We previously tried out Peas in a Box when N was 5 years old, and loved the numerous educational activities provided, so we were more than happy to receive some of the new activity pods from Peas in a Box!
Eileen (the creative and sweet lady behind Peas in a Box) very kindly sent over four different activity pods, including the Shell-y Fun one for N, since the other three (Farmer’s Market, Fun on the Farm, and Shape Up) were more suitable for the twins. I like that the activity pods are packed in these canvas drawstring bags, because it’s so convenient to bring around!
I had grand plans to use the activity pods during our Perth holiday, but we visited so many places each day that I was honestly too exhausted to do anything with the kids by the time we got back. I felt bad that the TV was the default form of entertainment almost every evening, so I took out the Fun on the Farm activity pod on one of the less tiring days, since we had been visiting quite a few farms.
I had to take out one activity at a time, because look at how many activities were included! The twins actually saw me taking photos of the activity pods before we left Singapore, and had been bugging me to let them play with them, so they were super excited when I finally opened the activity pod for them.
I started them on the Animal Shapes activity, since it looked simple. All they had to do was match the rubber animal counters to the different animal silhouettes. Thankfully, there were two rubber animal counters for each animal, which meant that Didi and Meimei could have one each. To make it a bit more challenging, I got them to tell me the names of the animals in Chinese as well.You can watch all the videos of the kids playing with the various activity pods on my Instagram Stories Highlights, under Peas in a Box.
After that, they worked on the Animal Habitat cards, and I had to give them some hints as they weren’t very familiar with the names of the habitats. N helped them with the More or Less cards, which was a lot more challenging that it looks, as the twins decided to fight over the rubber animal counters, and refused to put them down on the cards properly. Sigh.
N wanted to play with the Baby Animals cards, and turned it into a memory game for himself. He laid the cards out, then put them face down, before flipping them over to find the matching mother and baby pairs.
The twins were cranky by the time N finished his game, so we all went to bed, even though they kept saying that they wanted to play with the other activities.
I revisited this Fun on the Farm activity pod when we got back to Singapore, and the twins were more cooperative, even when I repeated the Animal Habitats activity. They were also a tad better with the More or Less cards, and were very proud of themselves when I praised them for counting properly in both English and Chinese.
I thought that the Animal Covering cards would be easy enough for them, since they saw and touched so many of these animals in Perth, but to my surprise, they couldn’t figure out a few of them. We talked about what some of the pictures looked like, and after some discussion, they managed to identify those which they were confused about initially. I also tried teaching them the names of the mother and baby animals, but let’s just say that it’s a work in progress. They were able to match the cards and rubber animal counters though!
The twins enjoyed the sensory play too, but it turned messy really quickly, as they got the animal counters to “kick” the dried black beans out of the tray. (I used the black beans from the Farmer’s Market activity pod instead.)
The twins asked to play with another activity pod, so I picked the Farmer’s Market, to continue our Perth theme.
To be completely honest, I don’t really do activities with the twins, as I’m usually busy with N, so I wasn’t surprised that they had trouble using the squeezy tweezers provided. They couldn’t quite coordinate the opening and closing of the squeezy tweezers, and ended up using one hand to stuff the vegetable/fruit into the squeezy tweezers.
The Farmer’s Market activity pod provided many opportunities to use the squeezy tweezers, but the twins lost patience after a while, and insisted on picking the fruit/vegetable counters up with their hands. They matched the rubber fruit counters to the respective fruit juice packagings easily (Fruit Juice Match-Up), and were generally able to match the vegetable counters to their cross-sections in Vegetables Galore.
The twins couldn’t quite categorise some of the fruits and vegetables in the Farmer’s Market activity, but it helped when I referred them to the previous two activities. This also meant that they had a bit of difficulty completing the What’s on my Plate activity, and I had to split the fruits and vegetables up into the two baking cups provided, and put them in charge of one cup each.
Some of the Fruit Patterns cards were a bit too challenging for them, so when they struggled to figure out the answers to those cards, I put them aside for future use.
They loved the sensory play part as expected, and were very busy trying to use the squeezy tweezers to scoop the dried chickpeas up. Meimei decided it was easier to use her hands as a shovel, and that was when things got really messy!
The Shape Up activity pod came in handy when Didi went for his adenotonsillectomy and had to be warded for a night after that. To distract him from the discomfort, I offered him some books, toys and the Shape Up activity pod. He chose the activity pod, and spent some time playing with the Shape Up cards, as well as trying out the Shape Bingo, because he liked playing with the spinner.
Meimei got to try some of the Shape Up activities one morning when Didi decided to sleep in. It was nice to have some one-on-one time with her, and definitely easier to do these activities with her alone, instead of having both of them fight over everything. She had a bit of trouble with the small clothes pegs, but was able to get it after I demonstrated it a few times, and guided her.
The activities in this set are good for the twins, as they have to work on their counting skills, as well as shape recognition skills. I also got Meimei to identify the colours of the different shapes, so there’s lots of learning to be done for sure. I’m planning to use this set again during the holidays, to help them improve their fine motor skills, and revise what they’ve learnt.
N picked a few seashells during our Perth holiday, so I thought the Shell-y Fun activity pod was really suitable for him. He was really pleased that he got to play with this set on his own, as I didn’t think the twins would be gentle enough with the shells.
I thought that the Seaside Quest was a tad too simple for him, but he had fun spotting the hidden objects. This is probably good for slightly younger children, as it helps with their counting skills.
We both enjoyed reading the Seashell Fun Facts together, before he worked on the four different Seashell Sorting Boards. It was interesting to hear his reasons for placing some of the seashells in certain categories!
The mini game: Seashell Quest, was simple yet fun, though we both wished it was more difficult to complete the shell mat, as we wanted the game to last longer. We ended up playing a few rounds of it, before moving on to the sensory play.
N added his own toys to the sensory play tray, and fooled around with the small umbrellas. I liked how he created some waves with the coloured rice, but my goodness, it was impossible to separate the two different colours properly after that. Anyway, it was more important that he had fun, although I think he would have been happier with a huge tray full of sensory play materials for sure. (I, on the other hand, would probably go nuts. Haha.)
These activity pods from Peas in a Box are perfect for on-the-go fun (and learning!) and I love that I didn’t even have to prepare any materials for the kids. I always advocate learning through play, so I really appreciate how much thought and effort has gone into making these activity pods educational, yet fun. Do check out her other two activity pods, Buzzy Bee and Dino Might, too!
Discount Code Want to get an activity pod (or more)? Use our discount code GWTT10 to get 10% off all items on the Peas in a Box website! This discount code is valid from now till 15 December 2019, perfect for your Christmas shopping needs.
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