“ Brand: Galt / Type: Childrens' chemistry / science kit / Age: 8 - 12 years „
I really like to get my daughter presents for Christmas and Birthdays that offer something educational as well as something fun . One of the little stocking fillers I got her last year was this 'Horrible Science Bulging Brains' kit .
I chose this because both my daughter and I are a fan of the Horrible Histories and Horrible Science books, which make learning quite fun, teaching you loads of interesting stuff, including some pretty disgusting stuff, that you wouldn't neccesarily learn in school. I paid £4.98 at the time I believe, which seems like a bargain, as the price has now gone up to 9.98 on amazon .
The kit contains various items - paints, glue, moulds, a card with press out bits, and an instruction leaflet and factsheet . Essentially, you use the plaster of paris provided to mould a brain, and then paint it and label the various parts .
Making the brain itself was easy, a simple matter of mixing the plaster with a little warm water (do be sure to use an old bowl, as it can be tricky to clean) and then, using the wooden spatula provided, smoothing it down into the moulds and leaving it to set overnight . It can then be popped out, and the two halves glued together and painted to look just like a real brain . My daughter rather enjoyed this stage, as it gave her the oppurtunity to make a bit of a mess and get her hands dirty (although you do need to be careful with the plaster as it apparently gets hotter when it dries and can cause harm to skin).
However, once the brain is made there isn't a lot to do with it - except perhaps digest the information in the fact sheet that comes with it . Sadly, the fact sheet is not particularly colourful - in fact, it's just white with blue writing . The text is quite small, probably too small for children who aren't too confident in reading. The facts in it were if I recall quite interesting - however, the leaflet being so dull in appearance seems to have resulted in it being lost, which is a shame . I remember it did explain what different parts of the brain do.
The small pop out cards are for a memory game - you show five or six cards to someone, then hide them, and they have to remember them all . There are a fair few of these, but they are only very small and easy to lose - in fact, most of them seem to be missing too . They were items like scalpels, aneasthetic, drills - all the items you'd need to conduce brain surgery .
In hindsight, I don't know if this was worth the money . The memory cards are so small many have been lost, and without the fact booklet, which was dull looking, really we are just left with a lump of painted plaster that looks like a brain . I think perhaps for older kids who can keep all the bits together without losing them, this might be a nice little gift, but for a messy 7 year old who is careless with her toys at the best of times, it was not the wisest choice. 3 stars .