Tilly chose some designs that she wanted to go and got started. As I read the instructions, she popped on the gloves and got stuck in with the experiment. She enjoyed measuring and mixing but she also got to learn about the powders and salts in the pack. The instructions are easy to follow and an older child would be able to follow them without a problem.The instructions show you how to use the tools inside the set and also explains a bit of the scientific terminology.
Tilly decided that she wanted to make a crystalised star, so we set about making that and we talked about how important it was to use the products exactly as instructed in the box. She enjoyed measuring and mixing, then got excited about the food colouring she could add too. The star was quite easy to make but the crystals on there didn't really wow me. Tilly is happy because she has created a beautiful star. Creating the crystals is quite a long process as you have to do the star first and leave it for an hour, but then you need to leave it in a second solution for 24 hours. Then you remove the clingfilm that is covering it and leave it for another 72 hours. Finally, you have to remove the star from the solution and leave it to dry on some kitchen roll for a week. So although it will be cool to watch it growing the crystals, you do have to wait a long time for the process to actually finish. Then at the end, your star has small salt sized crystals all over it, that should look fantastic in the sunlight.
We also decided to make the fish in the dish, but there wasn't enough liquid in the mixture to cover the whole fish shape and when we tried to get the fish out of the mould, it wouldn't come out. So we put that one down to a learning curve and next time we would make more solution.
The set was okay for the £10 price tag that it has at the moment in shops like The Entertainer, but the normal RRP is £20. I feel £10 is ideal for it and it would make a great gift for a school friends birthday or child's secret Santa gift. But for Tilly, it was a really long-winded process and she got a bit bored with it. This was definitely a S.T.E.M toy and we did learn a lot from using it.