Discovery Tubes are okay

Lakeshore has these Discovery Tubes that they sell for $59.95. You get all four of them for that price and they are pretty cool. When I worked for Head Start we always had more money than we knew what to do with (grants and stuff) so we were always ordering. When you do that much ordering, you end up buying a lot of things that you want not need. And this is why I ordered these. They were really cool. The children all liked them; however, you can make them. The plus, they are very sturdy. These were dropped, stepped on, stacked, toppled over and they never sustained any structural damage; that is to say that they may have been scratched but not cracked or broken. They definitly have a long life! But, like I said, you can make them for much less.
That would also play into the minus. With these, the children don't really know what has gone in them to make them work. One good activity to do with them may be to try and "recreat" the bottles. Putting out different materials and see if they can figure out how they were made. They only truly comlete their purpose if the children understand how they work. It's great to look and see things sink or float, but what are they sinking of floating in? Why does the blue and clear materials seperate, what are they made from? And what about the gravity one? How does that work?
In the end, I would say they are pretty neat to have in the classroom and are worth it if you have money to spare. If not, make them yourself! They are just as fun and fasinating.

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