Pros: really cool idea that allows kids to learn about green building
Cons: some parts of the kit are sketchy to put together, instructions could be a little better
The age suggested for this kit is 12+. My son is 8, almost 9, and so he's a little young for it, but I figured since he already helped when we built our passive solar house (a real house) and since he's a building and green freak, he'd be ok with this kit, even though he's a little young.
- Helps kids (or adults) learn about all sorts of awesome green building and green living ideas, from passive solar heating and cooling, to growing plants, to how energy works, to solar cookers and so much more.
- Fun - all the experiments are small scale, not too complicated, and not at all boring. Cedar LOVED all the experiments in the book that was included.
- Story based learning. The manual is more than a manual for experiments. There's an actual back story that helps to involve your kids in why you're doing the experiments. The story was a little long winded for Cedar, my son, but for an older kid maybe not. I found it interesting.
- The actual materials used for the kit, aren't entirely eco-friendly. But they're also not excessive, so that's a perk.
- The manual instructions could be a little better. For example, we thought we were following the instructions correctly when building the house for the first time, but some of the instructions were so unclear that it took us a while to figure it out. The images along with said instructions are also hard to follow.
- The house is a little flimsy. When trying to do experiments with the house, you have to be hyper careful, or the house will fall apart.
- The kit has almost everything included, but be aware you'll need some helpful extras. Playdough, for example, and that's not included. This isn't really a pro, but more a be aware issue.
Overall: for the cost, you get a house kit full of enough experiments to keep you busy all year long. Literally. There's plenty of neat stuff you can try with this house, and you can redo experiments to see new results. My son loved it, and although the age recommended is 12+ if you've got a younger child who likes science, building, or green issues, he or she could easily have fun with and learn from this kit with adult help. I wouldn't think that this is appropriate for a child under the age of 8 years though.
Visit the Green Power House page for more details or pick it up at the Discovery Store.