Can be used both in and outdoors
Kids can play make-believe or actually explore
Some items are cheaply made
Bugs all look the same
Bag’s strings are really long
Children are inherently curious about the world around them, and that’s good. Nature has a lot to teach kids—and we aren’t just talking about a tree’s life cycle or an animal’s anatomy. From building observation skills to solving problems and gaining confidence, the great outdoors can help kids gain invaluable life skills. So why not let your little explorer’s thirst for discovery run wild with the Creative Adventure Binocular Gift Set? We put this outdoor kit to the test—read on to see our review.
Design: Good overall, but some items are cheap and flimsy
This outdoor playset is designed for both pretend and actual exploration. Kids can use the binoculars, magnifying glass, whistle, compass, and flashlight out in the wild, but they can also pretend to examine plastic bugs which—along with tweezers and a collector’s case—come with the set.
Some of the make-believe items are lagging in quality, however. The pretend bugs feel cheap and come in two very unrealistic colors, the bug collector case collapses and opens on its own, and the tweezers don’t have a good closing mechanism. Thankfully, some of the outdoor essentials work very well and are intuitive enough for children to use independently. For example, the flashlight is bright and has a lever that our 4-year-old son is able to press and recharge all on his own. Additionally, the binoculars come with a neck strap, a rubber exterior that little hands can easily grasp, and a focus wheel that’s easy to adjust. As a result, our son rarely played with the make-believe items, opting to use the working gear to go outside and observe his actual surroundings.
Though the set comes with a bag to hold all of the gear, the shoulder strings proved far too long for our son, and we suspect they would still be too long for older, taller children as well.
Check out our bug-themed party games for kids.
Entertainment Value: Hands-on adventures, exciting discoveries
Budding explorers will love to go on their own little adventures—real or imagined—with this hands-on outdoor gift set. Whether your little one decides to look at the pretend bugs or go outside to observe the real world, the potential for discovering something new will keep the excitement alive, possibly for hours on end. Our son uses the flashlight and the magnifying glass to look for roly-polys in our building’s courtyard and to scrutinize our cat’s whiskers. Whenever we go for a walk, he also loves to strap the binoculars around his neck to keep an eye out for birds or passing planes, and he uses the whistle to alert us when he finds something.
The set comes with enough gear to give children the freedom to choose how to play: they can either use the entire kit altogether or play with one item at a time. If you’re worried your little one will get bored, you can also rotate some of the gear that’s included to periodically renew their interest.
Educational Value: STEM, problem-solving skills, and creative thinking
There are a lot of toys out there that encourage learning, but this outdoor exploration kit is a jack of all trades and a master of (almost) all. Creative Adventure claims that the binocular gift set exposes kids to STEM through the power of play, and it really does. Children learn observation skills as they examine bugs (either the pretend ones that are included in the set or real ones) under the magnifying glass, and they can use the compass to learn map reading and gain navigational skills. All the tools included in the outdoor set have the potential to help children develop an interest in scientific study and problem-solving, as well as a true appreciation for nature. Last but not least, the binocular gift set stimulates creative thinking, letting children create their own adventures and become explorers of the wild.
Creative Adventure could have taken the educational value of the exploration set up a notch by including a more varied selection of bugs. however. As of now, the set only includes a black spider and beetle-like bugs. Adding different insects and critters to the mix would give an opportunity for more advanced compare-and-contrast examinations.
See our favorite science toys available today.
Age Range: 3 to 9 years old
This exploration playset can satisfy kids from three to nine years old. Whether it’s a preschooler pretending to be Indiana Jones or a 9-year-old observing the different ecosystems of their neighborhood park, the binocular gift set has something for everyone. Just note that the manufacturer warns about small parts that can be a choking hazard for kids under three years old.
Budding explorers will love to go on their own little adventures—real or imagined—with this hands-on outdoor gift set.
Cleaning: Easy to maintain
There are a total of 17 items in this kit. While that may seem like a lot to clean, all of the items are fairly easy to care for as they can be wiped down with a damp cloth. The only thing that needs special attention is the whistle as it can collect saliva.
Price: Comparable to other exploration sets
At $19.95, the 17-piece Creative Adventure Binocular Gift Set is right on par with most other exploration kits on the market.
Creative Adventure Binocular Gift Set vs. 21-Piece Nature Explorer Kids Adventurer Kit
Though it has fewer pieces, Creative Adventures’ Binocular Gift Set is better made than the Nature Explorer Kids Adventurer Kit. That said, the latter does include more varied insects and the butterfly net is a nice touch. The two-way insect viewer is also a pretty cool addition as it lets kids look at both the notum and abdomen of the bugs they catch.
Buy it with caution or consider other sets.
If your little one is an explorer in the making, he or she will enjoy this binocular gift set by Creative Adventure. That said, if you know it’ll become your little one’s go-to toy, you may want to consider a higher quality kit as some of the pieces in this one are poorly made.
- Product Name Binocular Gift Set
- Product Brand Creative Adventure
- Price $19.95
- Weight 1.1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 7 x 4.7 x 3.7 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 3+ years
- What's Included 2 cloths, pair of binoculars, lensatic compass, LED flashlight, 7 bugs, bug collector case, whistle, magnifying glass, plastic tweezer, drawstring carry backpack