Summer is coming to an end for many of us, my family included. We’ve been trying to squeeze in all the last minute summer fun we can and this week, that fun took a gross, but educational turn for my son. Of course, he didn’t realize he was learning because he was having fun, after all. And the best part for me, is that I got to spend some one-on-one time with him, which is rare. (Yay for the little memories!) Keep reading to see just what kind of gross and educational summer fun we had!
~I received samples to help facilitate this post. This post also contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase, at no additional cost to you. As always, opinions are 100% my own.~
Do you remember ever doing anything in school that you wished you could do more of at home? As a kid, I remember dissecting owl pellets at one point. I don’t remember what grade it was, but I do remember doing it. I can’t say it was something I wanted to do more of, but the fact that it can be done at home, is pretty cool.
So, guess what my son and I did a couple of days ago? We dissected an owl pellet! Hand2mind has a really cool line of kits called “STEM at Play,” and since the rain has kept us indoors most of every day (thank you, Florida weather), I thought diving into one of the STEM kits would be the perfect way to spend a rainy day in. Little did my son know, summer fun was about to take a bit of a gross and educational turn.
The hand2mind kit that I got for us is called “BONES! Dissect Owl Pellets,” hence the reason we dissected an owl pellet. The kit comes with 3 owl pellets (more pellets for more hands-on fun and learning) and the goal of the dissection is to determine what type of animal the owl ate. The kit comes with all the tools needed, like a pair of gloves, a magnifying glass, a pair of tweezers, a wooden probe (stick) and a guide to help along the way.
We dove right in and in no time my son was amazed at all the bones he was finding – a couple of skulls, lots of pelvic bones, jaws and ribs, and a few leg bones too. In all honesty, we didn’t even pull out all of the bones that were contained in the owl pellet. They are super small and a little tedious to separate, but we did dissect enough bones to determine what our owl had eaten – a rat (or three)!
Along the way, my son and I learned a lot. He asked lots of questions, which I was amazed at. The boy talks all the time, but over the summer it’s usually about video games. To get him interested in something hands-on was a total mom win for me. His excitement about finding bones and especially the skull, and him saying how cool it was, literally made my day.
And no doubt, it’s a day we’ll both remember. We put our scientist hats on, got our hands a little dirty (figuratively, we wore gloves), rodent bones were touched, broken and dropped (we did our best, haha), and mother/son memories were made!
I guess you could say he lived up to the STEAM award he received at school last year. He really does enjoy it! I thought for sure he would be a little squeamish about touching the pellet and dissecting it, but he had no problem at all. I may have a future zoologist or wildlife biologist on my hands. He’s already on his way to becoming an owl expert and is getting practice at identifying skeletons of prey. Who knows what’s next?
Aaaaand, truth be told, my son and I recorded our whole experience. [Caution – rant starting here!] From unboxing everything, to the dissection, to figuring out what kind of animal was in our owl pellet. I then edited the video with the whole nine yards – pulled out and compiled the best clips, sped up certain points that were slow but fun to watch (the actual dissection), and even added some music and text.
Well, technology was not on my side that day and I lost the whole video, original clips included. I still don’t know whether to laugh or cry about this because it was an awesome video and I wanted you guys to see how much fun we were having doing something a little gross. Not to mention, my son was excited about it too. He wanted to make sure he held the bones up to the camera so you could see them in detail.
I knew I should have just done a live video and next time I will! *sigh* It’s taken me a couple of days to even type this post up because I’m still so mad I lost the whole thing.
Okay, rant over.
- MAGNETS! Super Experiment Set
- SLIME! Slime-Making Lab Kit
- BOOM! Combustion Science Lab Kit (This is our next one, for sure!)
- POWER! Snap Circuit Electricity
- SPLASH! Water Science Lab Kit (not shown)
- BUBBLES! Soap Making Lab Kit
- YUM! Candy Making Lab Kit
- FIZZ! Chemistry Lab Kit
- ERUPT! Volcano and Fossil Lab Kit (not shown)
- LAUNCH! Rocket Science Lab Kit
Which STEM at Play Kit from hand2mind do you think your child would enjoy?