Tuesday 2 July 2019

National Geographic STEM Build Your Own Volcano Kit Review (Age 8+) Sent by Bandai

We've all made volcanoes before and they're a real crowd-pleasing, reliable experiment which is easy, safe and dramatic and teaches children a lot. This month Bandai have sent us the Build Your Own Volcano Kit to review and it's hands down my favourite home volcano science kit.

National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano Kit box photo

Inside the box is everything you'll need in generous quantities, and it's all in a cardboard tray which pulls out and can be used as a work surface to keep everything neat. I love the National Geographic STEM Kits for this.

National Geographic build your own Volcano box contents

You are given plaster of Paris and a 3-part mould to create your own volcano. There is masses of plaster and we propped the plastic mould up in the shaping of the box to hold it still while we filled it and it set hard.

Leave your model to set for 24 hours and then remove the plastic mould. Any rough edges can be smoothed just by rubbing them with the wooden stirring stick.

 tidy up rough edges of plaster model volcano using wooden lollipop stick

Now you can paint your volcano using the 3 colours of paint included. There is also a brush in the box, although ours wasn't great. The colours work incredibly well though to create a bright hot volcano. My partner and 10 year old got quite into it and added some black for contrast.

make your own Volcano mixing eruption powders together

Your eruption is created using Citric Acid and Eruption Powder (colouring and baking soda). The instruction leaflet didn't give instructions for what to do with them, so I made my boys have a think and they realised they needed to mix the dry ingredients and add water afterwards.

adding dry eruption ingredients and water to the top of the volcano

Your eruption is pretty instantaneous!

Adding water making Volcano erupt red liquid

It works incredibly well and looked particularly effective against our 'blue sea' table. You can see how the 'lava' has spattered and run down the side of the volcano unevenly. It shows where damage might occur if this was a real volcano and helps children understand the chaotic nature very easily. No two eruptions are exactly the same.

volcano erupting with red lava mist and rivers

Also included in the kit are two pieces of genuine cooled volcanic rock - pumice and a geode. We love geodes, so an extra is a real bonus. Looking at the spatter from our volcano helps demonstrate how these special rocks occur and where you might find them...

pumice and a geode volcanic rocks to examine

We've caused many eruptions over the past 20 years and this was my favourite, plus my 10yo is very proud of his model volcano. I expected this review to be less exciting than it was, National Geographic have made it into the best volcano kit I've ever tried.

adding water to bandai nat geo volcano to make eruption

The National Geographic Build Your Own Volcano Kit from Bandai is available now at the very reasonable price of £12.95rrp from toy shops instore and online.

Definitely a massive hit here and we haven't even cracked open that geode yet! One of my favourite Bandai STEM sets and a great birthday present for any young scientist. Here's my Amazon affiliate link:

We were sent our Build Your Own Volcano kit for review. Amazon links are *affiliate, which never costs you a penny, but can make me a few pence if you buy through my link. It helps keep the website running. 


  1. This looks like fantastic fun! It has a bit of everything. Arts and crafts, science and excitement. What a great kit. x

    1. It really is a fabulous one - brilliant eruption too! I'm so impressed because I assumed it would be similar to many of the kits I've used in the past.

    2. thx for this im buying this kit for a project at school but i needed to put the procedures for my experiment it helped a lot thx


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