Ages: 10 and upManufacturer: Thames & Kosmos

This groovy science kit has kids growing multi-color crystals and geodes that glow-in-the-dark.

Using dyes and nontoxic chemical compounds, young chemists learn to custom-color their crystals, make phosphorescent crystals that glow in the dark because they hold a charge when exposed to light, and create fluorescent crystals that light up under the included ultraviolet flashlight. Our testers observed how the speed of growth affects the structure, and how potassium alum salt solution and strontium aluminate shape results – and pronunciation. The kit also includes plaster molds such as, stars, frogs, mushrooms, and gems, that allow kids to shape the growth of their crystal creations. They can also sculpt a crystal geode that looks surprisingly like the real thing.

The fully illustrated and appealing 32-page instruction manual communicates concepts, lessons, and fun facts, placing an important emphasis on making safety the priority before, during, and after the crystal growing process. With enough nontoxic chemical materials for 12 experiments and the ability to grow dozens of crystals, the additional materials from regular kitchen and home office items to distilled water and glass jelly jars with lids are clearly noted on the back of the box. (Note: take to heart the suggestion of using an old/worn out pot.) Each project clearly lists all materials needed.

Our testers reported the experiments engaging, educationally illuminating, and compelling enough to commit young chemists to follow and track daily changes to the crystals.

Parents’ Choice ©2018 Parents’ Choice

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