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Apr 15, 2014

"What are you curious about?" Curiosity Quest Review

For this review of Curiosity Quest's DVD Combo Pack - Produce and DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea, I decided to ask Mal and Xav to tell me a favorite part, or a particular fact from each of the videos.  Since these are actually for their education, I thought you might appreciate some of their input.  Their opinions are of the 7-9 year old boy interest level.

Hands down, the favorite of all episodes was orange packing.  The banana/orange knock knock joke was a huge hit around here!  I've decided not to share the joke here so as not to ruin it for anyone, but if you're really curious, you can take a quest through Google to find it easily enough.

So, what are you curious about?  That's the question *you* get to answer by writing to Curiosity Quest.  They choose actual viewers letters to answer by making engaging videos.

My boys refer to the host as JoelGreene, like his name is one word.  Joel is high energy and was fun for the boys to watch.

Each episode asks the man (or kid) on the street questions like:
  • What's your favorite orange?
  • How much does a sea turtle weigh?
Some of the answers absolutely made me cringe and I was a little embarrassed for the interviewees. 
Another part in each episode was "Heeeere's your fun fact."  (I now have that stuck in my own head!)
  • Places mushrooms can grow.
  • How cranberries got their name.

Curiosity Quest Review

DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea
(Sea Turtle Rescue, Penguins, Salmon)

Curiosity Quest Review

Penguins -
At Long Beach, CA, Aquarium of the Pacific we got to see Joel get a little squeamish about touching the penguins' lunch.  We loved learning about penguins and watching them eat and play.  Xav has been asking me if every creature he sees (even land animals that *don't* have white bellies) have white bellies to hide from predators like penguins?  Huh?
Xav: I think my favorite one is the penguins because penguins are silly.  Before I ever saw that movie, I thought they had no voice box.  I thought they said, "Whack-whack.  Whack-whack."
Mom note: *whispers* Xav is a little "whack."
Mal: I like hearing the penguins make noise.

Sea Turtles -
This episode takes us to Marathon, Florida Keys to The Turtle Hospital where sick turtles go.  Over 1,300 turtles have been released from there.  They are doing great work at the hospital.  It was kind of sad to learn that some turtles can never be re-introduced to the wild.  
Xav: I like in the sea turtle one, seeing the sea turtle that had one tiny fin.  How you tell a boy from a girl, you can see the boy's tail from the outside, but not the girl's tail.
Mom note: Once a male is mature, his tail is visible outside of his shell.
Mal: I liked learning how turtles hide in their shells to hide from their enemies.

Curiosity Quest Review

Salmon -
We learn from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Juneau that Alaska has five species of Salmon and we can remember them on our fingers.
  • Pinky - Pink 
  • Ring - Silver/Coho
  • Middle - King (They grow to as much as 100 lbs.)
  • Pointer - Sockeye (A little 3 Stooges-type reference boys will love.)
  • Thumb - Chum
At the Macauley Salmon Hatchery, we learned how hatcheries replenish the salmon supplies for the commercial fishermen.  Without this assistance, commercial fishing would have to be heavily regulated. 
Xav: They are tough.  Sometimes the salmon can even go up little waterfalls.  They have little, tiny red eggs.
Mom note: They jump as high as 25 feet.
Mal: I liked seeing the salmon jumping really high.

DVD Combo Pack - Produce
(Mushrooms, Cranberries, Orange Packing)

Curiosity Quest Review
Orange Packing -
We were able to learn about the harvesting and packing of oranges at Gillette Citrus in Danuba, CA.  I could just imagine the smell of all that magnificent oranginess when we see Joel Greene in the orchard.  I know apple orchards smell so good here in the fall.  Navel oranges are harvested in the winter (which they boys had a hard time believing since no one was dressed for winter), and valencia oranges are harvested in the summer.  An interesting tidbit is that oranges self-polinate, but bee keepers will pay to bring their hives to the orchard for the orange blossoms in the spring, making tasty orange honey.
Xav: The black lights make their bad ouchies look even worse.  So they can get rid of those oranges or make it so they don't get worse.
Mom note: The oranges get bruises or cuts that need to be treated with antiseptic to prevent spoiling.
Mal: I like when the windmill got started up and Joel Greene told the banana/orange joke.
Mom note: The windmill blows warmer air down on the oranges to prevent freezing.

Cranberries -
Wisconsin's official state fruit is the cranberry, so it makes sense to travel there to the Habelman Brothers' farm.  Cranberries are buoyant, so the fields are flooded at harvest time.  Next they head over to Russell Rezin and Son to see how berries for juice and craisins are harvested differently.
Xav: Cranberries are very strong.  Joel Greene asked if they were breaking them by standing on them.
Mal: I liked seeing the harvesting, the whole four-wheeler thing attached to the tractor thing.

Curiosity Quest Review

Mushrooms -
This episode takes us to Monterey Mushrooms, Watsonville, CA, where we find out all about our favorite fungi.  This episode was heavy on mushroom growing vocabulary. 
Xav: Mushrooms aren't grown in soil.  They grow in hay.  The brown ones are super, duper big and they are hollow inside.
Mom note:  By hollow, Xav is referring to the open veil of the mushroom underside.
Mal: My favorite part was when Joel Greene jumped in the truck thing and the guy said, "Hey, Hey.  What are you doing?"  Joel Greene is funny.

While all the episodes were both educational and entertaining, I preferred the produce DVD.  The boys seemed to just be happy I was letting them watch a funny show on TV.
Xav: They're fun learning movies.

Suggested age range is 7-14.
Price - $24.95 each for the combo pack.  That is a GREAT deal, considering individual episodes are $19.95 each 30 minute episode.

You can learn all about Curiosity Quest at their website or on social media.
There's even a Curiosity Quest blog!  (PS. They have a big announcement on Wednesday!)

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1 comment:

April said...

I loved your boys' commentaries! We loved these videos as well!