Wouldn’t you though?
Well this was fun! A fantastic idea for kids for Christmas, or even as a monthly prod to look up from the computer and do something practical and different, this is The Curiosity Box that comes through the post each month for kids, with hands on science kits with different themes like weird water, fossils, cosmic blast off and power.
Being strongly arts-based (read: crap at sciences) I couldn’t tell you one end of a circuit from another, so I’m pretty sure I learnt as much as my 7 year old doing this box that popped through my door on ‘Power’. There were three experiments in ascending order of complexity, the first of which was just a bit of fun with static electricity, balloons, fish that jumped onto the balloon when you brought the static current near them and all that jazz.
The second experiment hit the mark totally, the drawing and making of a small alien whose eyes lit up when we stuck down some copper foil and attached two whatdycallthems to the end to make a circuit. How cute is that?!
But Cass nearly blew the lid of the house with excitement – metaphorically speaking, he wasn’t at the bunsen burner or anything – when we made green conductive dough with green food colouring on the hob (don’t ask) plus, the tour de force, insultative dough which is basically biscuit mixture, much of which he stuffed into his mouth when my back was turned.
I let Cass do the first circuit, and voila! It lit up.
It was at this point that I became a bit obsessed with the kit myself and basically shoved Cass to the side while I stuck little light bulbs in pieces of dough and created multicircuits. I managed to get two of them to light up though clearly not for the pic below.
All up I have to say Cass loved the whole experience – getting the box through the post, checking out the packages, all the practical stuff, and after that initial motherly ‘oh God, OK I’ll do it with you then, stop harrassing me!’ moment, I genuinely enjoyed doing it with him too. I work from home and see my kids a lot but in a kind of passive way – they buzz around my desk and computer, stop for a quick kiss and then they’re off again and I’m back to work, so it was brilliant to be forced to stop, actually focus on this little blonde thing jumping up and down in front of me and do this thing together.
Prices you say? Well, you can pay as you go for £19.95 per pack, or pre-pay for three, six or twelve months at decreasing rates (the 12 month rate is £18 per pack). Or there’s a nano-pack option which starts at £9.95.
The boxes are designed for primarily for 7-11 year olds but any tiger mums out there can chillax because, yes, they’re linked to the KS2 curriculum! Plans are afo0t for Curiosity Boxes for 4-6 year olds and also 12-14 year olds too, so I’ll let you know if and when they get off the ground to.
In the meantime you can check out the website, it’s a definite Muddy yes from me.