Special thanks to Vsauce for providing me with a free Curiosity Box to try. All opinions represented in this post are my own.
Both of my boys, ages 4 and 10, have busy little minds. They’re always yammering away about this and that, and asking a million, gazillion questions about the world around them. I know this is a blessing and not something to complain about exactly, but man, are they in constant need of attention!
I’m always looking for ways to help them channel some of this energy into something stimulating and satisfying (that will keep them out of my hair). That’s why I was super excited when I learned that our family was going to get to try Curiosity Box, a science-based discovery kit from the YouTube sensation, Vsauce.
I’d actually already heard of Vsauce. My 10-year-old is a major fan of the YouTube channel, which also happens to have over 12 million subscribers. He is often telling me about some complicated and truly fascinating fact that he learned while watching one of the videos — stuff about gravity, the cosmos, and even some crazy stuff about math that I absolutely do not follow. My son is a math geek, while I undoubtedly, am not.
You can imagine that my kids were totally stoked when the Curiosity Box arrived on our doorstep. Curiosity Boxes are purchased as part of a subscription. There are several different subscription plans available and they can be cancelled at any time. We received box IV, and inside the small orange box was a whole lot more stuff than I expected.
My kids have tried a bunch of science-themed kits in the past, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. I could immediately tell that this was a little different than other kits we’d tried. There were a lot of different things packed into this box — and not just science experiment-type stuff. There were lots of truly interesting things that us ooo and ahh. And I’m not exaggerating.
So let me get down to it and tell you exactly what was in the box.
There were two hands-on science experiments: a slime-making kit, and a kit for making super-absorbent polymer spheres (more on those later!).
Then there was the “Curiosity Quarterly” newsletter, written by the Vsauce team. It was chock full of interesting facts and geeky thoughts, similar to stuff discussed on the YouTube channel.
And we were all mega-impressed by the real-live book at the bottom of the box! It’s called The Elements, and is full of gorgeous glossy photos of all the elements on the periodic table. My kids were enraptured by it.
In addition to all that, there were these really cool “glowing beverage elemats,” which are basically coasters that glow and light up as soon as you place your cup down on them. My 4-year-old couldn’t get enough of these!
There was also a cute enamel pin, and a really pretty “cosmic tree” sticker decal.
Oh, and let’s not forget the downloadable video game, DubWars, which my 10-year-old begged for me to let him play for about 20 hours before I finally let him.
And a pretty rad adult-sized t-shirt my husband rocked.
But the two hands-on experiments were probably the best, since those were the things we could do together as a family.
The slime-making kit was awesome. First, it was totally easy and not very messy at all. The slime-craze is great, right? But those slime-making videos your kids find on YouTube are such a pain! They require ingredients you don’t always have. Plus, it’s easy to totally mess them up. This slime-making kit, however, just required my kids to add water and mix it in with some powder. And within a few minutes, they had slime! Perfection. There were two different packs of slime mix (green and blue), and the kids had plenty of fun playing with their creations. The best part? There were two neat little containers to safely stow away the slime for future use. And even now, a week later, the slime is still slimy as ever.
The super absorbent polymer spheres were a bunch of fun, too. They’re these tiny, hard colorful beads that absorb water and then grow exponentially bigger. They can absorb up to 200-300 times their weight in water! Like the slime experiment, all you need to do is add water, and then you wait for about 24 hours and see what happens. My kids were totally wowed by the results — especially my little one, who had never seen anything like it before.
I would say that my only critique of the Curiosity Box is that I wish there was maybe one or two more hands-on type activities. But I guess that’s why you subscribe, so you can impatiently wait for more!
The great thing is that my kids are still reading The Elements, playing the video game — and with their slime, so it definitely feels like the fun lasted longer than just the day we worked on the hands-on activities.
But you wanna know what one of the greatest things about the Curiosity Box is? Part of its proceeds go to Alzheimer’s research. The founder of Vsauce, Michael Stevens tells Babble that he lost his grandfather to the disease and wants to do everything he can to help fund a cure.
“My grandfather had Alzheimer’s and it was very difficult for me and my family,” Stevens shares with Babble. “I was dismayed to see that while we’ve made headway with heart disease and cancers, Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline is emerging as a threat with greater and greater urgency and frequency. An almost certainty the longer one lives. I think that delaying Alzheimer’s onset and identifying risk factors earlier are goals we can reach within our lifetimes. Funding research into the disease isn’t just good for those at risk, but for our understanding of the brain as a whole.”
Don’t you love that even brainiest people out there can have the biggest hearts?
I was so glad that my family got a chance to try a Curiosity Box and my kids are already begging for another. I will definitely be picking up a subscription for my boys, especially as we have a summer full of unscheduled time coming up.
This mom needs at least a few minutes of silence (or at least however close we can get to that around here) sometimes!