One of the things we bought our boys for Christmas was the Smithsonian Rock and Gem Kit. They both got one. They loved them and since they were such a huge hit, I decided to review them. Besides, I thought they were pretty cool myself. I will warn you though. There is a lot of pounding and noise. For two days straight, I think that’s all we heard.
The kits that we got them actually had two digs in one. Inside the kit was two bricks (sand or clay bricks). One was slightly smaller than the second one. The smaller one contained the rocks and gems. The slightly bigger one contained dinosaur bones. Obviously they were real bones but it was pretty fun nonetheless. The kit also contains safety goggles which my boys ended up not using them because they both wear glasses. Also included is a wooden chisel and wooden mallet. There was also a really neat poster inside the kit which was actually pretty big. It shows the different kinds of gems they may find so they can identify them. On the other side there was information about the T-Rex.
The first brick they both went for was the gems and rocks. The bricks aren’t too difficult to to chisel away at (as long as they went from the edges in) but it does take a bit of time. They were having a lot of fun as soon as they started. Our youngest got the idea to just scrape the chisel across his brick after taking so long to find his first rock. Our older son just kept finding rock after rock. Oh the excitement each time they found one! It took them a total of three hours to find all their gems. They took breaks every once in a while to go do something else and then come back to it.
The gems were all really pretty. There is a guarantee that there are 11 stones in each brick. However, one of my boys found 12 in his. The other brick had 11 like it was supposed to. The gems are rather small. I do wish they were a little bigger than they were but my boys didn’t seem to care. They were pretty excited with what they found. There were a couple about the size of a penny but most of them were a little smaller than that.
The one other thing that was kind of annoying was that all the gems seemed to be in one spot. The center of the brick. I wish they were spread out more but since they were all in the same area, they felt like they hit the jackpot. Once they figured that out, they started moving a bit quicker. And we kept hearing, “I found another one!” and then “There’s another!”
The gems are really pretty. Reds, blues, greens, grays, and even a purple and yellow one. They also got a little pouch to put their gems in.
The dinosaur brick was a little easier to work with because the bone pieces were bigger. They weren’t digging for little tiny stones anymore. The bones are a durable plastic material and after you find all the bones, you can actually put it together. The bones are pieces of a model. There are directions on how to put it together on the poster.
I did have to get a needle to clear out the little holes in the bones where other bones are supposed to be able to snap together. Some of the holes were filled with the clay or sand of the brick. After the holes were cleared, the bones snapped together pretty easily. It ended up being a pretty sturdy model after it was put together. My son thought it was cool that the T-Rex’s jaw moves.
There were 8 to 10 bone pieces. I can’t remember the exact total.
And that is the Smithsonian Rock and Gem Dig.
If you find yourself buying one of these for your kids, make sure you have a clean workplace and if you are letting your kids work on the dining room table like we did, put something down for them to work on. These digs are messy. I had some really big sheet paper that we put down. Our table already has many scratches and such so I wasn’t worried if all the pounding from the bricks made any more. I’m not even sure if it did to be honest with you.
I would have preferred they took them outside but we’ve had some pretty cold temps this winter. At that time with the wind chill, it was below zero so there was no going outside. And they didn’t want to wait.
Overall, I think this kit was pretty fun and the boys loved it. If you are interested, look it up on Amazon. They have a good prize on them. I think I bought their sets for around $12-$14 when I bought them.
Disclaimer: This is not a paid or sponsored post. DustinNikki Mommy of Three did not receive anything in exchange for this review.