Electro Dough

We are at that point in the school year where I am cleaning out the curriculum closet to make room for the new stuff.  I’m basically going through everything to see what I still want the girls to finish, what we never used and can sell/trash, and I’m even finding treasures that I had forgotten about.

One of those was the DIY Electro Dough Kit from techwillsaveus.com  I had ordered this at the beginning of last year in our Timberdoodle kit with the idea that the girls could do it with dad (he worked as an apprentice electrician for a number of years and his dad is an electrician).  The major problem with that plan?  I’m not sure I ever told dad about it or I might have mentioned it briefly but then stuck it in the curriculum closet where he never goes!  And here I was, wondering why he never did it with them….whoops!

We finally took it out today and played with it.  We had a ton of fun but the kit is seriously lacking in instruction/explanation.  The kit has the dough recipe and some brief examples of easy circuits you can make to get started.  No explanation of what the parts are or WHY it works so it helped that we had an electrician making with us, lol.  You can go to their website for more advanced projects and the manual which goes more in depth in the terminology and the WHYs.  So it really depends on your own personal knowledge of electricity and circuits as to whether or not you would need the manual—I need it to help me explain why/how you can turn the lights and buzzer on with play dough but dad didn’t need it.

The thing that I really love about this kit is that we can keep it and do this again as much as we like.  At their ages, the girls LOVED the novelty of getting the lights to turn on using play dough but they weren’t totally interested in the concepts behind it.  But as their curiosity grows or if they have a unit on electricity in their next science course, we can pull it back out, make a new batch of dough, and keep playing and learning!

So for now, this will get put back into the curriculum closet and hopefully not forgotten about this time…

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Curriculum Review: ThinkPlay STEM Junior

One of the reasons we picked Timberdoodle curriculum was because we loved the focus on thinking skills, STEM, and hands-on activities.  ThinkPlay Junior fits right in with that and we’re loving it!  We love building blocks and Legos so I was pretty sure that this would be a great fit for our curriculum.  The best part is that I do not have to work these into our daily schedule, my girls choose this as a free time activity and just as regular play.

ThinkPlay Junior is included in Timberdoodle’s preK curriculum kit but the recommended ages are 4-8.  I was actually looking at getting the ThinkPlay Advanced because we’re doing K-1st with Avery this year but Junior was on sale during the damaged/closeout sale so we went with that (and no damage that I can see on ours!).  I figured that if it was too easy for Avery, we could use it for Kaylee’s preschool.

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As it turns out, its great for both girls!  The pieces are interlocking and can be stacked as well.  This set includes 400 pieces…blocks, wheels, different connectors, etc.  The blocks are brightly colored and different shapes. It comes in a great tub with a locking lid (which is great if your kiddos also have a tendency to knock it off the shelf).  There is a spiral bound idea book and also some bigger poster-size idea pages.  There are different levels of difficulty in the book too, Avery can do a lot on her own but the bigger projects are great for all of us to do together.  Kaylee (3 yrs) sometimes has a hard time interlocking the pieces by herself but she’s getting the hang of it.  Last night, we built a whole scene….the sun, 2 different flowers, a butterfly, and a bug. Fun for the whole family!

We will definitely get a lot of use out of this set and I am so glad we decided to add it!  The possibilities are endless and the possibilities can expand as their little minds do too.

*I was not paid or solicited to review this item and I paid the normal (sale!!) price for it. Just sharing a product that we love!