Inside The Crate: March 2013

I love watching my kids get excited about discovering little things I take for granted! There are so many little secrets in science, nature and art for kids to discover. Looking for them is what makes building crates so fun. That’s what this month’s crate is all about: making and discovering secrets.

I really got to test out the ideas behind this crate during the shoot for our sneak peek video. Nathan used the periscope from this month’s crate to peek around trees, just like a real secret agent. (You can catch him peeking in the video below.) Between shots, Anya and Noah got to have turns with the periscope, too. They figured out you can also use it to look behind you.

Anya, Noah and I came up with a story together. They pretended to be looking for Nathan under the play structure and near the swings. They were great actors, don’t you think?

As always, our kid testers taught us a lot when they were building and decorating the periscopes you’ll find in this month’s crate. For example, the kids enjoyed coloring with the bright construction paper crayons so much that we made the periscopes a little darker to show off their designs. Here’s our tester, Sam, with his periscope.

While playing with the periscope, Sam learned how submarines use the reflective mirrors inside periscopes to see the water. Sam tried that out later, by hiding under a table and peering over the top!

Ella’s imagination took the secret agent idea and ran with it. She dreamed up a story with lots of plot twists, about a secret agent who was pretending to be a princess with shiny jeweled earrings.

I loved that the disguise kit gave Ella the chance to explore being someone else. She talked to us about how actors get in character. Ella came up with other ways she could disguise herself next time, like face paint or a silly hat.

Do you remember learning how to write backwards letters to decode in a mirror, or learning how to write invisible messages with lemon juice? I do, too, and I hope this month’s secret writing kit captures that feeling of discovery. My kids’ faces really lit up when they realized the special pen decodes secret messages, even in the dark.

I’m so excited to share this month’s crate with you. Tell us what mysteries your Secret Agents discover and solve! And, don’t forget, you can find out even more about the concepts in this month’s crate on our Explore More page. Happy exploring!

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