A few decades ago I majored in Engineering. I took Physics and Honors Chemistry and discovered that… I’m lucky to have met a Chemistry major who thought I was cute. With his help, I scraped by and changed my major. It was then I knew that I was, for lack of a better term, “unsciencey.”
Last year we spent time working through a science textbook that we found a little dry and, as a result, our love of science was waning. This year we decided to forgo the traditional science curricula and spend more time focusing on child-led interests. So, I paid close attention to what the kids were finding interesting to find avenues to pursue these areas in depth. This required a lot more focus on my part, as I didn’t have a book or lesson plan to follow. I had to adjust my plans as their interests changed. Here’s what I discovered and what I used to help us fall in love with science again.
My kids love science experiments. I mean they really love doing experiments. I, however, do not like all the planning involved in doing experiments – not to mention I’m not all that “sciencey.” But, as luck would have it, I married a “sciencey” person. When the science gets over my head, I call on him.
One of the ways I’ve found to alleviate some of the extra planning was to purchase kits that already had the supplies and the plan that I needed. Below are some of the kits we used this year and what we liked and didn’t like.
Tinker and Kiwi Science Crates
- We LOVE Tinker/Kiwi Crate! These crates come with everything you need to build the projects. Inside a crate, you will find a blueprint for your project and a book that explains the project and provides extra projects.
- The girls love putting them together and the best part is that they don’t need supervision from Mom! This gives them independence and they feel great about their accomplishments.
- They come in age-level subscriptions. My youngest, 8, uses the Kiwi Crate, while her older sister, 10, uses the Tinker Crate. We have purchased the Koala Crate for our younger cousins.
- They are relatively inexpensive if you get a subscription.
Groovy Lab in a Box
- Each box activates thinking, questioning, inquiring, and original creation
- The box contains all the supplies needed to complete activities, experiments, and design challenges outlined in the custom, subject-specific lab notebook.
- These kits only have one age level and are recommended for children 4-7.
- Mel Science kits are Physics, Chemistry, or STEM-based.
- All kits include 1-3 different projects or experiments.
- Students also have access to VR lessons and live lessons.
- Each kit also comes with all the supplies you will need for that particular kit.
- These kits come in multiple age levels.
The Magic School Bus Science Club
- These kits are based on the popular Magic School Bus books and TV series.
- Each kit contains a detailed, large 12-page colorful manual that is full of experiments and topic information
- These kits also require help from an adult. The manual contains a section for “non-sciencey” adults (though I’ve had to call in Mr. Sciencey on occasion).
- The kits contain most of the materials you will need. Occasionally, you will need some common household items like tape, paper, or bowls.
- An Online Clubhouse and monthly emails help parents to coordinate Magic School Bus books and videos with the monthly kit.
- These kits are for students aged 5-12, though my oldest found them a little young.
- Each kit can accommodate multiple children.
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…