Box of I.D.E.A.S. is a company I was introduced to through the Schoolhouse Crew. I can tell you, we will be using their boxes again for more interesting studies. They have boxes with themes as varied as Quilting, Laundry, Eleven, World War 2 (currently Pearl Harbor with others surrounding WW2 coming soon) and Salt – the one we have. The target age is 9-16; my 7, 9 and 11 year old girls enjoyed it the best.
From their website:
Box of IDEAs is a company dedicated to creating delightful interactive learning modules centered around random sub-ject areas. Explorers will be irresistibly drawn into critical thinking & knowledge building activities through an amazing variety of fun topics.
Centered around the theme of salt, we learned about the nutritional need for salt, salt used in idioms, science of salt, history of salt and geography of where salt is in the world. We used one or two a week on our “fun” days as a break from our regular studies. Occasionally, the set we randomly picked out (there is no order) did coordinate with our regular studies. With some of the topics (the ones centered around World War 2 especially come to mind) you could use these with your studies to enhance and extend your regular curricula.
Each packet is self-contained with the information and activity all together. If you opt for the pdf file ($49 to download) you print everything out. Clear directions are given for when to print single or double sided and regular paper or card stock. Many of the packets use cards for sorting, matching or timeline type activities. When you choose the physical, pre-printed option ($79), everything is ready to go in a zip top bag and comes in a handy box to keep it all together.
Our favorite activities have been the nutrition themed one. The girls have pulled that one out a few times to figure out the sodium for various meals. We have also revisited the Language of Salt set. When reading about pilgrims and dining customs of the time, we came across “above the salt”. The girls remembered it from our salt packet and pulled it out to see what other interesting sayings we had used. This is maybe a quirky thing in our family. My dad has a few books related to the topic. Now we are anxious to borrow one and dig more into this topic (idioms).
That is another unexpected benefit of the Box of I.D.E.A.S., the further enrichment sparked. There are ideas suggested for to extend what has been introduced. The Salt of the Earth packet suggests a trip to the grocery store and checking out the various salts available: where is it from?, etc. There are also links to websites with related information. We found enough with the included things and extension activities to build a multi-week study centered around salt. Add in some library books for both the olders and tag-along youngers and immerse yourself in the topic.
For the most part, these things can be done by your children alone (certainly more so by older children). We have had fun working on these as a family. As the website suggests, a great way to get everyone gathered around the table and away from a screen.
Read further reviews at the Crew blog. Schoolhouse Review Crew members received Salt or WW2: Pearl Harbor in either download or physical formats. I know I am not the only one looking forward to another Box of I.D.E.A.S.