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 Expeditions: "Elevators & Trams"
Science is one of my favorite subjects, so Little Passports: Science Expeditions has a special place in my heart. When I first became acquainted with this subscription, I was so intrigued to see how effective learning could be when paired with something fun, and I have to be honest: my kids love it! Complete with a comic book, supplies, and educational background, this monthly box is packed with knowledge not only for kids, but adults too. We couldn't wait to discover just what kind of experiments a theme like "Elevators and Trams" could include. Read below to find out what we discovered.
Elevators and Trams 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 the "Elevators and Trams" theme, we read an exciting comic, and discovered that the first passenger-safe elevator was unveiled by Elisha Graves Otis at an exposition in New York in 1854. This booklet is not only informative, but really teaches specific content using colorful and engaging story lines and activities.
Watching Hank and Charlie read together melts my heart every time!
Elevators and Trams Instruction Guide
After learning all about simple machines and elevators in the comic book, Hank and Charlie couldn't wait to dive into this month's projects. There were two experiments listed, and my kids couldn't wait to build the model elevator first. The projects have easy-to-follow instructions, and the boys were able to follow along pretty well, with a little adult assistance along the way. I do want to note that these projects may require a few materials from home, so you probably want to read through the instructions before beginning.
We have discovered that it is always a good idea to read through the instructions first to make sure we have all of our material accounted for and know what is expected for each step.
Project 1: "Model Elevator"
The first experiment utilized physics and mechanical engineering. We received the shipping box, a paper box, string, gaskets, a hand crank, 3 pulley wheels, pulley holders, dowels, clay, eyelet screws, and sandpaper to complete this experiment. From home you need a ruler, scissors, clear tape, and a pencil. In this experiment, you will create your very own working model elevator. Neat!
Hank and Charlie couldn't wait to build the model elevator, but were admittedly a little nervous when they read through the multiple step instructions. I stayed close by throughout to assist, and found that just re-reading the directions to the kids helped them figure this out on their own. The first step was to assemble the three pulleys. Very self-explanatory through words and pictures, the kids made it through this part easily. Next, they created the elevator car and dough man. Charlie mentioned this was the best part, as it put his creative skills to good use. Steps 3-7 were a little more tricky as it involved a lot of measuring and poking holes. Our box was different from the one it describes in the instructions, but it still worked well. Following the rest of the steps, the kids were able to insert the hand crank, and create their working elevator. Charlie was amazed at the moving parts, and gives it a few cranks every time he walks by. I'm thinking our Christmas elf "Sven" may find this elevator quite fun and useful as well.....
Project 2: "Aerial Tram"
Our second experiment used mechanical engineering to create a useful aerial tram imitating back and forth motion of tramways. Included was an aerial tram car cutout, platform cutouts, dowels, twine, blue pulley wheels, and rubber bands. Needed from home is tape, 2 chairs, a ruler, and scissors.
Charlie loves his stuffed animals, and when he discovered that a tram uses pulleys to move a carrying car back and forth, he just had see if it would bring "Bluey" to and fro. The assembly was a little bit time consuming, but Charlie played with this contraption for hours. I think I may have an engineer on my hands!
Elevator & Trams Badge
After we completed our activities, we were awarded the Elevators and Trams Badge as a tribute to our hard work and play!
This month's Science Expeditions Little Passports kit was packed with two hands on experiments that helped us learn about elevators and trams through play. It's geared for children specially 8+, but these particular activities worked really well for my 7- and 9- year-old to complete as a team. This particular theme was entertaining, engaging, and fun, all while taking a decent amount of time. When it comes to activities, we enjoyed both, but would like to see an additional component at the $27.95 price point. Overall, we had a really fun time learning about these science concepts, and can't wait to see what the next box might hold. What did you think about 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 month's box?