Oyster STEAM Subscription “Chef” Review – July 2020
Oyster is a monthly STEAM-based “profession” subscription for kids ages 5-9. Each month you will receive an educational kit made with the help of professionals and rigorously tested by kids, which includes equipment, information, and experiments to try out a different profession. According to Oyster, kids closer to 9 will be able to complete the tasks independently, while younger kids will require participation from their parents.
This box is being reviewed thanks to MSA reader request!
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Oyster Kit
The Cost: $39.95 a month + free shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: A new profession to explore every month through STEAM learning materials, online tests, and DIY projects
Ships to: The U.S. only
Oyster “Chef” Kit July 2020 Review
Can you believe it is already July?! Where has the time gone?! I thought because most of our summer activities have been canceled we would have a long, relaxing summer, but it’s flying by! My kids were so excited to see this box in our mailbox today, as it helped ease the pain of tee-ball being canceled. This month we were able to add “Chef” to our resume, let’s see what Hank and Charlie learned!
Safety first! This kit sometimes includes a lot of small pieces and is recommended for kids 5-9. The opposing side of the safety sheet includes instructions on how to use QR codes, which bring you to bonus material!
Onto the fun stuff:
This month’s layout was quite similar to last month’s “Environmental Engineer” kit. We received a bright and colorful pamphlet that was jam-packed with activities, information, and recipes! Included were illustrated instructions on how to create a pop-up restaurant, how to create our very own “toque,” and real chef facts! We found the booklet to provide just enough information, but did find the QR codes helpful for additional instruction.
To start our new profession, I had Hank read the included book. They couldn’t wait to get started!
The first activity in this month’s kit was to make a plan for our pop-up restaurant. We had to decide who the chef and sous-chef would be, along with the theme or our meal, date of our pop-up, and our location.
Outdoor Sign Materials
Once we made our plan, we had to come up with a name for our restaurant. We had 10 pendants, so I was throwing out suggestions that would fit on our sign, but the kids were struggling to agree on a name. Finally, after much deliberation, we came up with “Peterson.” (It would have been “Peterson’s” but both kids messed up on their first pendants and rendered them unusable…such troubles…)
Using a black marker, the kid’s spelled out “Peterson” on their banner. We threaded the twine through the holes in the flags and BAM our sign was finished!
Once our banner was up we went ahead and made our list of guests. Hank and Charlie decided to debut their chef skills to a small group and added 3 lucky guests to their list.
Because paper invitations are the only real way to invite someone to a party, we cut four of the printed invitations out, colored them, and added our information to give to each of our guests.
To make the best use of available space, as a chef you have to plan for seating arrangements, and our next activity helped us do that! We were given an example of a seating plan, and were given our own space in the booklet to draw our own plan. Aren’t Charlie’s fork illustrations cute!?
Magnetic Menu Craft Supplies
Our next activity was to create our menu. We had to come up with dishes that our pop-up restaurant will serve and make our very own menu. We received pieces of cardboard, a magnetic sheet, chalk, and round magnets to really make our restaurant our own.
The instructions for this activity were very easy to follow. We stuck the magnetic sheet onto the included cardboard and added the cardboard legs into the slots. It was then ready to write on with chalk. This was a really cute craft, but our cardboard was a bit misshapen from the box, and the chalk did not want to erase well from the magnetic sheet. The kids did like adding it to their food truck though!!
Once we had our menu prepared, we had to make a shopping list for the items we needed to buy to create our dishes. It was fun to watch Hank take our menu and write down what he thought he would need to create our food items – I’m going to start making him make our real shopping list from now on!!
Chef Apron Kit
Are you even a chef if you don’t have a customized apron? We received this cute (size-adjustable) apron with fun clip-art that can be customized with included fabric markers!
Because both boys will be wearing this apron, we wrote our last name on the front. Using our 5 fabric markers we decorated and colored until our apron was covered in bright and beautiful patterns and pictures! One word of advice if you are doing this activity: PUT SOMETHING UNDER YOUR APRON!! We started out without anything underneath and it bled right through onto the table. Our poster board had the same design that our apron did because those markers went through that much!
Chef’s Hat Kit
So we have our apron, but the uniform wouldn’t be complete without a “toque.” We learned that is the name of the special white hat King George II requested his cooks to wear in the 18th century to prevent hair from getting into his food. Interesting!! We received the items needed to create our very own toque, and customize it how we pleased.
This was one interesting craft!! It went fairly smoothly, but because the illustrations just weren’t clear enough, I scanned the QR code on the directions page and watched the video for a little extra guidance. Charlie was obsessed with this hat and even wore it outside for lunch!
Our next activity was to make a tray out of the shipping box. Because chefs in small pop-up restaurants sometimes also do the job of a waiter, we cut the top off of our box and used it to carry dishes from kitchen to table. The booklet showed a really fancy decorated tray, but because no additional supplies were sent to decorate, the kids decided to leave theirs au-natural. Check out that fancy hat!!!!
Pot Holder Kit
What do you suppose these felt pieces might be for? A donut pot holder of course!! Every chef has different tools that help them cook, and if you are dealing with hot cookware you will definitely need a pot holder. Now we have the cutest sprinkled donut one I have ever seen!
This project went fairly smoothly. The illustrated directions were easy to follow. The only problem we had was getting the paper backing off of the “sprinkles” to adhere to the donut. Out of that entire bag of felt dots, only 2 backs came off nicely. I ended up using my hot glue gun and adhering them that way, otherwise, I would have been fighting with it all day!
Here are my cute chefs rocking their new uniforms and their fancy pot holder!
Here we have gotten to the checklist. Did we complete all of the chef’s tasks? Yes we did!!!
We now have a new badge to put on our poster!
Last but not least, we received this set of 6 plastic cookie cutters. In the back of our booklet we received a recipe for shaped cookies, where we would have gotten to try out these cookie cutters. Of course we didn’t have all of the ingredients to create these, but hopefully will soon!
The last pages in this month’s booklet were really fun and easy recipes that kids can make with adult assistants. Of course we didn’t have the ingredients for any of the included recipes, but don’t you worry, Hank wrote them down on my shopping list for our next shopping trip! We really had fun being chefs today!
Verdict: Oyster Kit was really fun this month! Charlie was jumping up and down when I mentioned this month’s theme, and I think this was his favorite month yet. While we didn’t get to do a lot of real cooking because of our lack of ingredients, we brought up our food truck toy and did our pop-up restaurant pretend style. Hank and Charlie worked so well together on all of this month’s activities and really learned a lot about the behind the scenes jobs of a chef. They didn’t realize all of the organizing and thought that goes into opening a restaurant and loved learning all about it. To end our chef journey we did make apple donuts and sat outside on our patio (all dressed up of course) to talk about what we learned. This box is always an adventure, and we can’t wait to see what we will get to add to our resume next month!
This month had a lot of fun projects that were well thought out and exciting for my kids to do. While some of the items could have used a little tweaking, I feel the curation, thoughtfulness, and educational aspect of this box was worth the $39.95 price.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Possibly; it depends on kit availability.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Oyster?