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Rated 4 out of 5 by from My Class Loved It! I had 4-5 students working on each rock. It took quite a bit of time for the students to work through the clay to get to the specimens. They loved this project! I think it was great for them to realize that they needed to work slowly and carefully or they could damage their specimens. Real paleontologists would get in trouble/lose funding if they just broke up their specimens in the dig. The tool did wear down but the students just kept using it. I will definitely use these again for my Earth Science class. Real excavation is hard work too!
Date published: 2013-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Entertainment Toy My grandson loved this toy of discovery. He did not follow good archaeological practices by carefully extricating the treasures. However, one could certainly teach those to a more patient child. Mine is 6. The plastic tool is a bit flimsy. Eventually under my close supervision he resorted to a hammer and a screwdriver to cleave the soft rock. I wish they would make other kits with different but similar "finds." this is a messy toy so be sure to put large swaths of newspaper underneath it on the work space. My grandson insisted I give this a 5 star review. I might give it 4 stars because of the flimsy plastic tool. Also the guide was missing from our box.
Date published: 2013-04-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great concept, disappointing execution My 10 year old daughter loves everything rock, fossil, and gem-related. She BEGGED me to get her this for Christmas. I thought it looked pretty cool, so I did. The first disappointment was the size of the mystery rock "matrix" (i.e., the clay that the rocks and gems are hidden in). It was maybe 7 inches in diameter and three inches thick, max. Second, upon opening the box, we discovered that there are only 9 (or maybe 10, the information on this was contradictory) specimens in the matrix, NOT 15 as pictured on the box. Third, I understand why they give you a plastic excavation tool to unearth the rocks, so as not to damage them (they are quite small, and some are also fragile) but geez, this thing mostly wore out before she even got the first specimen out of the matrix. We resorted to carefully using the pointy end of a metal can/bottle opener. Fourth disappointment - after excavating the tiny pieces of turquoise and malachite (we think - it was actually just a tiny bead of some sort, same with the "emerald", which was not only a bead, but I'm fairly sure it may even be made of plastic), my daughter pretty much lost interest in this. We resorted to dissolving the rest of the clay in water to unearth the rest of the specimens. Her comment, "when they say hours of fun on the box, they really mean hours of work, for not much payoff," pretty much sums up this product.
Date published: 2010-12-31
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