Outdoor Explorer Toys from Uncle Milton

A Macaroni Kid Review

By Susie Blevins August 9, 2012
It was Christmas in August this week when a box of toys arrived for my 5-year-old son to play with and review for Macaroni Kid. When I pulled the toys out of the box, my son let out an excited "Whoooaaa!". And these National Geographic Outdoor Explorer Toys from Uncle Milton are definitely "whoa!"-worthy!

The first toy to make it's way into my son's hot little hands was the 4-in-1 Explorer Navigation Tool. It has a compass, (plastic) mirror, whistle and thermometer, and can easily be taken along on any adventure by hooking the carabiner onto a belt loop or backpack. Because it was night time when my enthusiastic (and inpatient) son tried out this toy, the only option was to play with it inside. We showed him how the temperature on the thermometer was close to what was displayed on our thermostat by comparing the numbers. My husband showed him what direction the arrows should point on the compass, and although he didn't have a full understanding, he had fun walking around the house, turning in different directions, and watching the arrows on the compass change. This could make for a creative part of a child's bedtime routine - "navigating" to the bathroom, then the bedroom, etc. My son quickly found the whistle too, but luckily it wasn't too loud since we were inside. The next day my husband showed my son how the sun reflecting off of the mirror could be used as a signal.

The next toy that caught my son's eye was the All-Terrain Nature Collector. It was easy for my son to figure out and use, and he practiced by picking up pieces of paper and other things around the house. Although not the intended use, as a parent I can see that this would be a fun way for kids to (maybe) pick up after themselves by making a game of it. During the day we found the perfect victim live specimen to practice on - a praying mantis. We helped my son snap on the Collecting Domes, and after a few tries my son was able to scoop up the praying mantis into the plastic domes, where he could take a closer look at the insect. As is recommended by the manufacturers of this product, my son released the insect back into nature and onto some nearby plants, only to do a few more pick-up and releases for good measure.  Besides using the All-Terrain Nature Collector to learn about nature, parents could challenge their kiddos by having them look for items to collect that start with a certain letter, are a specific color, or a certain type of item. 

Next on the agenda was Earth Tag, a child-friendly slingshot that comes with foam balls to launch. Although the suggested age group for this product is ages 8+, my son was able to get the hang of it with a little practice, and soon declared this "a really COOL toy!"

Although these toys were fairly straight-forward, each of them came with a Activity Guide that provided instructions and suggested activities for each toy. With the Activity Guide and your child's imagination, the possibilities are endless!

Over all, my son enjoyed the Uncle Milton's National Geographic Explorer toys that we reviewed. I look forward to getting my son outdoors more when the weather is cooler, and these toys will definitely be an incentive.

I wonder what Uncle Milton has in store for us next? Stay tuned for another toy review next week...

We were provided with Uncle Milton toys in exchange for a review; however, the opinions are 100% mine (and my son's).