Over the years, our family has learned a fair amount about ancient and medieval war machines. After all, war machines are mentioned in the Bible at times, and are definitely a huge part of "conquest and conquer" events in our history books.
We even bought at least one book that demonstrates how to make your own siege machines.
Oops - we have never got around to making any of the siege machines, though.
When the Medieval Machines Pack was sent from Pitsco Education for us to use and review in our home, we were excited! It includes a Trebuchet Kit, a Catapult Kit, weights, and a Seige Machines book.
Since the Medieval Machines kit is placed at the Intermediate-Middle School range of ability, we thought this would be perfect for our girls. Especially Kelsi - she is a hunter and loves weapons and learning more about war and history, in general.
I asked my hubby if he'd mind working with the girls to help them make the trebuchet and the catapult. Since he loves war machines, he said, "Of course!" (Thanks, Elmer!)
We had about five to six weeks to make the two siege machines. Then, we had two separate deaths on my side of the family which involved two separate, long trips down to California for memorial services. That took up two weeks. During Thanksgiving week, we all came down with a horrible stomach flu. That took up a full week. And on two of the weekends when my husband was free, Elmer was putting up Christmas lights outside, something he always tries to finish before Thanksgiving Day.
We ended up being very cramped for time to work on these kits. And then the photos I took, of the girls and Elmer assembling the trebuchet, were accidentally deleted from the camera by one of the girls. Is this a jinxed review, or what? Ha! Sometimes, things just don't go our way!
Here are the supplies required for this kit:
Elmer and the girls started out with making the trebuchet kit. Elmer had to be fully involved in this project. He thought that the directions and photos weren't quite as clear as he had hoped, and he knew that our girls would have had difficulty making the trebuchet on their own. It took them all several hours of work spread out over several days to make the kit, but they enjoyed it and were able to get it to work well.
So sorry that I don't have photos of them building the kit together! I tried!
However, if the directions are followed - and an adult reads between the lines a little bit, the trebuchet is fairly sturdy and works well. It isn't so huge that it takes up a huge amount of space in our home, and yet it isn't so small that it is quite insignificant!
This Medieval Machines kit is reasonably priced at $21.95. For the well-cut pieces of balsa wood and many of the supplies included, we think this is a fair price for a great product!
I would recommend, though, that this not be used outside in all forms of weather, or that it is used roughly. It's not a real war machine, right? :)
But for an introduction to war machines, without having to completely develop your own kit from scratch, this is a great option. Once children and teens get hooked on making these kinds of war machines, they can investigate making their own larger, sturdier machines for themselves! Oh, fun!
Educational methods learning from working on this kit include:
Our overall thoughts? We think this is priced well for the quality, and with a little bit of parental help, many junior highers and high schoolers would enjoy putting these two war machines together. Talk about a great way to please your kinesthetic learners when studying ancient and medieval history! We hope we are able to use other Pitsco Education kits in the future.
Read what other TOS Crew families had to say about the Pitsco Education kits they received!
Disclosure: I received one Medieval Machines kit valued at $21.95 in exchange for my honest review of this product. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne!
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