When I was in elementary school, my favorite classes were science and math (please refrain from tossing rotten tomatoes at this time). I look at my three and a half year old little boy, and I wonder if he is going to be of a similar mindset. I have thought about it, and have come to the following conclusion: either he will not be science inclined, and as such he could probably use a little assistance in this area, or he will love science class just like Daddy and why aren't we doing a science experiment right now? Thus, either way, it's a good idea to start exposing him to science concepts now.
I have found that littleBLAST is a fun way to help my little one learn.
LittleBLAST is a subscription box service which sends a monthly box of themed science activities for children aged three to seven.
Unlike some box subscriptions, littleBLAST also lets you order single boxes from past sets. I received the Construction Single BLAST and it turned out to be a delightful way to spend an afternoon with my son.
I don't know how he knew this box was for him, but he did and danced with the box the day it came.
My son's box contained all the materials for four different activities which help develop spatial intelligence, instructions, and a nifty achievement chart to keep track of all the littleBLASTs you've done.
The activities included were; Straws & Connectors (planar and 3-D objects), Blueprint Fun (connecting cubes to match a diagram), How Many Ways (a puzzle about creating new figures using the same number of cubes), and Puzzle Shapes (arranging simple paper shapes to make pictures in a book) They make sure to include everything that is required for each activity.
I was pleasantly surprised to even find a glue stick that was needed for Puzzle Shapes in the box. Let me tell you, if we had needed to cut the fun short for a quick trip to the store to get one no amount of juice or snacks could have saved us from the tantrum that would have come.
The instructions include some good discussion points that can help little scientists realize how the lessons they just learned apply to the world around them.
The first activity we did together was called Straws & Connectors, it consisted of straws and connectors (gasp) and picture cards that illustrated the different shapes we made. Squares and triangles were already cool, but I think it blew his little mind to expand them into three dimensional objects.
Our second activity, Blueprint Fun; called for those interlocking cubes that I remember fondly from elementary school and some blueprints that we supposed to build. The blueprints started simple and grew more complex, encouraging my little guy to pay attention to detail as the designs went from simple shapes to more irregular features. They even included some blueprint sheets without a pattern so we could make our own blueprints to build.
The next activity, How Many Ways, called for an encore from our beloved interlocking cubes and some graph paper. The intent was to take five cubes and explore all the different ways they could be reassembled. However, telling my three year old Mischief that he can only play with five of the cubes instead of all of them ended ...poorly.
Therefore, we quickly transitioned into the last activity, Puzzle Shapes, without delay. This activity was my favorite because I had to be involved. Mommy said that I had to use the glue stick on all of his paper shapes as he put them on the project pages. I don't know why she trusted me with the glue; but I know that my little guy had so much fun building pictures, that he didn't mind daddy being the designated glue-er.
|We had one extra shape at the end, so I made him a "good job" medal.|
In fact, he has busted out the box and is playing the activities again right now as I'm typing, so I know we will be able to play and learn with just this BLAST many times to come.
LittleBLAST was started by an engineer and an elementary school teacher who also happened to be the mothers of preschoolers, and wanted quality science and math activities for their little ones.
LittleBLAST offers over a dozen single blasts that you can order as one time events for $24.95, as well as subscriptions in month to month($24.95), three and six month installments($74.85 and $149.70 respectively). They also offer a nifty sibling add on, wherein you can order an extra set or sets of materials with each box($9.95 for the single $19.90 for the double).
Also, at the other end of the spectrum, if you already have plenty of materials for the science experiments, you can order all of the printed material in a digital format and print it at your leisure ($7.95).
So, quite frankly, my son and I enjoyed this enough that he will be getting another littleBLAST in the mail before too long. It comes with everything you need for an afternoon of fun, and I still get a boost to my fatherly pride in knowing that I am helping my son learn.
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littleBlast is giving away a Construction Single Blast set (like the one I reviewed) to one of our readers living in the US!
To enter the giveaway, leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This allows us to contact you if you win!) This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.
This giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY
and will end just before midnight ET on 4-14-15.
and will end just before midnight ET on 4-14-15.
The winner will be notified by email within 24 hours after the end of the giveaway. In order to claim the giveaway prize, the winner will need to respond within 24 hours of notification, or an alternate winner will be selected.
Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway