Saturday, September 29, 2012

Box of I.D.E.A.S. (Review)

If you’re a fan of unit studies, then you’re really going to enjoy Box of I.D.E.A.S. It is literally that—a box full of 10 -12 standalone Ideally Dynamic Enrichment Activities on one particular subject.  The subject we were chosen to review was “salt”.  Yes, salt—the element necessary for human life—and almost anything you wanted to know about it was contained in this kit.  

Each lesson is labeled in its own large Ziploc bag and everything needed (minus a few household items, including salt) is contained within.  We chose several of the activities that looked like the most fun and starting doing one per day during our science time. 

Some of the lessons were most definitely geared for middle school to high school students, but we did find several that worked for 4th-grade-level science. Here are the different ways salt is studied in this one box: 

The History of Salt
The Science of Salt
Preserving with Salt
Salt of the Earth
The Salt March 
The Need for Salt
The Wall that Salt Built
Too Much Salt
Where Salt Lives
The Language of Salt

Abbey has become a label reader now, thanks to the lesson "The Need for Salt".  During this lesson, she was asked to research the amount of sodium found in our daily diet and keep track of it.  She raided our pantry, looking for every label she could find. We were both very surprised by some of the sodium levels in the food in there.  Without totally confessing how much junk food we eat, I will tell you this: Sprite has more sodium than Vanilla Coke. Who knew?? The nice, wipe-off food log and dry erase marker were included in the lesson. Here’s how her daily log of food looked that day: 

One of the other fun activities, again with all things included inside the bag, was "Preserving with Salt".  It included a fast-paced board game called  "SALT."  The object of the game was to collect the “S”, “A”, “L”, and “T” cards before your opponent did.  In order to earn a letter, you had to roll the dice and answer the question about salt on the space on which you landed.  We both learned some fun facts about how many ways salt is used for preservation purposes from playing this game.  There were more than a sufficient number of question cards included, so playing the game a second or third time would not have the players seeing the same questions over and over. Abbey was quite pleased when she beat her mama in this game.

Our favorite lesson to date is "The Science of Salt" lesson.  This one contained three Ziploc bags, one was labeled “Control”, and the other two came with instructions to label them “Rock Salt”, and “Ice Melt”.  There were also bags of actual rock salt and ice melt included.  We filled the three empty Ziploc bags halfway up with water and waited for them to freeze.  We then poured rock salt in one, ice melt in one, and nothing in the control bag.

  Then we started the timer for 10 minute increments and recorded the amount of water that melted after each interval.  As you can see from the chart below, rock salt was the star of the party.  Our hypothesis was that ice melt would win. We were wrong. :) 

Bottom Line: I like having everything at my fingertips with the individual bags.  I love the quality of the materials provided and I very much like that the kit will allow me to use the lessons for many years to come with Abbey. Each lesson has web links and book suggestions that brought several of the harder lessons to life for her. There is even an SAT-type test for the entire box to make sure the student grasped all the material covered. 

I can appreciate the time it took to put together each kit.  The only criticism I have is that I would like to see a little more clearer instructions on some of the lessons, as a couple had us scratching our heads trying to determine the best way to use the provided materials, but overall this is a wonderful investment to save you a TON of time and headaches! It has made me love unit studies even more than I did before!  

Details: The retail price for the Box of I.D.E.A.S. Salt Kit: $79 for the physical box, $49 for the PDF download, and $4 for extra student modules.

Other subjects offered by them: World War II, Pine, Olives, Laundry and more!!

Best ages with which to use: 3rd grade and up

Don't just take my word for it, check out what my fellow homeschooling bloggers thought about this and other Box of I.D.E.A.S. subjects by clicking the banner below! 

Disclaimer: I was given this product in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was received.


  1. Love your use of pictures during the different modules!

    1. Thank you for taking time to read it, Melanie!


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