SonLight Hands – On History Box Review
A couple weeks ago this beauty from Sonlight arrived on our doorstep. The Hands-On History box was ripe with promise as we had no idea what was inside. It didn’t look as if it held very much at first glance but we all know how looks can be deceiving. The kids squabbled over who had dibbs on the opening of the box. The little one won out in the end by having the longest stamina for the art of arguing. Not a skill I appreciate on the average day… most days… ever. I’m sure there will come a time in her life that I will be thankful for her head strong determined unchanging mind. That day is not today. Anyway, she opened the box ever so carefully. That is a bold lie. She tore into the box without a care or acknowledgment of the fact there was even stuff in the box.
What was in this box, you ask? I couldn’t dare to even start listing it all. Let us just say there was a LOT in the box. Crafts galore fell to the floor and it rained down fabric glue, paint, and other art supplies as she tore into all the goodies. Luck would have it that this company knows children. Each project came packaged in it’s own little bag with an image of the final product. There were several projects for the kids to choose from. They wanted to get started right away but I had to put the fun on pause for a little while. We have had such a crazy month that time for crafts has not been as often on the agenda as I like. Each day for a week they asked to drag out the magic box that contained all sorts of fun ideas. Finally one day I said it was time. We all needed some good old fashioned hands on learning time!
The pulled the big book out of the box. Inside the books is all sorts on stories and instructions for the craft projects. Before each craft could be started we would read the lesson and learn about the history behind the creation we would be working on. We learned about laurel leaves, the Trojan horse, and so many other world history topics. I think the Trojan horse was our favorite.
This approach is such a welcome change to the normal way we learn history. Kids learn a lot better when they are hands on with the materials. These kits from Sonlight would fit well into a normal history program. I’m all for opportunities where the kids are having fun and learning without even realizing it.
The instructions are in color with a handy step by step guide. It even separates the areas for children and adults. Although there were some areas listed as child that I had to help with. My seven year old doesn’t have the attention span to cut out 28 leaves. I blame YouTube.
My son was super excited to find the this little kit. It is a set to create his own shift and it even came with the fossils and sand. Every time we go on vacation we gem mine. It doesn’t matter if we go to the mountains, beach, or city. We have to find a gem mine there or on the way. He couldn’t wait to test out this kit.
My little sun burnt baby girl went with the laurel leaf head band. She made all sorts of plans to host her own ancient Olympics but the heat was just too much for our little band of hopefuls.
The headband was cute but we did have the venture into the realm of hot glue to get them to stay put. The kit does come with glue and glue dots but in her excitement to wear the crown, she couldn’t leave it be to dry.
The box comes with everything you need but a few things that you probably have laying around like scissors or a pen. There wasn’t anything required that we didn’t have on the school shelf. Although we have a really well stocked school shelf.
As I said the Trojan Horse was our favorite. Not only does it roll on it’s own but it was really easy for her to build. The lesson to go with it was also very interesting for the kids. We have never really learned about it but they were still aware of the concept.
There were a few of the crafts we had some trouble with. I suspect it was more of a direction following issue than a product issue. I love that everything you need is included in the box. I couldn’t believe the stuff that was included. I could see us doing more of these types of projects in the future. This would be a great addition to your history curriculum or even for co op classes. They do have different boxes available too!