National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano Review

What is not to love about erupting volcanoes right? What is even better is with the National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano – you got it, you get to build the volcano before causing the explosion! We have been asked to be ambassadors for the National Geographic™ STEM educational kits from Bandai, which are a range of experiment-based discoveries that will appeal to both boys and girls.

National Geographic Build your own Volcano

National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano Contents

The National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano comes with a bag of plaster, 2 bags of eruption powder, citric acid, 1 volcano mold, 1 stir stick, 1 paint and brush set, 2 volcanic specimens, an instruction guide, learning guide and translation booklet.

National Geographic Build Your own Volcano contents

National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano: Learning Guide

The National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano is more than an experiment it is a great learning tool. The colourful booklet introduces Volcanoes with beautifully illustrated pictures and bite-sized chunks of information, covering what is a volcano; the structure of the Earth; Plate tectonics; The ring of fire; parts of a volcano; 3 different types of volcanoes; classification; largest volcanoes; predicting eruptions; volcanic winter; benefits; geothermal energy and amazing rocks.

National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano Instructions

The National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano says it is not recommended for children under 12 years age, and is not suitable for those under 8 years – I would suggest that this actually means without adult supervision. The first thing to do is to read all of the instructions and decide on what time scale you wish to build and complete the volcano. This is because you need to wait until the plaster is completely dry before you paint it – it is advised to leave it for 1 or 2 days, but you can alternatively put it in the oven for 1-2 hours. You also need to ensure that the paint is completely dry before performing the eruption experiment.

working together to build a volcano

The instructions are pretty straight forward and have words and pictures to explain each step. We found that really two people were required to help build the volcano – with one holding the mold and the other pouring the plaster. We did note that it says to mix bicarb and we were unsure if this was already mixed in. We used baking powder.

volcano eruption materials

We found that the cardboard tray that contained everything was strong enough to hold the liquid following the eruption – keeping our surface clean. The volcano was also ok to use again after allowing it to dry out.

National Geographic Build your own volcano ready to erupt

After you have performed the erruption and found out how it works there are also some tips for using other products to cause bigger explosions (including using baking soda, vinegar, mentos, and/or diet cola).

Other things to Know about National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano

Obviously this can be a very messy educational STEM kit so wear old clothes and put newspaper down. The National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano kit requires something to mix the plaster with too – I thought this was great problem solving shown by our son who cut up an old plastic milk bottle like his dad! It also made him question why his plaster was white and his dad’s was brown. He loved the fact that the plaster went hot when mixed too.

Other STEM Kit Reviews:

· National Geographic™ Crystal Lab Kits and The Original Sea Monkeys Review

· National Geographic Geodes

· National Geographic™ STEM Dig Kits Review

We were sent a National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano STEM Kit to review as part of our role as ambassadors. Any opinions are honest and my own.

1 thought on “National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano Review”

  1. I purchased the build your own volcano for my grandchildren and they were both very excited about the prospect of building and erupting the volcano. I cannot tell you how very disappointed I was in the product. The casting, waiting to dry, painting, then finally to set the eruption which fizzled out to be less than a STEM activity.

    I would not recommend this product or purchase and hope that as you build STEM activities you improve dramatically in providing an activity that stimulates and encourages the sciences through projects that are more engaging and fulfilling.


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