.

    2.) I didn’t have a chemistry set, but my brother did, and it was really cool to watch him blow sh*t up. Do kids even get to reconstruct volcanoes out of vinegar and baking soda anymore?

  6. We got one as kids, but then we got too excited and showed mum what magnesium did when you lit it up like we did in science class, and we were never allowed to touch it again

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