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MEL Kids Subscription Review – “Maze Rocket”

MEL Kids is a subscription box for children ages 5-10 that delivers a hands-on science experiment to your door each month along with an AR (augmented reality)-powered lesson to accompany it which is accessible from their app.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

About MEL Kids

The Subscription Box: MEL Kids

The Cost: $24.90 per month

COUPON: Expiring Soon! Get your first box FREE, just pay shipping ($5)! No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products: A science-themed project and an AR lesson to go along with it, accessible through the app.

Ships to: The U.S. for free (shipping may open up to other areas in the future)

MEL Kids “Maze Rocket” Review April 2020

 

On the back of the sleeve for our box was a contents list and a quick description of our product. Underneath was a plain cardboard box that contained all of our items with a nice little blueprint on the inside flap.

 

Mystery Planet Map

In your first box, you will receive this Mystery Planet Map. It is a nice large, colorful map on some heavier stock paper and it is very detailed and fun! There are transparent rectangles located throughout the map which provide a spot for us to add stickers as we complete different projects each month.

 

Inside our box was this booklet which contained all of the information we needed. The first page contained a list of the contents along with pictures. Before you begin your project, there is a comic to read which leads us to our mission and project for the month.  The directions are simply large illustrations with each step numbered, meaning my 5-year-old can usually assemble these with little to no assistance.

 

One thing I love is that they actually incorporate the little box that some of the materials come in into our comic story which is always a cute way to get kids engaged with the activities.

 

The first step involved securing the tubing they provided to the black connector pieces with some wooden washers.

 

My daughter was able to follow the directions to assemble them correctly. The wooden washers helped the tubing fit snugly against the connector.

 

Then she added a valve to the end of one of the smaller tubes.

 

Next, she stuck the end of the large syringe into the center tube.

 

Then she assembled the wooden pieces around it as a frame. This was as easy and fitting the pieces around the syringe and then making sure the tubing was fit inside of the notches on the base.

 

Then she slid two wooden pieces into the notches on the side at the top by the syringe to hold it together.

 

She slid the handle onto the syringe top and secured it with a zip tie. Then we slid the second valve onto the end of the longer tubing.

 

With our pump completed, it was time to start building our rocket. First, we had to cut out the body pieces, the top, and the wings for our rocket. These were all printed in our book for us to cut out. They even included a set of spare fins.

 

We had to provide our own glue and we added some to the top of our rocket before folding it into a cone and placing it on the bottom of our bottle that they provided.

 

Then we wrapped the body piece around it using some more glue.

 

Then my daughter added the fins to the marked spots on either side of the rocket.

 

Then she slid the remaining wooden pieces together to form the base for our rocket.

 

She slid the valve from the long tube into the hole in the center of the base from underneath and stuck the rubber stopper on top of it. Then she stuck one of the 2 straws they provided into the center of it.

 

Our rocket slid right on top of the straw and we stuck it down so it was firmly on the stopper.

 

Now it was time to test out our rocket before finishing our comic. We had a little trouble the first time we operated it because we didn’t realize we were supposed to pump multiple times to fill it with air before it would launch.

Here you can see my daughter testing it out. It was a little tricky trying to pump it up and down, but once we did, the result was great!

My son was just as excited to have a turn at launching this rocket. The kids really had so much fun playing with it once they got the hang of it.

 

At the back of our booklet, they explained jet propulsion and included a few experiments that we could do with our rocket. They provided the string so we could try some pneumatic mail.

 

They also described how we could use it to blow up a balloon or as a vacuum pump. We had some balloons on hand and the kids loved using the pump to blow them up. It worked surprisingly well!

 

They always send a little sticker for us to add to our map when we complete our mission and my daughter loves the challenge of locating where it goes!

 

The rest of our booklet was filled with some fun activities. There was a hidden picture page and a few other challenges like a number maze where you have to fill in the chart with numbers 1-16 in order without moving diagonally.

 

My daughter really enjoys the extra activities in the booklet each month. They are usually pretty unique and just challenging enough for her to learn something new without getting frustrated. This month’s number maze was a great one that was new for her.

 

To check out the AR (augmented reality) portion of our project we just opened up our MEL Kids app and found this project. We also could have just scanned the little card they included in our box.

 

This portion of the project is really fun and also educational. They show you exactly how your project works and what happens, making sure to explain it in scientific terms. It is interactive and provides a great visual for kids to engage with. They also have a nice congratulations message for them when they complete the lesson.

Verdict: We really loved this month’s MEL Kids project! We have used our pump a lot so far both to launch rockets and blow up more balloons. I’m hopeful we will have a nice day out soon so we can take it outside and play with it some more! It was super easy to build thanks to the detailed directions and the easy to assemble pieces. I also appreciate all of the extras such as the comic, which is a fun way to get engaged in the projects and the unique AR portion which provides some further education. My daughter also really enjoys the extra activities in the book! This box was a winner for us this month!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, this box is still available. From MEL Kids:

“Your first package will arrive within 2 weeks of registration. Subsequent monthly packages will be delivered within 2 weeks of each monthly charge.”

COUPON: Expiring Soon! Get your first box FREE, just pay shipping ($5)! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Check out our other MEL Kids reviews and our list of the best subscription boxes for kids, as recommended by MSA readers!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add MEL Kids to your subscription list or wishlist!

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Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Now that she’s a mother of 3, she loves finding unique boxes to educate and entertain her kids while enjoying some more pampering boxes for herself. Her favorites these days are Lillypost, KiwiCo boxes & Wicked Good Perfume!

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