Exposes kids to STEM themes
Easy to follow instructions
Simple, fun experiments
Engaging for all ages
Ingredient pouches aren’t easily resealable
We purchased the Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
When I think of science experiments, I remember my high school science classroom, where a frog lay on my desk awaiting dissection. It was an experience that rattled me but likely would intrigue my five curious kids, ranging in age from 8 to16. Offering home do-it-yourself science toys to my kids appeals to me, especially since hands-on science has been drastically reduced in their schools. In this review, we test out the Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit with my youngest. Read on to find out if it really blows our minds.
Entertainment Value: Wow
When I first told my 8-year-old that we would play with the Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit, he was less than enthused. “Boring,” was his assessment after looking at the box. “If they say ‘mind-blowing,” it probably isn’t,” he concluded. His older brother, a 14-year-old, cajoled him into giving it a try with the promise of doing it with him (and then said he would play Fortnight with him after they were done).
It turns out that my younger son's initial assessment of this “learning toy” was all wrong. As soon as the first beaker came out of the box, he was hooked. My older son was too. He enjoyed playing the science teacher. Soon enough, my other sons, age 10 and 12, were gathered around the table. Each wanted to be the next one to measure, scoop, pour, or stir. They were literally saying, “Wow,” as liquids suddenly changed colors, frothed and bubbled, erupted (yes, as in a volcano), turned into crystals, or became “magic ooze.”
Educational Value: Science made fun
My young son loved this STEM kit so much that he apologized to me for initially thinking it would be boring. He said he was sorry he’d resisted doing the experiments and that they were “actually super fun,” and he hoped we could do more. If that’s not a winning endorsement about this toy’s educational value, I don’t know what is. My son was clambering for more science and calling learning “super fun.”
More specifically, kids will unwittingly be exposed to a bevy of scientific concepts and learn the basics of simple chemical reactions, creating cool visual effects in this experiment. Additionally, they get to see how the same basic ingredients will elicit different reactions when put together in unique ways.
Beyond the basic how-to of each experiment, the activity guide booklet also includes extensions for many projects, added information (in boxes called “Mind Blowing Science Secrets”), and extension questions to ponder, which adds to the depth of each experiment and provides a greater challenge for older kids.
For example, in the “Giant Jiggly Crystals” activity, budding scientists can touch and play with the jiggling creations, consider their feel, attempt to break them apart, and try to bounce them. This type of experimenting builds a kid’s critical thinking and takes the basic concepts into the real world. It also makes it “super fun.”
Design: Simply great
This product's design is simple, with the “wow” reserved for the experiments rather than the packaging—as it should be. All the supplies are enclosed in a large, clear plastic bag inside the Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit box.
The 20-piece kit includes the supplies and instructions you’ll need to conduct 11 unique science experiments. The kit’s ingredients are red cabbage juice powder, citric acid, baking soda, color tablets, cross-linked polyacrylamide crystals, vegetable oil, and cornstarch. The kit also comes with paper, cotton swabs, test tubes and caps, plastic cups, a (much coveted) pipette, stir sticks, small and medium plastic scoops, and the science guide with step-by-step instructions. The only items you’ll need to provide for most experiments are a surface to work on (such as a cutting board or plate) and water. Some projects also require a few other items you’ll likely have on hand, such as a little flour, masking tape, food coloring, spoons, bowls, and paper towels.
The inclusion of official-looking science equipment like beakers, little scoopers, and a pipette add to the kit's allure. The pipette was a huge hit and by far the most coveted item for my boys. Easy-to-follow instructions are frustration-free and make the experiments accessible for older kids to do without adult help.
My only complaint is that the white ingredient pouches aren't resealable. (An exception is the red cabbage juice powder, which is in a sealable plastic bag.) I used clothespins to seal the pouches to prevent spills and retain the ingredient for use in the other experiments.
Age Range: 4 and up
Scientific Explorer recommends this activity kit for children aged 4 and up with adult supervision. My sons, from 8 to 14, loved these experiments. In fact, the older ones, which started merely as “helpers,” ended up vying for turns to complete the various steps along with their younger brothers.
Soon enough, their other brothers, aged 10 and 12, were gathered around the table as well, each wanting to be the next one to measure, scoop, pour, and/or stir.
My younger two needed minimal help to follow all the steps and could easily comprehend the instructions. I like the way there are multiple, simple steps in each experiment, making it easy to split up tasks and understand the impact each step has on the overall experiment.
Little kids may not take away the concepts in the process or chemistry experiments, but they will enjoy the vivid ways the ingredients change colors, bubble up, or otherwise morph in the course of each activity.
Ease of Cleaning: A snap
When I contemplate kid-centric science experiments, the mom in me worries about the potential mess. Happily, this kit is a winner on that front. This kit is made of all non-toxic, simple ingredients and all the experiments are fairly small in scale, making clean-up easy.
We did our experiments on plastic cutting boards and plates. To clean up, I put the supplies in the sink for a quick hand wash. To store items between experiments, I also folded each ingredient pouch's tops, pinched them closed them with a clothespin, and put everything back into the box.
Price: A mind-blowing deal
Scientific Explorer’s My First Mind Blowing Science Kit can be found from $11 to $24, so it pays to shop around. Other similar science kits price out in that range, but most don’t include such thoughtfully designed, easy-to-execute experiments. So, considering this 20-piece kit contains 11 unique and engaging science activities, this price is a steal.
They were literally saying, “wow,” as liquids suddenly changed colors, frothed and bubbled, erupted (yes, as in a volcano), turned into crystals, or became “magic ooze."
Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit vs. Baby Mushroom Ultimate Slime Kit
Both of these products wow with cool, DIY science projects. The Baby Mushroom Ultimate Slime Kit retails for $19 and cleverly uses slime (the ultimate kid magnet) to engage kids in chemistry basics for kids 8 and up. The Scientific Explorer kit costs less at $11 and is geared toward ages 4 and up. Its experiments are not as trendy but still super engaging—and the kicker for me, far less messy. Either one would make a great gift, but I would go for the Mind Blowing Science kit for younger kids and the Baby Mushroom one for any kid with a slime fascination.
Yes, buy it!
Scientific Explorer’s My First Mind Blowing Science Kit thrills with engaging, easy-to-do, low-mess experiments that appeal to kids of all ages. Each experiment features lots of simple but fun, hands-on steps that anyone can do. This kit gets kids excited about science—a win in my book.
- Product Name My First Mind Blowing Science Kit Review
- Product Brand Scientific Explorer
- MPN 0SA221
- Price $20.45
- Weight 1.1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 12 x 10.2 x 0 in.
- What's Included Includes red cabbage juice powder, citric acid, baking soda, color tablets, cross-linked polyacrylamide crystals, vegetable oil, corn starch, paper, cotton swabs, test tubes and caps, plastic cups, pipette, stir sticks, small and medium plastic scoops, and science guide