The National Geographic Mega Gemstone Dig Kit offers a unique way to kick off or expand your child’s rock collection with their very own dig. Inside the kit, 15 gemstone samples are buried within a large “dig site” block that is of similar consistency to chalk. Using the included pick tools and brushes, my son was able to uncover the stones. It didn’t take long before he had revealed several of the stones.

“Look, mom, I found a kyber crystal!” It was actually a piece of quartz.

After about 30 minutes, his patience began to wear thin with the repetitive process. So we placed large pieces of the brick in a shallow plastic pan and poured warm water over it. The brick transformed into a syrupy clay that he could squish to  reveal more buried gemstones. He was both delighted and disgusted by the texture.

In total, we uncovered 15 quarter-sized gemstones. As they were uncovered my son was able to flip through the booklet for identification. He discovered the gemstone below is red jasper.

In addition to the gemstone’s name, the booklet offers a variety of information for each gemstone such as how it is formed, how it got its name, its uses or other fun facts. We even expanded on the exploration using some magnets around the house as part of our examination of the hematite, the mineral form of iron oxide.

We recommend playing with the kit outside as the digging gets plenty messy. Also, be careful not to overlook any of the included stones.

National Geographic Mega Gemstone Dig Kit retails for $19.99 and is available from Amazon.