Monday, 1 September 2014

ScienceX Mini - Dinosaurs – Review

We were asked to review the ScienceX Mini Dinosaurs kit from Ravensburger over 
the summer holidays. I am always looking for new things to get the boy excited 
about learning, and this kit which is part of a great range of ScienceX kits looked 
a perfect place to start.

scienceX Dinosaurs

The ScienceX Dinosaurs kit is available on-line and from shops with a RRP 
£7.99 and recommended age of 8+. The age advisory on this kit is due to 
the inclusion of plaster in the kit, where adult supervision is essential. 
The ScienceX Dinosaurs kit contains 6 activities, with a bright colourful guide 
full of information as well as details of each activity.

Supplied: Dinosaur cut panels for two models, Excavation block, 
Plaster powder, Plaster mould.

Not supplied: Tools for excavation (we used an old butter knife), paint
brush, glue, measuring jug, and a pot to mix the plaster.

You can start with activity one, a fun Dinosaur timeline game, which explains 
when each species of Dinosaur lived, or like the boy, jump straight into 
building the T-rex! The first think I noticed about the ScienceX Dinosaurs 
kit is that it is not over packaged. The box is the perfect size for the content, 
and sturdy like the jigsaw boxes that Ravensburger produce. As a parent 
over packaged toys are a big bugbear of mine, and its nice to see that this 
ScienceX has only the packaging that it needs.

The boy set about activity six, building the T-Rex skeleton. He needed no 
help from me for this activity. The pieces pop out of the panels, and slot 
together to form a very pleasing model.

scienceX dinosaurs trex

Next was the excavation of the Megalosaurus tooth. We talked about how 
archaeologists would take their time and care when digging up a fossil. 
So despite the boys keenness to get the tooth out, he did attempt to take his time. 
The block is formed of a fine powder, easy to scrape away with a spoon, 
or like us blunt butter knife. I think out of all the activities in the 
ScienceX Dinosaur kit this was the boys favourite. He was proud of his
 findings, and was excited to get on with the next activity.

sciencex dinosaurs megalosaurus tooth

There are two activities where you can make a plaster model of firstly a 
Nautilus, then an Archaeopteryx, and the instructions do tell you to weigh 
out 50g of plaster for each. As the kit only contained 50g of plaster we 
worked out that these two models had to be made at the same time. 
We used a plastic cup to mix our plaster and a lolly stick was a perfect stirrer. 
The boy couldn’t wait for his fossils to dry, and we were very pleased with 
the finished results.

sciencex dinosaurs plaster

The only disappointment with the kit was the Pteranodon model. 
You will need strong glue, as we used a PVA and this didn’t work at 
all with the shiny high gloss paper. The boy was disappointed with this model, 
and said he didn’t think it looked very good at all. I have to agree with this, 
and think it would have been more fun to have the Pteranadon as a flyable 
paper aeroplane, type model.

dinosaurs sciencex kit

Overall we are very impressed with the ScienceX Dinosaurs kit. From my 
point of view the boy was entertained for  a couple of afternoons, and learning. 
The kit is great value for money, and something I will consider for a friends 
party gift. It’s not over packaged (hurrah) and the boy?

He said “It was great fun getting the tooth out, the Pteranodon was not good, 
but the T-rex is the best and I think I will put on my desk”

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