It’s been about 6 months since we started on our online Science expedition journey with Junior Explorers. Junior Explorers is a fun and educational subscription box for kids aged 5 to 11. The subscription contains two components to learning – via physical materials as well as e-Learning. The learning material within allows them to explore the natural world at their own pace. Aside from wildlife and ecosystems, kids are introduced to critical or endangered species as well as the the importance of protecting them for a balanced ecosystem and sustainability into the future.
I am glad that it has kept the kids well-edutained with interesting facts and information. The learning point about the different ecosystems of the world has filled the children with questions and the desire to find out more. They would sometimes flip non-fiction pictorial books on their own. Each time we shared about the unique characteristics for an ecosystem, they would have countless questions and the pride to quickly tell me about their new discovery. The learning session with them is filled with greater bonding moments now that they are older, more conversant and know how to look for the information they want.
I used to hoard a great deal of learning materials which includes books, manipulatives, figurines and other substances for applied learning through art, science or play. Throughout their formative preschool years, I have had the enjoyment of doing home-learning with the kids. These materials come in handy anytime I need them. I slowed down since three years ago due to formal schooling and travelling time. I have been unable to prepare things to engage with them aside from normal school work and I resort to e-Learning as a convenient and instantaneous way out since their teachers also expose them to learning from the web pretty often.
When the opportunity to review Junior Explorers came last October, we took our time to go slow and to really enjoy it as something fun and completely relaxing. As I have mentioned before in the introductory post, a pack containing exclusive materials like mini animal figurines, fact sheet, learning cards, souvenirs, stickers and activity sheet will be received via mail on a monthly basis following the receipt of the first welcome pack. I do not need to prepare any additional items should I not have the time to do so. Well but I try to do with additional resources from my stash of materials at home. Puts my investment to good use, huh?! The critical information are all in the pack and kids will get to learn about six animals from a different biomes each month.
After I go through the necessary learning points, I’ll allow the kids some time on the computer to play the associated games (it’s called Mission) that is bundled together with each subscription. Monthly mission is accompanied by a unique mission code (password) which is used to access the games. The games will lead children through the different parts of the biomes and their mission is to help the scientist locate a missing critical animal. Through these games, they reinforce what they have learnt with me earlier through the learning cards and activity sheets. The kids are also tasked to solve mysteries and then earn reward points for each task completed. At the end of the game, they have the option to GIVE BACK to conservation efforts using their reward points they have accumulated. Junior Explorers will convert these points into real donations with a percentage of it’s revenues channeled towards fulfilling real life mission of supporting conservation. They call this “Mission Give Back“. The kids can even choose which non-profit nature organisations (such as Nature Conservancy, Australian Marine Conservation Society and World Wildlife Fund) to benefit from their donation.
Last month, we explored The Great Barrier Reef!
An envelope looking like this below will be received in the first week of each month. Everything needed is inside the envelope. Seeing this means more adventures ahead for the kids. They do look forward to receiving it every month. 🙂 The mission code required to access the online programme is also printed on it (ditto on the letter inside).
For this month’s mission, the kids were supposed to help the Marine Scientist find out the cause for coral bleaching over at the Great Barrier Reef. They will need to “travel” from the USA to Australia.
Before that, let’s identify the location of Great Barrier Reef on the map.
Along with everything in the pack, there would be a checklist of the items included as well as the things to be done in order to carry out the online mission.
Aside from the pin, wristbands, animal figurines, stickers and tattoos which the kids look forward to, there are also some relevant post cards with related quick facts about the featured animal. I do wish that the postcards are not perforated for DIY tearing though.
Together with the fact sheet, I can discuss about the unique characteristics of the ecosystem by making use of it with the animal cards. Kids can also quickly pick up facts about these animals or use them to help solve mysteries while executing the online mission.
At the end of the sharing session with the kids, I would normally let them complete the activity booklet on their own and then to spend some time reading additional materials I dug out from the book shelves. The activities are quite easy to do and can be completed without supervision for my 6+ yo.
Even my almost 9-yo was delighted to have her chance at the activity sheet.
Here’s how it looks like on the inside.
Online Mission Begins!
If time does not allow, which typically happens to be the case in my family, I will let the children carry out their ONLINE MISSION on another occasion. I sometimes also use it as a carrot for them to finish their meal quicker. Instead of one hour, I get to cut short my suffering using carrots -.-
Online learning has become more common nowadays ever since the children started formal schooling. Aside from the MOE Chinese portal and e-Learning days, Jiejie’s class teacher has even set up a class blog for weekly updates. The kids are encouraged to make their contribution towards blog-writing too. So here we go, select the mission to accomplish from this screen above.
Kids will “fly” to the location from the States after they have successfully located the Great Barrier Reef. They will then be briefed on their mission by the local Scientist.
Before starting on their expedition, kids will play a mini-game to pick out the equipments required for the trip and “drop” them into the pockets at the bottom of the screen. They will be accorded points for every item they successfully picked. They are too familiar with this! LOL!
They were then introduced to the local weather (which Jiejie was quick to tell me that May til October is a good time to go to the beach at Great Barrier Reef).
There you go, I believe many kids have not seen coral bleaching phenomenon before. All they have seen are most likely those (still) alive and full of colours at the aquarium.
Primary 3 Science – Are corals plants or animals?
First, let’s check out the various body parts of a coral –
Refreshing their knowledge from the learning cards in the package.
Children will have 5 stages to clear and each stage encompasses a simple game where they can get to play and learn at the same time. At each stage, they will play some games about the respective animals they have learnt about.
Educational games look like these screen shots below.
“Hangman” kind of game for the keywords about sea turtles
Shifting barriers so the clownfish family can reunite.
At the end of the mission, children are encouraged to donate their points (up to 100 for each mission) to the related nature conversatories or wildlife groups. Junior Explorers will convert these donated points into real monetary donation for the respective nature groups.
Yea, they did it!! >.<
Despite finishing the online mission, I took the opportunity to return to the hardcopy materials. Remember the post cards and animal cards?? Put them to good use! I asked them to write a postcard to each other with their favourite animal from the mission and we will post it out (back to our own address of course!) >.<
And here’s their work! I’ve covered my address with the Junior Explorers pin badges.
After the mission is complete, the children are free to return to any games they want to play again. We really enjoyed this Mission – Great Barrier Reef alot. My hubby and I, as divers, have a special affinity with the deep blue sea. We tend to share a lot more with the kids on marine life than others as well. Picking this mission of choice as a review for Junior Explorers was really a good decision, I would SAys!. 🙂
Some of the online mission games were really fun and no less challenging (for the kids) that you would have thought and I lost count of how many times they have visited this mission all these months.
If you are keen to check out, we have a discount code for you! Simply quote SHM10 for a 10% discount off any Junior Explorers subscription packages.
We have TWO (2) sets of Junior Explorers 3 Monthly Missions with a total worth more than $130 for our readers. Winners will be receiving three different monthly missions via mail delivery and access to the online mission portal over a 3-month period. Just click on the image below to take part. Do follow the instructions below to take part for your chance to win!
Click on this image to take part in the Rafflecopter Giveaway
Terms and Conditions:
- Giveaway starts 03 April 2016, Sunday at 0000hrs.
- Giveaway ends 11 April 2016, Monday at 2359hrs.
- Prize is fixed and cannot be changed to a different day or time.
- The Winner will be notified by the email provided under the blog comments and must reply within 48 hours, failing which, a new winner will be drawn, without notice.
- This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
- The Sponsor reserves the right to request for a redraw if the drawn winner on our blog has also won tickets to the show from another giveaway.
- Incomplete entries will be disqualified without notice. Decisions are final and no changes/disputes will be entertained.
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- This giveaway is in no manner associated with any social media accounts except our blog.
Best of luck!
We were blessed with a subscription of Junior Explorers for purposes of a series of three posts and giveaway. Check out Part 1 of this series here. Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums. If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates. We hope to see you back again soon.
~ SAys! Shirley 🙂
[Updated 13 Apr ’16]
Hi all! This is our first time hosting a giveaway using Rafflecopter in an attempt to lighten our administrative work checking into entries one by one. Apparently the work load is more. We still had to go through the shared posts on Facebook and blog post comments as these two entries were not completed even though entry was made. We hope everyone can be a sporty participant and be fair to the sponsor who gave out prizes. Without sharing the word, there is no point for a giveaway. We will fine-tune and monitor Rafflecopter widget for a while before we decide whether or not to drop it and go back to our old method. Please be patient with us for the time being 🙂
For now, thanks to everybody for taking part in this giveaway. Our heartiest congratulations to below winners for fully completing every step! We will be in touch shortly with regards to prize redemption details.
[Updated 13 Apr ’16]