Toys have so much potential to help children learn, but it is up to parent to be able to find the right fit for their child. This is no easy task, especially with television bombarding kids with so many toys and gadgets that really have no value but are super fun. Finding the right balance between fun and educational is not an easy task, but it is an important one for the development of a child’s growth.
For some time, Rock has shown an interest in outdoor life especially bugs (like most boys). He has a love/hate relationship with them, while they scare him sometimes he just can’t help be fascinated by them. Obviously, at four years old there is only so much bug related activities that he can do, but I still wanted to nurture his sense of curiosity and encourage him to explore his environment. That is why I was pleasantly surprised to find that National Geographic had teamed up with Uncle Milton, a leader in entertaining science related toys (check out our review of one their Star Wars Science products). The result of their partnership was the Outdoor Explorer Toy line.
Check out the video.
- Expedition Sky Flare MSRP $9.99
- 3-in-1 Expedition Magnifier MSRP $11.99
- 4-in-1 Explorer Navigation Tool MSRP $11.99
- Earth Tag MSRP $11.99
- Deep Cave Explorer Echo Maker MSRP $17.99
- High Sierra Eco Explorer Kit MSRP $14.99
- All-Terrain Nature Collector MSRP $17.99
- Expedition Shoe Lights MSRP $19.99
- Expedition Trekking Pak MSRP $24.99
I was able to try out with Rock the 3-in-1 Expedition Magnifier and the All-Terrain Nature Collector, both of which were perfect for Rock’s age group.
The Expedition Magnifier is a simple and study magnifying class with a large easy to grip handle. With in the handle there is a secret storage compartment where additional excavation tools are hidden, including a brush and a couple of tools for poking and prodding nature. Rock was especially hilarious when he finally got his first chance to see what an ant looks like up close.
The Nature Collector is a simple mechanical pinchers with regular rubber grips or special bug collecting dome attachment which allow kids to pick up rocks (with the regular grips) or try to catch bugs in the clear dome attachment. Rock had a ball picking up stick and running around the yard trying to catch various insects, he actually caught a firefly at one point (No fireflies were hurt during the creation of this review).
Each toy came with its own special activity guide with recommendations on how to use each tool. In addition, a website has been created to take the adventure even further. Natgeoacademy.com allows kids to start planning their expedition, gather their gear and continue to learn more through additional resources and activities.