This is the sixth post in my series STEM Toys for Kids that Parents Will Love. To read the other posts in the series click on the photos below.
Introducing Genius Box. This is a product that’s part of the wave of subscription-based STEM boxes that arrive at your door periodically. Genius Box was founded by two young women, Kate and Shivangi, who hope to bring hands-on science experiments straight to your door. Each box contains a number of small science experiments that a child can conduct more-or-less on their own.
This product solves three challenges for parents who hope to present science in an interesting way to their kids.
(1) It gives them ideas for experiments that are easy and safe for children. I’ve certainly been in the position of scouring the internet for a fun, simple experiment to do with young students. It can take a while. This type of product save you time and energy.
(2) It gives you the necessary materials to conduct the experiment. This is great because it’s not always easy to find out where to buy these things.
(3) It explains the science behind the experiment. This is the most important part of the exercise. You want your child to have fun, but you really want them to walk away from the exercise with a new piece of knowledge that helps them understand how the world works. The goal is to sneak in the learning with a fun activity. Genius Box does a good job of describing why the reactions in the experiment are happening and why they’re important.
The Genius Box that I received had an Earth Science theme. The kit came with four activities, soil, a couple pots, seeds, rocks, a few buttons and stickers to decorate a flower pot.
Activity one tells the kid to go outside and observe plants growing in nature. It includes an “Earth Science Scavenger Hunt” to guide the child’s observations. Activity two throws in a little art and creativity and tells the kid to decorate her flower pot with the stickers that are provided.
Activity three has the child plant their own seeds in the pot they decorated. The child uses the “plant stamps,” which are just sheets of paper that have seeds in them that can be dissolved in water to reveal the seeds. They can use the soil and the flower pot provided and simply water the seedlings each day for 2-3 months as they wait for a plant to sprout.
Lastly, activity four is a biome-in-a-bag experiment. The child adds soil, seeds, rocks, and a little water to a bag and then seals the bag and is told to place the bag near a window so that it can receive sunlight. This teaches the child about the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. They learn that, even though the bag is sealed, the plants have everything they need to survive and grow – as long as they are near sunlight. But plants “breathe” carbon dioxide, and eventually that will run out in the air, so at some point the child will need to open the bag to let more of that in. This is a great way to teach your kids about how the water cycle on Earth works and what plants require for photosynthesis!
Genius Box is an easy way to do a short experiment with your kids where they’ll learn something new each month. For around $25 a box, it’s a reasonable deal in my opinion. You can purchase a 1 month, 3 month, or 6 month subscription here.
Other Science Kits on Amazon