Explorer Kits

young explorer kits

getting kids excited about their destination before they travel!

Hi explorers!  We are so excited about your upcoming trip! 
We want you to get excited too, and we think one of the best ways to do that is 
for you to learn about where you are going is  through some fun activities.

If your explorer kit lead you to this page, please scroll to your destination below
or click below to get to the activity from your young explorer kit!

Portugal | France | Italy | US National Parks


Listen to a shanty here!


There are so many museums to visit in France. There are museums to celebrate individual artists like Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet.  Some museums feature a certain type of art like the Musée d’Orsay which celebrates Impressionist art.  Museums like the Louvre contain many types of art which like the famous Mona Lisa that lives there.  Centre Pompidu is an amazing museum that has all the inner parts of the museum on the outside. 

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926)

She was a Pennsylvanian artist who studied and lived in France. She is famous for painting mothers and their children. She painted like the impressionists who painted their impressions of what things looked like instead of making things look as real as a photograph.

featured work: Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, 1880

Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

He was famous for cutting out paper when he was confined to a wheel chair. His cutouts of dancing people, underwater scenes and lots of shapes are eye catching. They say he painted with scissors instead of a brush.

featured work: Icarus, plate VIII from the illustrated book “Jazz”1947

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

He was not a French artist. He was from Italy, but he painted the famous Mona Lisa that hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris. It is the most famous painting in the world. Mona Lisa is probably an Italian noblewoman named Lisa. Back before cameras were invented, artists would paint portraits of people like we take photos today to record how people look. The painting was probably painted for Lisa’s husband Francesco del Giocondo. But the king of France, King Francis the First, acquired it and helped it become famous.

featured work: Mona Lisa, 1505/06

Claude Monet (1840-1926)

He was famous for painting water lilies right outside of his garden which is located just outside Paris in Giverny.

featured work: Water Lilies, 1916

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

He was a French sculptor. He was famous for his sculpture called The Thinker which you can see in Paris. Some of his sculptures look so real that he was accused of taking a cast from a human body to make it perfectly real but he did not do that.

featured work: The Thinker, 1902

Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979)

She was born in Ukraine but lived in France. She is known for making patterns that look more like shapes than art.

featured work: Rhyme et Couleur, 1939

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

He was never famous during his life as an artist. He spent some time in a mental hospital because he battled depression. He painted thick as if someone added flour to his plaints. This is because he squeezed the paints right out of the tube onto his canvas. He is famous for painting sunflowers.

featured work:  Sunflowers, 1888/89

George Seurat (1859-1891)

He was famous for painting with dots. When two different colored dots were close together they looked like another color as if the two dots mixed together right before our eyes.

featured work:  The Eiffel Tower, 1889 

Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)

He was an untrained artist who was laughed at by many. But when Picasso threw him a party and celebrated him as an artist, he gained popularity. His jungles and animals are amazing.

featured work:  The Dream, 1910

Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)

He was a painter and sculptor. He is famous for taking things from real life and putting them in a gallery. He did this with a bottle rack, a bike seat which he bolted handlebars to in order to make it look like a bull’s head, and his famous Fountain from 1917 which was actually a urinal turned sideways and signed R.Mutt.  Many people worldwide criticized his sculptures which he called readymades.

featured work: Fountain, 1917


make your own Gelato

make your own gelato following these instructions (credit: Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies)

  1. In each small sealable bag, place one tablespoon of sugar, ½ cup of half-and-half (or 1/3 cup of milk and a little less than 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream for the exact consistency of gelato), and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Seal both bags well.
  2. Add four cups of ice cubes to one of the large, gallon-sized bags. Then add ½ cup of salt to the bag.
  3. Put one of the small bags you prepared into the large bag with the ice cubes. Be sure both bags are sealed shut.
  4. Put on oven mitts or wrap the bag in a small towel to keep your hands warm
  5. Shake the bag for five minutes. Feel the smaller bag every couple of minutes while you shake it, and take a peek at it.
  6. Now add four cups of ice cubes to the other large, gallon-sized bag, but this time do not add any salt to it. What do you think will happen without using salt?
  7. Put the other small bag you prepared into this large bag. Be sure both bags are sealed.
  8. Put on oven mitts or wrap the bag in a small towel and then shake the bag for five minutes, as you did before. Again, feel the smaller bag every couple of minutes while you shake it, and take a peek at it.
  9. What happens to the ingredients over time now? When five minutes are up, how do they look now compared to last time? What about the ice cubes — did they change in the same way?  You can also compare how cold the different ice cube bags feel. Does one feel much colder than the other?
  10. If you successfully made some ice cream, you can enjoy it now as a tasty reward for your chemistry challenge! 
learn about Italian mosaics before creating your own
after sculpting your own masterpiece like Michelangelo, learn more about him by watching this video
we've included a craft with pasta - learn more about the secret history of pasta here:
You can listen to this song while playing Strega Comanda Colore - instructions for the game are included in your kit
In Italy, witches are not always scary - Strega Nona is the story of a beloved witch in her community.

You can hear the story as read by the mom from the movie ‘Elf’!

Just for fun!  Enjoy this Disney short to see Mickey & Minnie visit the fascinating Italian city of Venice

Venice has canals instead of streets and boats instead of cars!

USA National Parks

bracelet weaving

rug weaving