Product Type: Interplay Child Development
Newest Review: ... seeing as we had such a struggle to make just the bath bomb we won't be trying this. The Bath Bomb Factory was a huge disappointment a... more
Interplay Bath Bomb Factory
Member Name: Rhiana
Interplay Bath Bomb Factory
Date: 23/08/11, updated on 23/08/11 (66 review reads)
Advantages: It's fun to see the balloon blow up on it's own
Disadvantages: Fiddly, impossible to create bath bombs, time consuming, other experiment underwhelming
Browsing a toy clearance section last year I noticed this bath bomb kit and decided that at around half it's original price of £15 it would be a great Christmas present for my six year old daughter. I was pretty sure she'd really enjoy the experiments, anything that involves us working together is always a win, and know she's a fan of bath smellies too. But after Christmas it was one of those things we didn't get around to. It sat in her cupboard and she'd occasionally ask at the most inappropriate times if we could do it then forget about it when I'd told her later. Finally last week she pulled it out when we both had a couple of hours to give it our full attention.
The Bath Bomb Factory is aimed at children aged 8 plus, but as I planned on supervising my daughter I thought it would be ok. It was, although I'd probably advise parents of older children to also take part in this activity with their child mainly due to the mess involved and because of how fiddly it is! It contains ingredients for making Bath Bombs (Soda Bicarbonate, Citric acid, Corn Starch, Glycerin, vanilla fragrance and colouring) a mold, spoons and a pot for mixing, safety goggles and gloves, a pipette and a balloon. The instructions seemed clear and simple to follow, targeted at their young market with some humour thrown in.
Covering the kitchen bench with an old plastic party tablecloth (you're advised to be near a sink) we got to work making our first bath bomb. You need to measure out the required spoonfuls of ingredient and mix in the pot. This was easy enough and my daughter enjoyed wearing the safety equipment and pretending to be a scientist (I also got some very cute photos!) Then you need to put the mixture into the mold...and this is where it gets tricky. The mold is pretty small, about the size of a small bouncy ball with an open funneled lid which comes in two halves. You put the two pieces of mold together and add the ingredients through the funnel but as it's so small this is very fiddly and most of the crumbly mixture ended up on the bench. The mold also comes apart really easily and my daughter struggled to keep it together, so I held it firmly and poked the mixture in as she spooned it. It took us ages to fill the tiny ball and really does require two people.
Once we'd filled the mold we excitedly opened it to reveal the bath bomb...and were met with great frustration and disappointment. The bath bomb split in two and collapsed the second we removed the first piece of mold. The intruction book advises that if this happens to add more glycerine and starch to the mixture and so we did, a number of times, going through the time consuming and annoying process of filling the mold a number of times. Eventually after 4 attempts and a whole hour we managed to create one tiny little bath bomb, then gave up after our next two attempts failed. I also tried molding the mixture without the mold but it just crumbled and wouldn't stick no matter what we did with the consistency.
If you manage to actually create a bath bomb you need to leave it to dry, and as per the instructions we placed it on the windowsill in the sun. We then moved on to the 'fun' experiments...one including the balloon and pipette which was extremely fiddly but had interesting results which my daughter was fascinated by (the balloon blows itself up). The next experiment we tried required washing up liquid and warned of a big mess. Apparently the concoction you make is supposed to bubble and fizz but all we ended up with was a slow and disappointing bunch of thick blue bubbles at the top of the pot. Feeling very underwhelmed my daughter decided she'd had enough and we put the set away.
Later that evening we ran the bath and plopped in the bath bomb which did fizz crazily for a minute before disappearing but was so small it neither coloured or fragranced the water as my daughter had hoped. After all that effort it seemed very little reward and my daughter was disappointed. There were a couple of other suggestions for using the bath bombs...one was to add a ribbon and make a scented wardrobe freshner but seeing as we had such a struggle to make just the bath bomb we won't be trying this.
The Bath Bomb Factory was a huge disappointment and a complete waste of money. Something that promised to be 'easy to do' proved to be almost impossible and was extremely frustrating and far too complex and fiddly for children, even those over the recommended age. Of the two experiments we tried only one was remotely worth while and entertaining but even that was difficult to do and really needs to be done by an adult, which leaves the child standing watching impatiently. I really don't feel this set was worth the £7.50 we paid so I'm glad I hadn't paid full price, and It's now been put in the bin. The only thing my daughter was interested in keeping was the goggles! I wouldn't recommend this at all.
Summary: A disappointing and frustrating set with underwhelming results
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