Little Passports Activity Kit Review: Create Your Own Pinball Machine
Little Passports is a subscription box helping kids explore the world through fun and educational activities. They offer Early Explorers (recommended ages 3-5), World Edition (recommended ages 6-10), USA Edition (recommended ages 7-12), Science Junior (recommended ages 5-8) and, Science Expeditions (recommended ages 9+). Along with monthly subscription options, Little Passports also offers “Individual Activity Kits” that can be ordered along with any subscription at the time of purchase.
This review is of the Little Passports “Create Your Own Pinball Machine” Activity Kit which can be purchased by itself or in addition to a subscription for $28.99 + free shipping.
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 Little Passports
The Cost: $28.99 + free shipping
The Products: All necessary materials to create your very own pinball machine, along with an instruction guide, and a full-colored magazine.
Ships to: U.S. for $3, Canada for $4.50, and Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, and the U.K. Find more international shipping info here!
Little Passports “Create Your Own Pinball Machine” Individual Activity Kit Review
As a mother of two boys, I am always on the look-out for supplemental activities to bring learning alive, and that has become increasingly important to me now that we have been Distance Learning. I have noticed both children are particularly interested in Science, so when I discovered the Little Passports Individual Activity Kits, I just had to check them out! I am a big fan of the Little Passports monthly subscription, and the fact that I can add-on new kits is a huge bonus for us, as I can specifically choose which kits my boys would be most interested in. This month we received a kit to create our own pinball machine, and Hank was thrilled!
Little Passports Science Expeditions Pinball Party Comic
The first item we pulled out of our box was this comic book. This brightly illustrated book is jam-packed with interesting facts and includes a comic style story sequence that kept Hank interested in learning about how a pinball machine works and the physics behind it. The story itself was engaging and taught old mom a few things too! This activity kit is recommended for ages 9 and up, but Hank was able to breeze through the reading. The back of this comic also features math games and a word search that piqued his interest but were a little tricky for a 7-year-old.
Hank learned that every professional pinball machine is tilted at an angle of 6.5 degrees. If someone decides to try and tilt the machine to cheat, a pendulum bumps into a ring inside the machine and shuts the entire thing down! Neat huh?
Pinball Party Instructions
Once we made our way through the comic and activities, we headed straight for the instructions. Like the comic book, this was laid out very brightly and included educational information along with the building instructions. Hank has a lot of experience with Lego instructions, so he was able to follow these quite easily, as the pictures were detailed, and there were written instructions right alongside.
We have done some wooden kits in the past, and we have had some good experiences, and some not so good experiences. This particular kit included 5 thin wood sheets of parts that need to be separated. I applaud Little Passports for the precision pieces, as they fit together perfectly, and the labeling job was fantastic. We had no broken pieces, no splinters sticking out, and no confusion as to where a part might need to go! Also included were the metal balls, rubber bands, sandpaper, pegs, and those awesome pinball machine decals!
To construct the pinball machine, Hank simply punched out the wood pieces, organized them by letter, and followed the directions. He was a bit worried about adding the thin curved pieces to the back, so he asked dad for help, but otherwise, he did it all by himself! He said the most exciting part was adding the rubber bands to make the flippers really work. Once it was finished, you had the option of decorating your machine. The diagram showed a paintbrush and paint, although that wasn’t included in the kit. Hank decided he liked the natural look of his machine and opted to decorate it with some of the included decals. Because it obviously doesn’t tally up a score, he has me set a timer to see how long he can keep from losing the ball, and his record is 2 minutes!
Verdict: This kit was really cool. The ability to learn about geometry, physics, and engineering, all while having fun is amazing and really important to me. In the digital age (especially now with Distance Learning) I am all about hands-on screen-free activities and this fits the bill perfectly. The kit itself was well made, functional, and fun, but I do wish they would have included a paintbrush and paint as the instructions suggest. This kit costs $28.99 + free shipping, so it is a bit on the high side as far as pricing goes, but dividing that by the 2 hours it kept my child occupied in a learning environment, coupled with the fact that he has been playing with it every day since he built it, eases the sticker shock a bit. Another bonus to these add-ons is that you can mix and match them for families with children of all ages! Charlie, you get to pick the next kit buddy!
To Wrap Up:
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What do you think of Little Passports “Create Your Own Pinball Machine” Kit?