WHAT IS IN THE EXPERISENSE NZ SPACE HOMESCHOOL BOX?
The wonderful thing about homeschooling is the flexibility that it provides for exploring learning through fun, hands-on projects that let you cater for your child’s individual learning needs. There are many different learning styles and not all are catered for by task-orientated repetitive worksheets. For those that are highly visual and hands-on, finding alternative ways to engage in learning concepts is very important.
I purchased the ExperiSenseNZ Space Box for NZD$28 to add a kinaesthetic dimension to our learning about space. The box provides fun learning crafts to do that are fully aligned with the NZ Curriculum and are highly adaptable to age, interest, and special needs.
The kit comes with craft materials to explore our solar system through five activities. It anticipates that you will also have access to books / resources that provide additional learning information and you may want to supplement with your own craft materials also (we did).
Exploring the Solar System
We spent a few days creating and painting our own solar system (comprised of: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune). The kit comes with paint (red, UV yellow, blue, green, black, white) but we also supplemented with our own paint, glitter, and tinsel. We loved experimenting with the UV flashlight that is included!
We then took one of our Kiwi Crate boxes; painted it black, added silver and iridescent glitter over white glue; and created a solar system background that was a perfect fit for helping our solar system to stand safely while being interacted with.
Exploring the Sun and Moon
I’ll confess that we jazzed this activity up a bit with materials of our own! Miss 6 wasn’t keen on painting the iceblock sticks with the UV yellow paint so instead we used the yellow yarn and big wooden beads that were provided and then bulked it out with our own multi-coloured yarn and created a Pippins-style sash of additional beads 😀
What I liked about the big wooden beads that are provided is that they can be used to create a wonderful ring for then hanging your finished display in the window. Draw the curtains in the evening and – Voila! – you put the sun to bed.
We also used the globe we’d created with our KiwiCo ATLAS crate and a lamp (as the sun) to explore the Earth’s relationship with the sun and how this creates both night/day and seasons.
Agamographs are fun to do! Colouring in the alternating strips is a visual processing exercise and then there’s the fun of folding them to reveal the illusion. These kids crafts are inspired by the works of artist Yaacov Agam.
Craters of the Moon
There is a visual provided showing the phases of the moon as well as an artistic rendering of the moon’s face. Kids can then keep their own moon journal for a month to watch how the moon’s appearance changes in the night sky (note: this is a great winter activity when it’s dark earlier!).
They can also mix up their own gray paint and using the tinfoil provided stamp out craters on their own moon.
Tip: This moon craft looks awesome under UV light and the leftover dark grey paint (applied very lightly) makes wonderful hand prints – we picked up great ridge-line details forensics style!
We paired this homeschool box with the Factivity Discover The Science and Secrets of Planet Earth – Book (exploring magnetism and gravity), Factivity Incredible Space Sticker Activity Book (lots of fun!), and a book about space.
WHAT AGE IS IT SUITABLE FOR?
I found it to be a really good kit for Year 1 and Year 2 (KS1) with minimal parental help required. Slightly older primary school kids (KS2) may still enjoy the kit and could always use the materials as a springboard for slightly more complex presentations, such as adding a foam base and some mathematical calculations for their solar system creation: like this.
Tip: Consider setting aside a set of messy play clothes for this space project. We used a lot of acrylic paints for ours and the paint clothes were beautifully coloured with hard work by the end of the week!
Interested in more homeschool box reviews?
Discover the World with ATLAS Crate
Explore STEM with Kiwi Crate