Monday, 9 February 2015

Review: Dr Cool Science Kits

The kids were over the moon when we were sent four Dr Cool science sets a couple of weeks back.  I literally got nagged from the moment they arrived until I let them crack them open and then I had the joy of them arguing over which sets they each wanted. At least this means they were something they thought looked great and really wanted to play with.

This is what we received, clockwise from top left - Crystal growing kit, Mine for gems, Ultimate volcano science kit and Break open real geodes.

The first thing to say is that I like the packaging of the Dr Cool sets, the boxes are a good thick quality cardboard and the items inside the box are presented well.  Every kit comes with colourful instructions, additional information relating to the science activity you are going to do and also an activity book with word searches etc inside.  My 11 year old had no interest in the activity book but the 7 years olds like them and they seemed to be age appropriate.

Mine for Gems
This retails for £29.99 on Amazon so is not a cheap toy.  One of my 7 year old twins started off digging and she was bored within about 10 minutes (but this is her nature) and then my 11 year old boy happily took over. He had two sessions of about 2 or 3 hours a piece and happily sat there and dug away at his piece of plaster.

He found 10 gems in all and these were a good size and quality. In the kit he received a digging tool, small brush and magnifying glass as well as the instructions and activity booklet.

JJ loved this but I'd recommend that you buy it as an outside toy as it does make a mess, there is plaster dust all about (so probably not suitable for those with asthma) and I had to keep sweeping the floor. JJ also got it all over his clothes, granted it washes off easily but it was still a mess.



Break open real geodes
Miss E was so excited about this set and finding real crystals inside the rocks. She received 4 rocks and we put on the goggles supplied and set about cracking them open. I discovered we needed a hammer and chisel and I could not find one so I tried a very large and heavy spanner with a screwdriver but even when I was whacking them with this generally there was no give.

We did manage to crack one with a screwdriver and the spanner but the other three were beyond our skills, We next put one in a sock (as recommended) and trying whacking it against the stone floor or stone on our house and again no joy, nothing happened except we ruined the sock.

As a last resort we took the geodes down to the groundsman where we live and he tried to crack them with a big hammer and chisel.  He had no luck either so he took his diamond blade and cut them with an angle grinder.

You'll see from the picture that of the three he cut for us, only one was hollow and Miss E was over the moon with the crystals in that but the other two were a disappointment as they were not hollow. I suppose it is hard to know what is inside, but I suppose it would have been good to know this so I could have prepared Miss E. At £19.95 this is quite a costly investment.


We haven't started on the crystal growing or volcano sets yet, they will be in the next few weeks.


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