Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Master Detective Toolkit

Master Detective Toolkit

Fall 2015 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $49.95

The Thames & Kosmos Master Detective Toolkit is an extensive science kit for children to explore the world of forensics. The locking plastic briefcase includes an impressive array of supplies: in addition to basic measuring tools and collection containers, it includes fingerprint powder and collection stickers, plaster for copying footprints, a UV light (which we promptly used to verify the authenticity of our paper money), chalk (for outlining the bodies!), and even crime scene tape. Those interested in classic spy activity will also not be disappointed; the set includes cryptography wheels and multiple code methods, and a pen with invisible ink. Kids can fingerprint their entire family and a fair number of friends with the ink pad and identity cards, and when they are ready to set up a P.I.'s office there is a name plate and an identity card to prove their credentials.

The manual includes dozens of activities interspersed with real-world examples and some fun challenge puzzles. Kids will hone their observational skills while learning a bit about how the pros work. Our 10-year-old tester spent many hours investigating local "crime" scenes, charting the data on the crime scene notepad, and sealing the evidence away safely.

Emily Crawford   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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