Inertia Kiwi Crate

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Although Kiwi Co. titled Travis’s crate this month as the “Disk Launchers” crate, really it’s all about inertia, so that’s how I’m styling it here. Nomenclature aside, what fun we had with this one!

First Travis had to Build a Disk Launcher. As always, the step-by-step here is more complicated than in a Koala Crate, so I will simplify. It was great to sit back and let Travis deal with the fine motor skills of attaching sticky-backed foam pieces to the wooden pieces in the right order.

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Elastics help hold it together.

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And then a tube slots into place.

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Fill the tube with the provided disks (which look like wooden tiddlywinks). Pull back on the pin and – zing! A disk launches out. Travis was unsure what we had been building up toward, and looked so astonished and delighted when he realized how the launcher worked!

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Needless to say, soon some ninja turtles were lined up to be our targets.

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Next we needed to Create Clay Obstacles from the provided air-dry clay. These will become props in games in a moment, so the instruction manual suggested figures like goal posts or even little goalie people.

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There were also tips on how to make specific artistic touches. We mashed together the blue and yellow clay and made a green clay! Then we tried twisting two colors together for a braided look.

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Three colors rolled together made stripes.

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Travis was mostly content to go his own artistic way with this one, making little blobs. But we especially liked rolling circles that looked like marbles or little planets.

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Leave the clay out to air dry, preferably overnight.

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Now it was time to play Disk Launcher Games.

For the first, we unrolled the provided mat for a spin on “curling.” Secure the mat between your Kiwi Crate box and a book.

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Take turns aiming at the target with your launchers, and see who gets the most points!

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Then we tried bowling.

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Travis was thrilled seeing the provided pins get knocked down.

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Now it was time for the final challenge: create your own game! We just went wild, putting up all our clay figures and the bowling pins and seeing if we could knock everything down.

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Older kids may want to get more sophisticated in their game rules, such as actually scoring through one of the clay goal posts, or knocking over a specific type of target. But Travis loved our mayhem, and we needed to play many rounds.

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To bring it back to the science of inertia for a moment, I showed him a quick Disk Physics Experiment: Set up three disks (touching each other) between a set of books and then launch another disk at them. Have your child guess which disk is going to move forward!

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The answer is the furthest disk, which Travis correctly surmised.

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We talked about how the energy transferred from the launched disk all the way to the furthest one. He thought this idea was neat.

To cap it all off, we explored further with two suggested books: Newton and Me by Lynne Mayer, and Oscar and the Cricket by Geoff Waring.

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