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Little Passports: Science Expeditions “Catapults” Review

Becca Peterson
ByBecca PetersonJul 14, 2022 | 2 comments

Little Passports: Science Expeditions
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Little Passports is a subscription box that helps kids explore the world through fun and educational activities and is one of the best subscription boxes for kids as voted by MSA readers. They offer a range of subscription options for ages 3-8+, as well as "Individual Activity Kits" that can be ordered along with any subscription at the time of purchase.

This review is of the Little Passports: Science Expeditions (recommended ages 8+) for $27.95. This box includes science experiments, plus a comic book related to the monthly theme.

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

Science Expedition: "Catapults"

When the boys were mere toddlers, my sister won tickets to the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee. She asked if I wanted to attend and of course as a stay-at-home mom of two littles I was willing to do just about anything to get out of the house. Was this a good idea? I'd say no. We drove over 4 hours one way to get there, which was actually fine, but once there we were bombarded by the sights of a zillion people, bumpy pathways (which we had to push a stroller around) and plain mass chaos. Highlights of the trip were an elephant ride, and my youngest falling in love with Mr. and Mrs. Saint Nicholas. But I also remember a screaming Charlie, Hank sword fighting a tree, an enormous line for food, and it being extra hot. Receiving this catapult kit from Little Passports reminded me of those days when the phrase "the days are long, but the years are short" were in full effect! I couldn't wait to see just what kind of activities this theme had in store for us, and if the kids would remember our adventure from long ago. Read below to see what they thought.

Catapults Comic and Activity Book

 

Every month, Little Passports sends our monthly activity along with a really fun comic and activity book pertaining to the monthly theme. It was all about catapults and stained glass this month and we received a really fun comic featuring Sam and Sofia that taught us about the Middle Ages, Archimedes, and castles. We also received a fun word search and trivia game. 

I love the fact that Hank and Charlie can read this comic together. Not only are they learning about science, but they are also learning about working together, which is another incredibly important life lesson.

Catapults Instruction Guide

 

The themed comic book is a great prelude to the month’s experiments, and the boys couldn’t wait to dive in. Of course, they were immediately drawn to the construction of the catapults, but they also were interested in the stained-glass craft. Like always, the instructions were easy to follow with detailed steps and pictures. Did this bring back any memories of the Renaissance festival? Sadly not, so I had to dig out the old scrapbook to remind them!

This month we received items to create three different projects. We received a plethora of wooden sticks, circles, balls, rubber bands, glue, tissue paper, and stencils. While the supplies are usually pretty high quality, this month our rectangular wooden piece didn't have a hole like it was supposed to, and the holes drilled in one of the base pieces had holes drilled too close to the edge...more on that below.

Project 1: Counterweight Catapult

 

Hank started this project by gluing the paper to the wooden circle. He struggled a bit to get it to stick, so I assisted. We set that aside to dry and started working on attaching the rectangular piece to the popsicle stick. The directions state that the rectangular piece has a hole in which the included dowel goes into. Our piece did not have that hole drilled. Thankfully my husband had a drill bit that small and was able to fix it for us, otherwise we would have been at a standstill. Once our pieces were glued, we set them all aside to let them dry before we continued on.

 

The next step involved twisting the eyelet screws into the pre-drilled base. As you can see the holes were not lined up with one being really close to the edge, causing some splintering. It's holding for now, but only by a thread, which is definitely a bummer.

 

Had the holes been drilled correctly, this catapult would have been really cool. As you can see, the side that is splintered is causing the catapult to slice left, but Hank still had a fun time launching that wooden ball across the kitchen. Cool concept, and fun to build.

Project #2: Tension Catapult

 

Our next project involved the construction of another type of catapult, this time using tension instead of counterweight. Using the remaining popsicle sticks and wooden parts, Charlie followed the steps and was able to complete this catapult fairly easily, with no troubles along the way.

Watch out windows and glass, these catapults are ready to launch!

Project #3: Stained Glass

 

The last project we received was to complete our very own stained glass. Using cardstock and tissue paper, we cut pieces to fit our areas and glued them in place. The boys started off strong in doing this project but got bored, so I finished it up. We were pretty pleased with how it turned out, and have it displayed on our kitchen window. The kids were a little disappointed we weren't actually cutting glass and soldering soft metal, but when I mentioned that we have a local artist that gives lessons on that, their interest was piqued!

Catapults Badge

After we completed our activities, we were awarded the Catapults Badge, as a tribute to our hard work and play!

Verdict

To start off, I was really impressed with this month of Little Passports. We loved the theme, the projects were really neat, and the general curation was great. Like I said above, when we started doing the projects, I realized the hole wasn't drilled in one of the pieces - this was a major component for our build, and had my husband not had that drill bit we wouldn't have been able to make our catapult, rendering the kit basically useless. That coupled with the fact that the base piece's holes were far too close to the edge causing the screw to splinter the wood was really disappointing. Sadly, the catapult didn't survive many launches. The other projects went fine, but for the $27.95 price, I was hoping to see a bit more quality. I'm hoping this was just a fluke and have high hopes for the next kit. What did you think of this box?

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To Wrap Up

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? You'll start with the Forensic Science box in the first month, followed by a different themed box each month thereafter. 

What do you think of this box? 

Starting at $27.95
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Recommended for ages 9+, the Science Expeditions subscription will "help Sam and Sofia solve real-life scientific mysteries every month through experiments, hands-on activities and more!" Your first kit includes a science case and lab notebook that can be used with future boxes. "Our subscription... read more.

Becca Peterson
Becca Peterson

I am a wild and crazy mom of 2 boys and work in the public education system. I love all things outdoors, beauty, crafts, and food. And absolutely adore my high school sweetheart! 


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2 comments

Lauren

Great review! We aren’t getting this box right now, but I love reading your reviews. Your boys always tackle those projects with such enthusiasm and the finished product comes out great.

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Becca

Thank you so much Lauren! I am glad you enjoy reading these reviews! That warms my heart!! ❤

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