Pepper Mint in the Great Treehouse Engineering Adventure

Ages: 8 and upManufacturer: Thames & Kosmos

The Great Treehouse Engineering Adventure kit is solidly rooted in a 32-page story-based manual that guides nine experiments. Eleven-year old Pepper Mint is visiting her Aunt Linda, a respected primate scientist who lives off the grid in a tree house on the island of Borneo. Things Pepper Mint took for granted, like indoor plumbing, a flight of stairs and electricity, are nowhere to be found. It takes ingenuity and trial and error to develop work-arounds.

The reasonably priced kit includes a Pepper Mint figurine sized to scale as well as materials to build the treehouse and complete the experiments. Additional household materials needed are a ruler, scissors, colored pencils, wood and craft glue, Scotch tape, brown paper, 5 coins and 2 AA batteries. The colorfully illustrated — and spot-on age appropriate — manual is written with clarity, detail and a sense of humor. The story of the plucky and curious Pepper Mint sets up the task at hand, lists the materials needed, lays out step-by-step building instructions, and explains what’s happening throughout each project.

Our testers devoured the story, assembled the treehouse and built the equipment needed to hoist, haul, shade, defend, escape and illuminate. Physics lessons come in the shapes of pulleys, winches and gears. Electric circuits (and a little rainforest ambiance) are addressed via LED lanterns made with conductive thread and a battery.

Pepper Mint’s spirit, problem solving skills and resourcefulness dominated play scenarios long after the initial experiments concluded.

Parents’ Choice ©2018 Parents’ Choice

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