Exploring STEM with Pitsco
Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Do you strew? The activity boxes from Pitsco Education are perfect for strewing, whether you set out the whole box, or use each activity as it’s own provocation.
We received the Elementary STEM Explorer Pack for this review, and have really been enjoying it. About once a week I put out the box and, if the boys are interested, they choose which exploration pack to tackle. So far we’ve used three of the five activity packs. Here’s a list of what’s included:
- Exploring Large Structures
- Exploring Musical Instruments
- Exploring Mazes
- Exploring Parachutes
- Exploring Bird Feeders
Each pack comes with the supplies for a project, and a lesson/activity booklet. You’ll need to provide things like scissors and pens, but the packs include pretty much everything else, including glue. The booklets give a brief introduction to the concept, with some fun facts, then walk kids through creating, exploring, observing, adjusting, etc. Each booklet has a sketch area that kids are encouraged to use, helping them to think critically through their designs before they begin making.
This activity pack was the first one we used, and talk about a catalyst! This started a multi-day music festival in my house. My kids used pots, pans, rubber bands, tin cans, cardboard tubes, beads . . . basically anything that could be shaken, smacked, or strummed. The kazoo was their favorite activity from the booklet, although we decided we liked the sound better without adding the suggested hole in the wax paper.
After creating all variety of musical instruments, the boys dug up every box and suitcase they could find to use as instrument cases, and held concerts for days. At one point I had to locate my 7-year-old’s rolling suitcase and have him disassemble an instrument so I could make dinner.
My favorite was the musical instruments, because that’s when we decided to do the band. And then we figured out how to make all the other instruments. -Charlie, age 7
Exploring Large Structures
This one looked promising, but sort of fell flat with my kids. We read through the booklet and they sketched a couple of quick designs, but that was pretty much it. They really wanted to make the structure on the front cover, but there weren’t enough tubes included, so they quickly lost motivation and the tubes and chenille stems became feather dusters, magic wands, and spyglasses. Still valuable, of course, but something we could have done with many other supplies that were already available to us.
Exploring Bird Feeders
So far this one is a tie with the music pack for being the most fun. My oldest boys each sketched a design or two, then chose to build a simple “box feeder” from the popsicle sticks. This meant there were enough craft sticks for each of the 3 older boys to each make their own feeder, plus extra for the toddler to glue together.
It took us about two days to make the feeders, due to drying time. The kids still want to paint their bird feeders, but we hung them up first so we could snap a few pictures.
It’s really cool. My favorite part was the bird feeders. But don’t tangle the string! -Callan, age 8
My big two (ages 7 and 8) are excited about tackling the Exploring Parachutes pack next. They’re already planning what they’ll attach to the bottom of the parachute and from what locations they’ll drop it.
Win a Kit!
Pitsco is giving away an Elementary STEM Explorer Pack, so be sure to enter for your chance to win!
The Homeschool Review Crew had the chance to review several different Pitsco Education kits and products. You can read more of the reviews, with links to their related giveaways, through the banner below.
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