When it came to considering whether to home educate my children or not I never considered the fact that the way they education system works didn’t suit my children. That actually the things I remember from school weren’t from just sitting at a desk listening to what was written on the (black and then white!) board, or from workbooks (with the exception of Maths where I do remember loving working through Peak Maths books at a competitive pace!). As we are now onto our second term of Home Education I am finding that trying to replicate school isn’t what works best (for us). I think it is hard to engage children in just sitting and learning so I was keen to review Interplay’s My Living World Sets.
Interplay’s My Living World Worm World
What a great way to discover more about nature than through the world of worms. I remember playing with all kinds of life in the garden when I was growing up – never scared of getting dirty or touching something I found under a rock, or bit of wood! Now the box states that everything is included and you just need to add the worms – but this is not strictly true as you also need soil and food (dried leaves) for the worms. Personally I think this is the perfect autumn activity! It does state that it can be used all year round but that you need to keep it in a cool environment and ensure the soil is kept damp (but I think it will be harder to find food for the worms!)
The kit does include a plastic worm housing, tunnelling materials, shade and a fascinating guide written by nature expert Nick Baker. This guide explains about the importance of worms and what they do; how to set up the worm world and tips for making things more interesting and varied; all about worms – including the four parts of a worm (the head, segments, saddle and setae); different species of worms; and how worms dig.
We used compost worms – which apparently aren’t that fussy about the conditions. In fact we used compost instead of soil so did invite ants and even woodlice into our Worm World. Although this does mean we didn’t just see how the worms were behaving it was very clear what they were doing – but also meant we could watch the ants at work too!
Interplay’s My Living World Pocket Micro Scope
Interplay’s My Living World Pocket Micro Scope can fit inside a pocket for those interested in science, nature and crime investigation! Easy to use and comes with quality lenses, sample pots, specimen labels and covers, tweezers and information guide. 2 x 1.5V AA batteries are required but not included. The guide tells you how to get the most out of the Pocket Micro Scope kit – including tips and advice on how to observe living creatures and replicate a crime scene. As the name suggests this Pocket Micro Scope is small enough to carry around in your pocket. The light comes on when you pull it apart, and goes off again when you push it together. We took it out for a trip to our local Brook and enjoyed looking at trees, moss and even water. It was surprisingly detail and our son was surprised that it showed how dirty the seemingly clean water was!
Interplay’s My Living World Instant Flower Press
Interplay’s My Living World Instant Flower Press allows you to press flowers with the use of a microwave oven and then can be utilised for crafting with. Flowers can be dried in just minutes and keep more of their nature colour than with a conventional flower press. As well as a microwave (and flowers) you will require a microwavable cup and some water.
The booklet also includes hints and tips – such as using good quality, freshly picked flowers on a dry day. That the easiest flowers to press are those with a naturally flat shape (such as cosmos, pansies, daises, buttercups and wild geraniums). That flowers with multiple layers such as roses and dahlias are difficult to press. Part of the fun is experimenting with pressing the flowers – and you can do more than one at once (but that different types of flowers will take different times).
We were sent Interplay’s My Living World products for purpose of review.