Customer Reviews: Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit
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on January 12, 2007
While I am not a chemist nor a volcano expert, I am a certified teacher. This kit provided hours and hours of quality time for my 4 year old, my six year old and myself. We measured ingredients, mixed solutions, made predictions, learned vocabulary, and discussed results. Can you think of many toys that can offer all of that? I thought the booklet that contained instructions was well-sequenced, with simple experiments followed by complex ones and with a helpful parent script. There were two drawbacks: the activities required direct parent involvement and sometimes a 2 hour wait time was required for "reactions" to happen
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I got this kit for my 5-year-old daughter who loves doing little experiments and I decided to try this kit out. It comes with a set of items that facilitate a range of relatively easy and fun experiments. The kit contains: red cabbage juice powder, citric acid, baking soda, color tablets, cross-linked polyacrylamide crystals, vegetable oil, corn starch, 2 sheets of goldenrod paper, 2 cotton swabs, 3 test tubes and caps, 3 clear plastic cups, 1 pipette (in the form of an eye dropper), 2 stir sticks, 1 small plastic scoop, and 1 medium plastic scoop. The experiments also call for some basic and easy-to-find household items such as water, baking flour, plate/tray, tape, red and blue pens, grape juice, coffee filter paper, etc.

An older child may be able to conduct these experiments by him/herself though I feel adult supervision is necessary (it is also recommended by the manufacturer). I had to help my daughter with some parts of the experiments, especially those involving the use of citric acid. The experiments included here are:
Dancing Powders
Color changing liquids
Acid or Base? - involves testing some safe household liquids to determine if they are acids or bases.
Colorful Jiggle Crystals - we had so much fun with these! It does require patience as it takes up to 2 hours for the crystals to absorb the water and form into soft crystals.
Test tube sunset
Giant Jiggly Crystals
Color Changing Volcano - this was awesome! We started on a modest scale making a small volcano, then I adapted the recipe and made a bigger one with bigger fizzy effects, to my preschooler's delight!
Underwater Volcano
Color Changing Paper
Color Changing Grapes
Magic Ooze
Mix Colors with your eyes - mixing colors without them touching each other.

Each experiment comes with detailed step by step instructions, and also a segment titled "Mind Blowing Science Secrets" which I found quite educational.

Final verdict - this is an excellent beginner science kit that will motivate young children and enhance their interest in science. The experiments are easy to produce and great fun - definitely worth the money!
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on November 13, 2008
My kids (daughter age 9 1/2 and son age 4 1/2 at the time) got this for Christmas last year and still enjoy the activities and science projects in it - and I have fun with them! It can get a little messy when my son wants to do some of it by himself, but we've learned a lot and had fun at the same time! My older daughter might be getting a little old for some of it, but she still liked it quite a bit. It was very exciting for the younger one, especially as he's gotten older this year.
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on February 19, 2009
This is the sort of kit that you buy exclusively for the instructions (though you could buy a science experiment book instead) and a couple of chemicals that you don't have in your kitchen (in this case red cabbage juice powder, goldenrod paper and crystals). $20-$25 is a bit too much for that, but I bought my kit at Michael's with a 50% off coupon (so I only paid $14 or so after tax) and I think it's not a bad value for that. It will make me go to the store for more supplies that are not included (baking flour and grape juice in my case). But I think the point is that it's getting us started on doing science experiments together - maybe later we'll branch out on our own.

So far we've done two experiments. The first one is your simple mixing baking soda with citric acid and water, which most kids have done a lot, but the second one adds red cabbage juice powder to the mix, and that makes a lot of difference. My 7yo loved seeing the glasses turn different colors, and fizz or not fizz depending which ingredient she added to it. She started not wanting to do any experiments saying science was for boys - but by the end of that experiment she was hooked and ready for more :-) Now I need to find a supplier of red cabbage juice powder to repeat these experiments at her birthday party :-)
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on April 6, 2010
Manual: Is just a cheap white xerox copy looking print out folded and stapled. With NO pictures. Very few experiments and they are all pretty much the same experiments. All just ways to view the interaction of acids and basics.

Hardware supplies: 3 little plastic dixie cups. 3 plastic test tubes with rounded bottoms and no rack to hold them. They want you to put them in a cup to hold them for viewing. They could have at least made the bottoms flat or included a cheap rack to go with the cheap test tubes. 2 straws, a pippet, and 2 measuring spoons that do not have the measurement amounts printed on them, but instead are referred to as the medium and small spoon. No clay or anything to mold a basic volcano. Instead they include a recipe for using flour to make a really bad paste for the volcano.

Chemicals: pretty much everything you already have in your kitchen except for the Citric Acid, which you could buy somewhere else or use Vinegar which works better in many of the acid/basic experiments.

While I knew when I bought this that the supplies would likely be over priced for this kit. I was expecting that the cost was justified for what I was expecting the manual to be. The manual should have been a nice color experiment book with pictures. And should have been a good collection of experiments that were more than just make colors change and watch the bubbles. Worthless kit. Just google for some simple experiments yourself. You likely have everything in your kitchen already and you will likely find more exciting things to show and teach your kids. I would return this kit if I had a choice.
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on January 7, 2009
The experiments are very simple. My son is 6 1/2 and is into science, so I thought this would be a great learning gift. It does teach about acids and bases and how they react, and asks questions about "what do you think will happen now". However the BIG part of this kit is the volcano and that really left something to be desired. It calls for making a tiny volcano and watching the reactions of the chemicals. I guess we were really expecting more.
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on July 23, 2013
I ordered this for a kid I babysit for. Sadly, the cheap instructional booklet was poorly printed. Out of the 15 pages only 8 are readable, and 4 are missing completely. So, instead of instructions for 11 projects, I think I can possibly do 7 or 8. The volcano was a hit, but the others.... meh....
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on January 5, 2009
My daughter is 7 and really loves science. I read the reviews before buying this kit and its exactly as reviewed! The experiments are easy and fun! She literally does them by herself. We helped her with the first couple experiments just so she would understand that you have to read the instructions exactly. She has had so much fun that she now does an experiment and then adds her own little things to see what happens. The experiments only take a small amount of the products provided. This is definitely not a do all the experiments once and then you are done because you have used up all the ingredients. It is goint to provide fun for quite a while! I will definitely buy kits like this from the maker!
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on January 22, 2009
Purchased this for my 5 year old granddaughter for christmas. This she said out of the gazzillions of presents she got, including one of those riding atv looking things. This she annouced was her favorite thing for christmas. There are about 10 different experiments to do maybe a few more. And she loved every minute of it. I am thrilled I bought it and would love a recommendation for more kits like this. From the puny volcano, to the crystals, to the fizzing underwater volcano this kit gets 5 stars!
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on April 28, 2008
This science kit is a great deal for families with children under 12. It offers parents an opportnity to enjoy teaching their children that science is fun. Easy, entertaining and educational. I highly recommend it.
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