Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Bandai National Geographic Science Kits review

We love trying out different science/STEM-based experiments here at The Madhouse. The kids love the excitement and surprise of never really knowing what to expect and I love the learning side of things, especially as it's so much easier to understand and remember lessons when they're hands on, so it's always a win-win situation. Combining a trusted and well-known brand with fun and exciting experiments, expert learning guides and fascinating subjects, The National Geographic range of experiment-based kits are bound to be a hit with girls and boys alike.

We received two of the kits to try out, and Pierre was very excited to get his mitts on the Gemstone Dig Kit. We've had fun with these kind of excavation kits before, so Pierre knew the ropes, unpacking the little tools (scraper, brush and magnifying glass), as well as the plaster shape hiding the gems and the instruction/information booklets.

The plaster blocks are often just a basic rectangle shape so we were very impressed with the crystal-shaped block with a bright purple colour.

After laying out a sheet of newspaper to collect up the debris, Pierre was off, expertly scraping, digging and brushing away at the plaster until he started to reveal his first treasure.

Sometimes, these kits can be very messy, with dust puffing up everywhere, but this one wasn't too bad. The dust remained in the newspaper and could be easily disposed off at the end. Just a quick spray and wipe was all that was needed for the table to be perfectly clean again - no need to get the vacuum cleaner out. Yay !

The enclosed guide tells you all about gemstones in general, as well as the three that you will discover. Pierre's first find was a decent-sized piece of quartz.

Next was a beautiful Tiger's Eye with shimmery golden stripes that dance before your eyes as you turn it in the light. The picture doesn't do it justice.

Finally we uncovered some amethyst, which apparently is supposed to stop you getting drunk -  a factoid that was new even for me !

A quick wash and wipe and all three of the gemstones were ready to join the rest of Sophie's collection in her bedroom.

Next, we moved on to the Crystal Growing Kit, which provides all you need to grow and inspect an amazing crystal at home, including a real Fluorite, Amethyst or Calcite crystal in each box to compare with the one you grow.

This one is a bit more technical and scientific than the Gemstone Dig Kit, so we sat down and read through the instructions and the information guide before we started. It also requires some adult assistance, unlike the dig kit, as it involves boiling water.

Pierre was very intrigued by the bags of Crystal Growing Powder and the Glow-In-The-Dark Seed Rock, which he thought looked like half a magical dragon's egg !

After boiling up some filtered water and stirring in the crystal-growing powder, it was time to transfer it to a clean pot or glass.

After leaving the liquid to cool for 15 minutes, we carefully dropped in the seed rock. Now, Pierre is excitedly waiting for the crystals to start growing. The first signs appear after 24 hours but you need to wait 7-10 days for the crystals to fully form.

Hopefully, we'll have something like this to show you in a couple of weeks. This is the publicity photo for the kit so it will be interesting to see how ours compares.

 Other exciting kits include Geodes, Build Your Own Volcano and Ultimate Play Sand. They retail at £9.99 and provide a lovely way to spend some quality time with the kids. It's great to find an activity that appeals to kids of both sexes and all ages, and even I had fun joining in !

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.


  1. These look like fantastic kits. My girls love things like this and to be honest so do I x

  2. I love these kits - must get the dig kit - even though they seem to be messy they are very educational.

  3. These look great

  4. What a great idea! I love kits like this!

  5. We love doing kits like these


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