Junior J loves Science, and especially enjoys reading about nature and animals. His younger brothers are starting to follow suit in this interest. The older two always pretend to go on exploratory adventures, complete with boats fashioned from blankets, as well as full-packed backpacks full of "food rations".
So imagine their excitement, when I handed over this cardboard box one rainy day, and told them it contained missions to complete! This was actually the trunk in the introductory kit from Junior Explorers, which provides subscription kits that educate children about wildlife, nature and ecosystems, in the hope of nurturing environmental stewards.
The kids opened up the trunk to find it full of materials: stickers for decorating their trunk, tattoos, a wristband and pin, a large world map and a water bottle. While this kit is targeted at kids six and above, all three got busy decorating the box with stickers (with Junior J directing his younger brothers):
They continued with the online mission game, where they got to learn more about different biomes and various interesting facts about some animals. There was a quiz, which Junior J attempted, while his brothers looked on.
Junior J continued flipping through the field guide after he was done with the online mission, and kept asking me when the next mission would come!
I gave them the next mission kit a week later, and they opened it to find it was full of materials about the Arctic. Again, they got busy adding more stickers to their trunk. This kit had more materials: on top of the mission wristband, pin, stickers and tattoos, there were also two little animal figures (of a polar bear and beluga whale), postcards with scenes from the Arctic, some animal fact cards and an activity book.
The online mission this time was interesting, since they were brought through a trip through the Arctic in search of a missing Polar bear mother, and learnt about other Arctic animals along the way. They even had to pack their own gear for the mission!
The boys (especially Junior J) enjoyed learning along with the kit, and I think the online missions help to make the topics more exciting and real. In general, I think the kits make good springboards to learn more about a particular biome, and you can really stretch their learning further if you were to add on other supplementary activities and good books. (In the case of polar animals, you can read about our learning activities here, as well as our list of recommended books on the topic here.) I also loved how they included Mission Giveback in the whole programme, which allows kids to convert points accumulated during mission games, into money that can be donated into real-life conservation projects.
The kids particularly enjoyed the online missions, and these kits might be used for younger siblings too, if there is someone (a parent/older child) available to read/guide them along. The animal figures are quite tiny though, and the wristband is held together with a bead that can slip off, so both are best to be kept away from younger kids who are still mouthing objects. Since there were so many loose parts (fact cards, booklets, figures, pins etc), I made the boys keep everything in their trunk, to ensure nothing gets lost. I think we'll probably be doing up a fabric wall hanging for the boys to pin up their pins and wristbands as they collect them.
Junior J is eagerly looking forward to the next mission kit, meanwhile, we'll be reading up more about the Artic and marking things off the world map that came in his trunk. Stay tuned as we'll be sharing more supplementary activities and books to check out, as we explore the various kits to come!
If you are keen to try out a subscription with Junior Explorers, or purchase a subscription as a gift, do use the code "MM10" at checkout for 10% off all subscriptions. For more information, please visit their website, and follow their Facebook page for updates and promotions.
In addition, Junior Explorers is kindly giving away a six month subscription to one reader of this blog. To enter in this giveaway, please follow the instructions given in the Rafflecopter widget below, and do tag your friends in the giveaway post, if you think their kids might be keen on trying out the kits!
Disclaimer: We were given a 12 month subscription to Junior Explorers for purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.