Box Of IDEAS


We absolutely love the Box Of I.D.E.As. study kit we received to review.  It truly is a box of ideas for lots of fun learning adventures.  We were sent the SALT box, and it is awesome! 



Each 
Box Of I.D.E.As. kit contains 10 or more packets of pre-assembled activities to do with your kids.  Each activity packet, called a module, is self contained in a re-usable gallon size zip lock bag. Each module contains a learning guide/lesson plan, and items for discovery, games, or manipulatives to complete the lesson plans, weblinks, learning extension activities, and a worksheet.  Each BOX of I.D.E.As. contains at least 10 worksheets for your portfolio, and an SAT style test about the subject covered.

Academic subject areas covered include: Science, Geography, Math, History, Economics, Writing, Vocabulary, Research, and more.  It is basically like a unit study, divided into 10 modules, and all the subject areas revolve around a central topic or theme. 

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TOPICS

There are currently  6 topics or themes available.  They are recommended for kids ages 9 to 16, and can be self directed, but I think they are adaptable to just about any age with parental assistance.  They are available in both printed form and pdf form including:


 Pigs How pork is in everything we use from food, to soap and cosmetics, and organ and tissue implants, Pigs in the history of war, different cuts of pork, the job of a butcher, pig breeds, and more.


World War Two (3)  A closer look at Hawaii, Japan, Military, History, Economics, Pearl Harbor attack, and more. 


Eleven (3) Includes topics such as Veterans Day, US Space Program, US History and Geography, and more.


Salt (3) Includes topics such as History, Science, Preservation of foods, Geography, Gandhi and his historical salt march, etc.

Quilting (3) American History and alternate forms of communication, inventions, community projects, charity works, etc.

Laundry (3) Chemistry of bleaching, global water usage and stewardship, pollution, money management, business management, and more.

WWII Pearl Harbor is currently being reviewed by some of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  Be sure to see the link at the bottom to hear what they thought about using it in their homeschool.

Additional subjects are in the works and will be available soon including:
Mystery, WWII Kitchen, WWII Innovations, Olives, Pine, Cemeteries, and many more!


COST

The Box of I.D.E.As. kits cost $79 for a box that contains 10, or more modules.   Extra modules of the consumables are available for a very small fee.   You can also buy the pdf version for $49. and print the kits yourself.  

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The pdf version would be a great option for many homeschool families overseas to avoid shipping costs.  Also classrooms and coops might benefit from printing their own.  However, I definitely liked the actual box of pre-printed materials, as it made it so handy to jump right in and get started with no prep work required.  And it makes it handy if you want to take a module with you on the go.




MODULES in our SALT Box Of I.D.E.As. kit includes:

History Of Salt: lesson plan study guide; extension activities (find bible references for salt, research salt wars, compare food preservation methods with salt vs modern non salt methods, write a paragraph about a civilization impacted by salt and what it was like to live there at that time); web links; worksheet (writing assignment), Games with 45 salt timeline cards (played as a game; can also be used for additional learning activities).

Science Of Salt: lesson plan study guide; extension activities (field trip to the DOT to view a salt truck used on road maintenance in winter, research and list 25 things salt is used for, talk with a nutritionist or doctor about the effects of salt in the human diet); web links (make a salt volcano, floating egg in salt water, observe how salt is formed); worksheet (science experiment rock salt vs ice melt); 1/4 cup rock salt, 1/4 cup ice melt, 3 empty ziplock bags.

Very Salty: hypersaline lakes lesson plan study guide; extension activities (learn what salt lakes are used for salt production and the methods salt is collected, research the living ecosystem of two salt lakes, research why it is easier to float in a lake with a higher salt content then write about it and your conclusions); web links ; worksheet (math and geography and writing about salt lakes); 36 Salt puzzle cards (beautiful photo graphs of salt lakes with facts on the back of the cards, learn to calculate lake volumes, if you answer correctly then the picture on the reverse is correct).

Producing Salt: how salt is produced lesson plan study guide; extension activities (research if there are salt mines in the area where you live and take a field trip to see one, find out the pros and cons of the most expensive and least expensive methods of extracting salt from the earth, make a solar evaporator and find out how long it takes to work and compare how much salt you used to make the brine with how much you extracted); weblinks (video of midwestern salt harvest, salt mine in Poland, salt mines and oil deposits); worksheet (and investigate a news story about a salt mine and worker safety); salt activity mat and 24 salt habitat cards.

Language Of Salt:  how language and culture is impacted by salt lesson plan study guide; extension activities ( find the word for salt in several different languages and see how many places, roads and bodies of water you can find with that root word in that particular country, interview people and test their knowledge of salt idioms, write or chart your findings, look up the original literal meaning of sayings that use the word salt and find out what they really mean and how it has changed or not changed over time in modern society); web links; worksheet (salty sayings); 24 Said With Salt activity cards (game to match salty sayings and vocabulary words and picture cards).

The Salt March:
Civil Disobedience lesson plan study guide; extension activities ( find ways Gandhi peacefully fought British Rule of India, watch the movie Gandhi, research and list other activists who used some of Ghandhi’s methods and list them); web links; worksheet (The British in India history timeline); Marching for freedom map, 16 double sided activity cards.

The Wall That Salt Built: Great Wall Of China lesson plan study guide; extension activities ( Chinese trade items, Ming Dynasty research and write about what life was like for the people, why was Marco Polo important in European and Chinese history?); web links; worksheet (about how salt was used as money and power); 45 activity cards (Centurie
s, Components, and Sections game).

Need For Salt: Why humans and animals need salt lesson plan study guide; extension activities (where do animals find salt?, research and list health problems that occur from too much salt, research and list health problems that occur from a lack of enough salt in the diet); web links, worksheet (searching for salt in our foods, reading labels of 20+ items in your pantry); 2 Sodium Content Charts; a write on wipe off menu planner; dry erase marker.

Preserving With Salt: preserving with salt lesson plan study guide; extension activities ( research and make a list of foods still preserved with salt brine, research the smoking method of food preservation and write a paragraph about it, do an experiment preserving food with salt), web links; worksheet (Food Safety Math); 24 SALT cards; Preserving by Salt game board; Dice, 4 plastic game markers.

Salt Of The Earth: leading countries who produce of salt; extension activities (research how much revenue salt brings into one of the countries that are listed as a leading producer of salt, pick an exotic place that salt comes from and research what it is like to live there and write a paragraph about why or why not you would want to live there, take a field trip to the grocery store and check the salt isle to learn where salt products are manufactured and what countries it is from and if any are imported from oversees);  web links; worksheet (graph the top eight salt production nations, find the metric tons for three top salt producing nations); world map and 16 activity cards.


MODULES IN ACTION IN OUR HOMESCHOOL

Salt Of The Earth

In the Salt Of The Earth module, we were given a world map, 16 country & salt production cards, a game board, a reproducible graph worksheet, and a lesson plan sheet.



We learned where in the world salt comes from. 



We learned how much salt is produced by the top producing 16 countries.
 



We played games with the fact cards and put the countries in numerical order based on how much salt their country produces each year.


  
Next we graphed the salt production of 8 countries, in tons, on a graph. The module came with a worksheet and I made copies of the worksheet for each of my children to do.  Once completed, this worksheet can go into a portfolio or a lapbook or notebook. 



It was suggested in the extension activities of this module to take a field trip to the grocery store to see how many kinds of salt we could find and where they come from.  But, I seldom venture to grocery stores or other public places, other than the park, with all six kids in tow without my husband to help. So we opted to take a trip to our kitchen cabinet and pulled out various salts we had on hand.  We looked at the labels of each one to see where they were produced.  We had salts from Utah USA, others that said USA, and two varieties from France, one from the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, and several more.



We decided to make a display of the different salts on a plate, and label them.  We wanted to take a closer look at different kinds of salt.  Each of the kids took turns putting a spoonful of salt on our display.  We placed a label next to each salt so we would know what it was.  We made a display with seven different salts.

   

We wanted to see the salt crystals with our eyes, compare the different sizes of salt crystals, and feel them with our fingers. It was very interesting to feel the different varieties of salt. We especially liked to feel the larger salt crystals. They feel hard, and are cube like. They resemble the look of small pieces of ice and some look like sand.



We tasted each salt to learn which kinds we liked the best.

  

Of course, I have tested many salts in my kitchen over the years, and I know hands down, my favorite salt is Celtic sea salt from France.  I use it for cooking and salting before serving the food. It brings out the flavor of everything, and I love it!  My third choice of a sea salt for taste and affordability is a sea salt from Portugal.

Eden Celtic Sea Salt


Salina Naturally Celtic Sea Salt


The Himalayan salt is one we enjoy, but use sparingly due to the cost of it.  But it is nice to serve when we have company.  It is a lovely faded pinkish white color and has a light flavor.  It It makes a great conversation topic with company.  It also sticks nicely to popcorn!

Himalayan Salt


But I keep several other salts on hand for different purposes. The salt from Utah is called REAL Salt. I buy it in bulk (5lb to 25lb bags) at a good price and store it in mason jars. It is high in minerals, and it works wonders when you need a home remedy to sooth a sore throat.  I use it in my baking too.

Real Salt


Table salt, kosher salt, and rock salt are cheap to buy and work for melting ice in science experiments and melting ice for making ice cream.   I have used kosher salt many times in making broths, canning, and so forth.  I don’t personally use table salt in my cooking or serving at my table as I believe it has been altered by human hands during the manufacturing process and it is not a healthy salt to consume. Table salt is a by product of the mining industry that mines other minerals such as copper. Our family uses natural salts in either sea salt, or real salt for consumption.

You can find a variety of salt in grocery stores, healthy food stores, and online. If you are interested, there are some great and unusual salt options available. I love using the salts from Hawaii, and smoked sea salt on meat. There are salts that are black, red, pink, grey, white, etc. Get a little adventurous and challenge your taste buds to a test to see which salt you like the best!


Language Of Salt

It is surprising how many of our words and phrases historically have salt as the root.  Over time, many of the original meanings have been lost on the newer generations, but the word or phrase itself has remained.  Countries all around the world face this same situation.  All human life is dependant on salt, and interestingly, salt is part of every language and culture both literally and symbolically. 
 


Matching up the word or phrase with the original meaning.



Completing our worksheet about the language of salt.

 


Preserving With Salt


Preserving With Salt Game

  

Lay the provided color coded question cards on the game board.  Set out your game pieces. Roll the dice.  Move the number of spaces corresponding to the dice.  Answer the question correctly, keep the card.  Answer the question incorrectly, leave the card and the play moves to the next player.



The first person to answer enough questions correctly, and acquire the Letters / Colors to spell the word SALT wins the game.



Part of the learning with salt included details about food preservation, and human preservation through mummification.  Several web links were given on the subject of mummification.

We are planning to do a science experiment and preserve some foods with salt, but sometimes opportunity guides the day and we found another “preserving with salt” experiment to do first.  The kids found lots of slugs outside after it rained one afternoon.  There must have been over 20 slugs just in one small area of the front yard.



Slugs are moist and prefer moisture.  They become more active when the ground is moist from dew or rain.  They can only survive in moist environments.

We wanted to learn what would happen if salt was put on a slug.  We used one of the slugs we found in the yard for this experiment. We talked about this experiment would kill the slug.  The kids and I agreed to allow this slug to die so we could observe the effects of salt, and dehydration, for the sake of our science investigation.  
  

We observed the slug after an hour and it had shrank in size by half.  We left the slug to continue to dry out with table salt overnight and checked it the next morning. I was really glad we did this experiment outside and not in my kitchen!
 

The salt was saturated, the slug had shrunk even more and exploded droplets of liquid in about a six inch radius.  It had also oozed a liquid down the rail
ing and pooled on the porch.  YUCK!
  

The kids added more table salt to see what would happen again.  We will leave it for another day and see!  Again, I am so glad we did this experiment, and I am so glad we did it “outside”!  We will save preserving fruit for our “inside” hands on learning experiment.




TWO THUMBS UP! 

So what did we think of the Salt Box Of I.D.E.As.?  We loved it!  This is a fascinating way to learn.  It is hands on.  It contains a wide variety of activities related to a central subject, just like a unit study.  It give several internet links for further research and videos to view.  All we need now are a few library books, and make a lapbook to round out this unit study on salt.  We are going to see what books we can find on the subject and continue our learning adventure!  We still have a few modules to finish about salt, and we are going to continue with this the fun learning adventure.

Please stop over at the 
Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read more reviews about the Box Of Ideas products.

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Disclaimer:  I received the BOX Of I.D.E.As. SALT mentioned above, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, at no cost to me in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my personal opinion.


This post will be linked up with
Science Sunday
Raising Homemakers

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One thought on “Box Of IDEAS

  1. Ticia

    That does look like an interesting product. I might look into it in a year or so.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday! Sorry I’m slow commenting.

    Reply

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