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 our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
Science Expedition: "Acrobatics & Balance"
Because I work in education, I am all too familiar with the "summer slide" and being the mother of two elementary aged boys, try to avoid it at all costs. While our summer is busy, we incorporate daily reading and math activities into our days, and love adding science through Little Passports: Science Expeditions. Complete with a comic book, supplies, and educational background, this monthly box is packed with knowledge not only for the kids, but for adults too! As a former gymnast, I was intrigued by this month's theme of Acrobatics & Balance, and couldn't wait to dive in. Read below to see just what we discovered.
Acrobatics & Balance 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. For our Acrobatics & Balance theme, we read an exciting comic, and discovered a bonus "Scale" activity. This booklet is not only informative, but really teaches students the specific content using colorful and engaging story lines. Always impressive!
This month's comic was really cool and described exactly what we needed to know for the projects. As a bonus, we were able to check off the "read outside" BINGO space on our summer BINGO board while we learned about kinetic and potential energy.
Acrobatics & Balance Instruction Guide
After our great prelude to the world of balance through the comic book, we couldn't wait to see what kind of experiments we would be performing. Included is an instruction guide for each of the experiments, with tips, tricks, techniques, and video links. Just to note, with most projects you will need some items from home, but usually they are common ones like scissors, or writing utensils. Once in a while it will call for something a little more specific such as strawberries, so I do suggest reading through the instructions before you start.
Project 1: "Pendulum"
Our first project of the month was to create a pendulum. The boys were intrigued to see all of the supplies that were included and couldn't wait to get started. We received a paper funnel, white paper, black paper, a lanyard, purple and green sand, and a short string for this project. Needed from home was tape, a ruler, scissors, 1/2 tablespoon measure, a tall surface, and a baking sheet. Using physics, we followed the instructions of this project to explore acrobatic motions and tricks of balance. Pretty neat!
Before starting the project, Hank created a chart to write down his hypothesis and the actual results of the pendulum swing, setting it off to the side. Shaping the paper funnel, he threaded the string through and attached it to the lanyard. Creating the long tube to swing the pendulum from, we were hoping to test this out outside, but alas the wind was too strong. Heading into the dining room, we set up our black paper and baking sheet. Following the instructions, we added the sand and started swinging the pendulum from the edge of the pan. Watching the sand pour out onto the paper, we counted how many full swings it made before stopping. We did this from various starting points with various amounts of sand and wrote down the results. It was very interesting to see the different patterns you could create with different locations and angles! The boys had a lot of fun with this one!
Project 1: "Balancing Acts"
For our next project, we received an acrobat punch-out, string, binder clips, and the cardboard from the shipping box. Needed from home was a pen, scissors, rule, and markers.
There were two parts to the balancing act project, the first being to decorate our acrobat. My boys weren't particularly in the mood to color, so they just used pen to create a goofy little guy with a curly mustache. Trying to balance him on their finger, they struggled and then were instructed to add the binder clips to his hands. Voila, with the weight of the binder clips the acrobat balanced perfectly! Making a "tightrope" using the string and the box, the acrobat was able to balance along right on his head. It's like magic! The second part of the balancing act was a little more difficult. It involved us making our own foam acrobats. The kids struggled with this a bit, but we ended up getting them cut out. Using the rolled-up paper from the pendulum experiment, we added string and balanced the acrobats from the included wooden sticks. This was A LOT harder than it looked! So hard in fact, that we couldn't even get the other acrobats on to create our mobile. It was fun though, and they discovered an entire new respect for acrobats!
Acrobatics & Balance Badge
After we completed our activities, we were awarded the Acrobatics & Balance Badge, as a tribute to our hard work and play!
We have tested out a lot of the Little Passports kits in our day, and generally speaking, we have enjoyed all of them. Geared specifically for kids 8+ some of the concepts are a little advanced for Charlie who is 7, but definitely in line with Hank who is 9. The theme of Acrobatics and Balance was one that was interesting, but with only two projects, felt like it was lacking, especially compared to last month's Hydrology theme. For the amount of supplies we received, I do feel the $27.95 price point was far too steep for this specific kit, but still appreciate the quality and education aspect of this box. All in all, we had a very enjoyable day learning about balance, though I hope next month's box includes a few more items. What did you think about this box, and could you get that mobile to work?!
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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 month's box?