If you’ve read some of our articles, it’s no surprise that the CS team loves beautifully packaged and intentionally designed boxes– especially during quarantine. My house is no exception.
My daughter and I got the chance to explore a Club SciKidz box.
So, we did what every other mother-daughter duo would do and immediately called up some friends for some bee & wine fun. Our box taught us all about bees, why they are important and practical ways we can combat Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). And quite frankly, we had a blast.
If you’ve been thinking about ordering a Club SciKidz box, but haven’t quite decided on making the purchase, this review is for you. Included is everything you should expect to find in a Club SciKidz box and our experience with 4 of the included activities.
The box itself arrived in a fun blue box with various science-esque prints all over. And it didn’t take long for our curiosity to get the best of us.
Upon opening, I was pleasantly surprised by how many activities this box contained. I expected maybe 2 or 3 different tasks. But this box is filled with several fun activities. If we planned to crank through it all in a day, this little treasure trove could definitely take up our entire school day.
But much to my daughter’s chagrin, we decided to break it up for multiple rainy day activities in hopes of creating a lasting love for bees.
Below is a breakdown of everything the box contained.
- Save the Bees Activity Guide with recipes, movie extras and some educational bits about bees and the famous scientist that discovered how they communicate
- Science notebook
- Bee anatomy paper and dead bee (Yikes!)
- Taste of Honey facts and candy
Everything You Need For:
- Growing a bee friendly garden starter
- Pollination experiment
- Mason bee house-making kit
- Save the bee bracelet
- Honeycomb candle
- Beeswax kitchen wraps
Activity One: Check Out the Bee
After getting acquainted with the box’s goodies and reading a bit about Bees and CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder), the girls and I explored the parts of a bee, both on paper and in person with a dead bee. It should be noted that we would have much preferred a few quality pictures to the dead bee, especially since the girls were too afraid to get near it.
Also, the included bee appeared to have died from poisoning, which I find both ironic and a bit morbid. I have to wonder why a bee was poisoned and included in a box geared towards educating children about the importance of bees. This was a major bummer, and honestly, while I would expect something like that from Cheerios amidst their “Bee-Friendly Flower” PR disaster, I expected a bit more from Club SciKidz.
Activity Two: Pollen Experiment
Luckily, the pollen experiment was much more fun than exploring the dead bee. And a favorite for everyone in the house.
To get started, we set up cornmeal and ground coffee “flowers” and built a miniature bee out of pom-poms and pipe cleaners. Then, the girls took turns letting Mr. Bee explore the flowers to demonstrate how pollen gets spread around.
All was well until Mr. Bee took a rather unpleasant nosedive in the ground coffee and emerged a much smaller specimen. However, it wasn’t entirely a SciKidz error. While we found the googly eyes to be much too small to safely adhere to the body with the recommended hot glue, we may have gotten too excited and didn’t give adequate time for our Elmer’s glue to dry.
Luckily, the girls didn’t mind our broken bee. And it didn’t really impact the experiment. We could still see how the cornmeal and coffee grounds got stuck to the bee’s fuzzy body and began to mix.
Overall, I just really love this experiment. It was age-appropriate, educational and fun.
All the supplies were included for this science experiment, making it super easy for parents. And, since the experiment uses everyday household supplies, it is easy to replicate. I know one particular Daisy Troop leader that has already made plans to add it to her lessons.
Activity Three: Mason Bee Home
This activity was hands-down the easiest of the activities and one that kept the girls occupied on their own the longest. We read the little note about Mason bees and then got to work building a home for our friend’s garden.
Assembly was very straightforward and simply required the girls to fill the green tube with the paper straws.
Protip: Make sure to insert and tie the string before you completely fill in the tube.
On our first try, we threaded the string through an already placed straw and found that the straws started falling out. But if you get the string in there and then place the straws around it, everything becomes perfectly snug. I don’t know how they mastered it, but that string makes all the difference.
Since the activity was rather quick, we added more personalization (and time) by letting the girls decorate the bee home before placing it in the garden. And when given the opportunity to use Sharpies, the girls decided to really let their creativity shine and spent over 20 minutes coloring.
That was long enough for the moms to get going on dinner and wine.
My favorite part of this activity is the practical application for our own home. We learned about why this tube is great for Mason bees and how to place it, so it lasts through the winter months. And assuming all goes well, our friends should have a nice colony of Mason bees emerging next spring.
Activity Four: Bee Movie
We wrapped up our box of fun in a perfect way–with some homemade popcorn and a movie. The activity guide recommended we watched the Bee Movie as a way to understand the complexities of ecosystems and the important role bees play. So we did.
I could have gone without the weird romance between Barry and Vanessa at the beginning. (Can we have more platonic relationships in kids’ movies please?) But the movie did a good job illustrating what life without bees looks like. And it ain't pretty, folks.
And I really appreciate that the lessons wrapped up with a movie. Movies can definitely make or break an experience. And this one really tied things together for our littles who had a little trouble conceptualizing the life of bees.
- Diversified activities that are fun for the whole family
- Activities and crafts were easy to put together without a ton of work for parents
- Plenty of add-ons for extended learning
- Quality supplies that can withstand little hands
- Poisoned bee
- I didn’t mention it above, but there was a hair stuck to our Taste of Honey candy. Not cool.
Overall, this box exceeded my expectations. The materials were all high-quality and the activities didn’t feel cheaply put together. While we haven’t put it together yet, the honeycomb candle looks like it will be something that lasts a while in our home. And it will be a great talking piece.
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