I thought this would be a bit different as an activity idea with my boys. At best it would increase their knowledge in forensics at worst it would pass a little time at the weekend!
Usually we stock up on art supplies to keep them busy but it can be a little tiresome picking glitter off the walls and finding sequins all over the house so I was excited we could do this instead. Our kitchen is the rustic room of the house, bits of paint have splashed up the wall and the table tells a story of all the crafting that has been done here.
As it happens the Explore Fingerprints set did turn out to be very messy! If your children are a little older than mine and quite careful then I can recommend it, but youngest (at 4) had the dusting power all over the place. His onesie was covered all up his sleeves and arm and the ink from the ink pad hangs about for a bit, so you have Smurf like fingers till you finally manage to wash it off! Regardless I am glad the boys had a go, but I do not think I would be in a hurry to try again until they are at least eight.
In theory it is quite a clever set, as you learn to identify a fingerprint from the samples you take at the beginning. Basically you have four record cards and can take prints off everyone in the family. Then using a glass you can dust for prints and identify who has been using the glass. The set comes with a little magnifying glass to complete the detective work. My boys found it hard finding fingerprints on the glass even when we did our best to add some for them to lift. I think this is because they were very generous with the dusting powder so it was difficult to find anything by the end of it! But they had fun so at least we achieved that!