Monday, October 1, 2012

Box of I.D.E.As. - Salt


Whether you are a homeschooler who has always loved unit studies, or a parent who is looking for enrichment activities to keep your children from getting bored, or somewhere in between... You should look at a Box of I.D.E.As. The Box we used was the Salt box. Maybe you're not fascinated by salt right now (after using the box you may be!) Feel free to choose a different topic, like World War II, Quilting, Laundry, or Eleven. To find out more about the other topics, visit their website here.

So, salt. You may be wondering "What's the big deal?" Well, given a Box, full of 10 different (mostly portable) activities about salt, and all the playing pieces they'll need, and the included dry erase marker, your children will learn all sorts of things about salt. Then they can tell YOU what the big deal is! Maybe their interest will be sparked by the Language of salt, it's history, the Great Wall of China, or the science experiment. Just in case that's not enough, each activity module comes with web links to get you even more information.

The Salt Box of I.D.E.As.(Ideally Dynamic Enriching Activities) is available as a physical box, with all the playing cards and pieces, plus salt, that you'll need to do the activities, for $79. If you're planning to use the Box with more than one child, you can purchase extra packets of the consumable sheets for all the activities for $4/child. It does not include a pencil, that one you'll have to come up with on your own! If you live overseas, or are willing to print out and make the game pieces yourself, you can purchase the downloadable version for $49. Since the box weighs 4 LBS, those living overseas will probably want the downloadable version (unless Grandma & Grandpa are coming for a visit and can bring it in their suitcase.)

Here's a little bit from our girls about the box:

The Salt Box
By Emily Emmert, age 14

The Salt Box is a big, white, box. Inside are activities to help you learn about the importance of salt, and instructions on how to use the box. Each activity comes in a zip-lock bag. On the front of the bag is a list of items you will need to do the activity, most of the time all you need is a pen, and inside are papers that talk about the activity and how to do it. You will learn a lot because of the salt facts that are highly involved in each activity. There are card games, board games, and even a science experiment, and there is no order you have to do the activities in, just grab one out of the box and go.

From Arlene (age 12)
I liked that it had things to do with almost all the lessons. Things ranging from card games (having to do with the lesson, but set up like go fish or memory match) to science experiments. I learned that China built the Great Wall with money they made from the salt trade. They had an iron grip on the salt trade. Basically, if you didn’t buy salt from China, you didn’t buy salt. 

As the Mom, I liked that there was no pre-planning required. Just open the box & choose a zip-top bag. The sticker on the front tells you what's inside, and if you'll need anything else, like a pencil, or a few kitchen items (like water, a freezer, and a measuring cup) for the experiment.

Our girls played many of the games multiple times, it really was a fun way to learn about the importance of salt. The boxes are geared for exploration by children ages 9-16, but younger ones could learn with a little extra help from their older siblings or Mom or Dad. I gave the box to our girls and let them choose which activity to do first. The sturdy box is quite helpful too as a great way to corral the bags, and store them on the shelf for use again later.

The price of the physical box may make it out of reach for some budgets, but remember, this is not just a quick activity box, so see it for the investment it is. Perhaps you could choose the downloadable version and just print one at a time. Most families should be able to borrow a die and 4 pawn pieces from another game set.

So, are you ready to learn more about the history, geography, language, science, and politics of salt? Yes, good! Go visit the Box of I.D.E.As. website ( and start your adventure!

Just in case you're wondering...yes, they do include information about my favorite kind if salt, Pink Himalayan!

As members of the TOS crew, we received a Box of I.D.E.As.- Salt, for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are ours (and we think you'll like it too!) To read other reviews on the Salt Box, or the WWII Box, click the Crew banner below.


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