curriculum reviews

Box of I.D.E.A.s -Salt


I had the opportunity to review a very neat product  from Box of I.D.E.A.s (Ideally Dynamic Enrichment Activities).  This was the first time I have ever heard of this company and I’m very impressed!  They offer many different topics to study in two forms-   an actual physical box with 10 or more modules that are ready to go for $79.00, (this has everything already printed on cardstock in color and laminated) or you can choose the PDF version for $49.00 and print and prepare yourself.

I received the PDF version about salt.  I was very curious about this product, how much is there to learn about salt?  We found out very quickly there was a lot to learn!!!  We were able to jump right in by printing out our PDF modules.


Here is the description from their website:

Our Salt Box of IDEAs is a comprehensive look at salt and how it has helped to shape history, nourish our bodies and even build and destroy empires. This Box delves into history, geography, science, language, political systems and much more. Salt—something that your children see and probably use every single day—can be a wonderful stepping stone to opening their minds to so very much.

Modules include:

The History Of Salt – A gateway to learning world history through the ages. Take a ‘salty journey’ through time! This module gives an overview of how salt has had an influence in the world in so many ways – from building empires to starting wars.  The portfolio piece gives your child a chance to use their imagination and recreate history how THEY want to do it while the chronology of the activity portion helps them to learn the sequence of world events while having fun playing a game.

The Science Of Salt – Bring science into your home through experiments with salt. Make science FUN!  All the supplies are included in this module to allow your kids to set up their own ‘labratory’ and investigate the answers to some burning salt questions!  A lab write up encompasses the portfolio piece to go along with the actual experiment activity.

The Salt March – An entre into the history of India and Mahatma Ghandi, one of history’s most important figures.  The history of India is long and storied and this module will open doors for you to direct your kids to a more in depth investigation of this most interesting place – from civil disobedience to a culture so different from their own.  The portfolio piece is a matching exercise while the factual chronology of the activity that deals directly with the Salt March itself will give them greater understanding into this singular act of civil disobedience that helped free a country from foreign rule.

The Salt of the Earth – Your children will love learning about their own country and those around the world as well when they become part of the investigation to find out where exactly salt is produced.  A huge variety of countries are involved in salt production and through the portfolio piece, which teaches graphing skills, to the activity mapping exercise, your kids will enjoy their hunt for the highest, and lowest, salt producing countries of the world.

Need For Salt – Humans and other animals need salt to live – without it we would cease to function.  The key is to get enough without getting too much.  In an effort to teach responsible nutrition and give your kids the ability to quickly and easily read food lables, this module delves into how much is too much and what we actually require.  By finding and listing high and low sodium foods and then making up a daily meal plan while keeping within certain limits, kids can acquire a skill that will serve them well for a lifetime of healthy eating.

Preserving With Salt – When mankind realized that food could be preserved with salt, the whole world changed.  People were suddenly not tied down to one place, exploration was suddenly possible and making it through the winter a more likely event.  This module concentrates on food safety and the facts of preservation – the why and the how as well as key terms.  Math skills come into effect in the portfolio piece while the fast paced board game will make learning the facts of preservation lots of fun!

Too Much Salt – While most people are aware of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, many don’t realize just how common salt lakes are.  They are a source of salt and a source of life for many creatures.  Your children will learn all about salt lakes and their functions as well as how they are formed in this informative module.  They will use critical math skills and logic to solve problems regarding volume, area and salinity.

The Wall That Salt Built – Take your kids on a Chinese adventure!  While most know of the Great Wall, few are aware of salt’s role in its formation.  The portfolio is designed to make your children use their minds to understand why salt was so important while the activity portion of the module concentrates on the construction of the wall itself over hundreds and hundreds of years.

Where Salt Lives – Salt can be found in several different places from which is it extracted for our use.  This module will take you and your kids to all the places that salt lives before it travels to your local grocery store!  The portfolio exercise will have your children critically reading a newspaper article regarding salt mining and then answering detailed questions about what they have read.  The activity deals with all of the places salt can be found and your child must reason as to where each fact is referring.

The Language of Salt – Salt proliferates our language and that of languages the world over.  Whether a single word, an idiom or a place name, salt is everywhere attesting to its importance throughout history.  This module gives an overview of how salt helped to form many common sayings, names and words.  The portfolio challenges your child to decipher the meaning behind some common salt phrases while the activity has them matching words, phrases and place names with their definitions and origins.

We were very excited to use this product!  The information is very thorough and the directions are easy to follow.  It is recommended for ages 9-16.  Allie (13) and I worked on this together. We especially liked the modules: The Salt of the Earth and The Wall That Salt Built.  Each module contains everything you need about that topic and can easily be implemented with no other prep.  In “The Salt of the Earth” we first looked at a map and identified the countries, then we put them in order by who produced the most salt.  Allie said she liked to learn geography that way.  It was neat to see that some of the smaller countries of the world produced so much salt.  In the module “The Wall that Salt Built” we learned about how the Great Wall of China was built with money from salt.  China was the first country to build an empire with the revenue from salt.  There is so much information that was new to me.  We really enjoyed this!  That module also contains a card game with neat facts like: the Wall was made of anything from adobe and dirt to stone and brick, archeologists have found wall ruins dating back to the 5th century BC, much of the Wall that is seen today is a result of building and re-building by the Ming Dynasty.

I loved how the modules could be done in any order and were easy to print and go.  We’ve had some busy days recently were we’ve done school in the van and these were perfect!

The fact that this was hands on satisfied my kinesthetic side!

Each module contains web links for more in depth study, a worksheet to make a portfolio of everything you have learned and an SAT style summary test.

There are many other subjects available including Pigs, Quilting, Laundry, World War II, Eleven and more to come such as Olives, Pine, Cemeteries, Mystery, World War II:Pearl Harbor, Kitchen and Innovation and more.

The TOS Crew received the Salt and World War Two:Pearl Harbor Modules to review.  See what others had to say about them HERE.

*Disclaimer:  I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are mine.


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