Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop – A Good Green Toy?

Published in Green Toys on 7th November 2012

Image from Amazon

Besides building a solar panel as a family project, a good way to teach and engage your children will be to purchase educational kits and toys like the Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop.

Thames and Kosmos has a long and reputable track record in teaching concepts and skills through hands-on modelling of real-world devices and processes via their numerous science kits.

In fact, the Physics Solar Workshop was actually developed by Thames and Kosmos in cooperation with Greenpeace® in Germany.

Therefore in line with the aim of Green Energy Helps, I have gone ahead and conducted an unbiased review on this green toy top help my readers better understand this green toy.

What do you get from a Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop kit?

Build solar-powered models and conduct experiments

In the Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop, you and your children get to build 12 solar-powered vehicles like a tractor, truck, treaded vehicle, car, elevator, drawbridge, fan, airplane, mobile crane and construction crane and conduct up to 30 experiments on solar energy and their principles.

Assemble and conduct experiments in a step-by-step manner

The 64-page coloured instruction book that comes with the Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop comes fully illustrated with step-by-step instructions guiding you through the entire process of assembling all the model vehicles and conducting of experiments.

Learn as you assemble and conduct experiments

In the process of assembling the vehicles, the principle behind how solar cells transform light into electrical energy for utilisation, and knowledge of how motors and mechanical devices like gears can optimise and make use of this energy will be conveyed to your children in a easy to understand and practical manner.

Mix and match with other kits

The 320 building pieces of the Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop is also fully compatible with the other Thames and Kosmos Construction and Science Series kits, Physics Series kits, Wind Power and Hydropower kits.

Criteria/Product TypeCurrent Criteria Levels (as of January 1, 2011)
ENERGY STAR top and front loadingMEF >= 2.0
WF <= 6.0

Things to Take Note

CHOKING HAZARD: Children under 8 yrs. can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision required. Keep uninflated balloons from children. Discard broken balloons at once.

CHOKING HAZARD: Toy contains small part. Not suitable for children under 3 yrs.

BATTERY-OPERATED TOY: Do not mix old and new batteries

How does the Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop rank on popular websites?

This kit is also available online for purchase via the sites of Thames and Kosmos, Sears and Wayfair and Amazon. However, only Amazon contains the relevant reviews pertaining to this product.


10 customers on Amazon gave the Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop kit an average rating of 4.4/5.0. Out of 10 customers, 7 gave it 5.0/5.0. 

Customer Reviews for Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop

I have read and summarised recent customer reviews on this Thames and Kosmos kit into pros and cons below.

The Pros 🙂

The Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop has been mentioned to be an overall well-designed toy with sturdy parts that works well and is good form of outdoor activity for you and your children.

Other pros include the instruction manual that provides clear instructions on the assembly of the models and carrying out of experiments, larger illustrations than the small ones that customers encountered in the Air + Water kit plus the toy’s function as a good family bonding activity and educational toy.   

The Cons 🙁

There are also some cons mentioned about this Thames and Kosmos kit that is the load of the motor and solar cell provided in this kit being too low to power some of the models smoothly and the inconsistent size of the instruction book. The limited one directional movement only for models like the elevator and crane has also been remarked as a con for this kit.

However as customers have mentioned, this can be a good chance to explain to your children about the possibility of adding or buy a larger solar cell to possibly increase the amount of electricity provided as an experiment for you and your children to undertake.  

Best Deal for Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop kit

From my research for this review, Amazon offers the lowest price for this Thames and Kosmos kit as compared to the other sites that offer it (as mentioned above). So if you are interested, here is the link: Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop Best Deals.

 (Download the Sample Manual for Thames and Kosmos Physics Solar Workshop here) 


(Last Updated 7th November 2012)