Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Crystals, Rocks & Minerals

Crystals, Rocks & Minerals

Fall 2010 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $49.95

The National Geographic Crystals, Rocks and Minerals science kit by Thames and Kosmos is more than just a crystal growing kit; it is an experiment kit that teaches the chemistry of crystals and the geological science behind rock formation. It teaches these concepts through eighteen hands-on projects and investigations as detailed in its 32-page full-color manual. Children grow three chemically different types of crystals with different shapes and colors. They even create three-dimensional models of the most common crystal types (e.g., tetrahedrons, octahedrons, rhomboids, etc.).

The kit teaches key geological vocabulary such as color, luster, streak color, hardness, density, and magnetism, not to mention the names of many rocks and minerals. Children also learn the three main categories of rock (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic) and how they are formed.

The kit includes most items that are required for the experiments: a double measuring spoon, a lid opener, a display box, a spatula, small and large measuring cups, a plastic pipette, safety goggles, a geode mold for creating their own geode, a compass, a magnifying lens, a balloon, sandpaper, a die-cut sheet (crystal shapes), a rock cycle paper sheet, a wooden stick, a 32-page manual and a large variety of rock and mineral samples.

The National Geographic Crystals, Rocks and Minerals Science Kit takes the traditional crystal growing kit and goes miles beyond it. Through its hands-on experiments and manipulatives, children learn basic chemical and geological concepts as well as basic scientific and experimenting skills. The kit has many types of experiments; and this variety keeps children coming back for more.

Sharon Heuscher   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

Look for this product at:
Thames & Kosmos
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
Museum Stores

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