To be honest, I have never thought about purchasing children’s subscription boxes before – maybe it has something to do with my hubby’s aversion to spending money! However now that I have my son, and I’ve seen some of the amazing subscription services around, I have to say that I’m a lot more PRO-Subscription Box! But it is a matter of finding the ‘right’ ones.
The key I’ve found to choosing the right subscription service matches these criteria for me:
- Has some educational and developmental value to my son.
- Is a lot of FUN!
- Is worth its value (i.e. not too expensive!).
While this doesn’t seem to be too much in the way of criteria, for me they mean I scrutinise lots of details in each offer. Currently I have found 3 MUST-HAVE Subscription Boxes for children (even young babies, my son is only 1 year old) that I had to share with you.
Inspire Book Box
I know I’ve mentioned it numerous times, but I’m a massive nerd when it comes to children’s literature and picture books (utterly obsessed!). So the idea of a children’s book subscription box naturally appeals to me. What I wanted to know before purchasing this book box was, ultimately, would it be good value for money (rather than me going to the shops to buy a few books). When I received the Inspire Book Box, however, I was blown away by some amazing points of difference which convinced me why I SHOULD be getting an Inspire Book Box for my little one.
Firstly, the Inspire Book Box is so much more than “just” books. It is full of learning opportunities and adventures. Opening the box, there were a number of sheets that have been designed by experts (and lovely blogging friends of mine!) to help you create memories and learning experiences for your child. There is a Parent Guide full of questions and activities to help promote your child’s language development (for example, signing and dancing to ‘Row Row Row your boat’ after reading the book with the same title). As a teacher, I think this guide is just awesome to help all parents engage their child’s thinking and learning – this helps build comprehension skills for your child on top of understanding concepts of print (identifying letters of the alphabet, listening to the sounds of language, etc).
Our Little Hands (0-2yo) Inspire Book Box also came with an awesome craft activity and instruction sheet. Although Starfish is a little young for this at the moment, it is something I can keep for later and create with him after we read the associated book, “Muddypaws’ Big Day”. The box even comes with some clever recipe ideas to create a food experience to go along with your child’s reading – how awesome is that?!
To top off this gorgeous subscription box, there is a lovely engagement gift inside (we got a little dog soft toy) to help your child further engage with the books and learning experiences. For example, while reading the “Muddypaw’s Big Day Out”, your child could be helping you act out the book with their new soft toy friend.
As you can see, this box is jam-packed full of items and activities your child will love, fantastic memories to create, and important learning opportunities. This alone makes the Inspire Book Box worth every cent. However, I was blown away by the cost of this book box as well.
As a subscription service, you have the opportunity to subscribe to receive this box and pay monthly ($39.95), 3-monthly ($116.85, saving $3.00) or 6-monthly ($227.70, saving $12.00). There is also the option of buying the box as a one-off gift box ($41.95) or as a “Many Hands” box designed for families with 2 or more children (from ($54.95). To help make this book box even better value, they personalise the boxes for 0-2 year olds (the “Little Hands” box) and for 3-6 year olds (the “Bigger Hands” box). I bought the one-off gift box as I wasn’t sure whether I would be wanting to continue with a subscription. However this cost (plus shipping, so around the $50), gave me 4 books, a soft toy, a craft activity plus 3 guides/recipes to use with my child. It left me wondering how the owner of Inspire Book Box would be making money (as the cost of the materials would be getting close to that amount anyway!). I thought this was such an awesome deal, as children’s books are usually upwards of $10 – $15 each AT LEAST (for board books).
If you want to inspire a love of reading with your child, with an awesome craft, toy and recipe thrown in, the Inspire Book Box is a must have in your household. To check out their current subscription this month (there is a new theme each month!), check out their Website HERE, Facebook HERE or Instagram HERE.
My Kiwi Play Box
(I received the Balancing Movement Play Box for the purpose of this review and social media promotion. All opinions are my own).
Most mums will know that quality wooden toys are worth their weight in gold. Babies can chew and gnaw on them, and they are less likely to break over time from wear and tear. So when I came across The Kiwi Play Box, which sends subscription boxes with wooden toys amongst other things, I was super excited to check it out. Of course, they are based in New Zealand but they do send their boxes over to Australia for us to love and enjoy!
We received the Balancing Movement Box, which included:
- A Wooden Peg Bench and Hammer
- Veggie Crayons
- A Wooden Stacker Set
The box also comes with an instruction sheet detailing the developmental areas that the toys help develop, an extra game for you to play with your child and the attributes of the toys (for example, my “Balancing My Movement” box had the attributes of developing the pincer grip, challenging balance, and encouraging co-ordination).
What I love about this subscription box is that it focuses on your baby or child’s development in the toys it selects. The Balancing My Movement box helped me to focus on my son’s Fine Motor Skills by providing toys that required him to hold items (such as the hammer, wooden rings and the veggie crayons) and work on his hand-eye co-ordination (bringing the hammer to the wooden pegs, which he enjoyed doing, or by aiming the wooden rings to fit over the wooden stacker). Starfish also got to practise some Gross Motor skills in his arms, such as swinging his arm with the hammer to hit the pegs, or moving his arm around the paper while holding the veggie crayons (which we are still practising to achieve!).
My Kiwi Play Box offers a range of play boxes for children of all ages, from Newborn right up until school age. There are different types of boxes for each age group that support different developmental areas, so you can select one-off boxes you’d like to purchase for your child. Alternatively you can sign up for a subscription and receive all the boxes for your child’s age over the course of a year (for example, there might be 4 Play boxes for the 6-10 month age bracket, so you would receive one box every 3 months).
These Play Boxes from My Kiwi Play Box tick off all my criteria – they are super fun for Starfish (and I won’t lie, for me too. I’ve been playing with the pegs and hammer for ages!), they help his development, and they are extremely good value. As I started with, wooden toys are a loved item by many babies and mums, but usually at a high price. The Balancing My Movement box I received is valued at $58.50, including two wooden toys and the veggie crayons. Most stores that sell wooden toys that I have noticed (particularly boutique stores) sell wooden toys for upwards of $30 EACH. This would bring the value of the box to over $60, not including the veggie crayons or added developmental information.
Jack The Wombat
Growing up, I had a Penpal who lived over in France (a lucky opportunity, I know! My dad was Penpals with her mum, ahh long story!). I loved when I would receive a letter from her, which she had translated to English for me, and then sitting with my dad and learnign some French to write a letter back to her. We were Penpals for a couple of years and it was lovely. Having a Penpal made me feel special – someone else out there was thinking of me, carefully putting together a letter for me, and asking me about my life.
In this day and age of technology, we have lost some of the spark of traditional “snail mail”, however I know that all kids still get excited about having a letter in the letterbox with their name on it. That is why I absolutely ADORE this biz, Jack The Wombat, which is bringing back to life the magical friendship of having a Penpal.
Jack The Wombat is a monthly subscription service that encourages your child’s literacy development by sending an assortment of activities right to your doorstep (or mail box). Designed for children aged 4-8, each month your child can receive:
- An Adventuregram from Jack the Wombat (A Letter from Jack!)
- A Reply Adventuregram to Jack (write back to your new Penpal!)
- An Adventuregram to share with a friend – spread the love!
- A Sheet of High-Quality Stickers
- A Fun Colouring Sheet
- A Super Fun Educational Activity Sheet
With most subscripton services, there are a range of options for you to choose from – you can pay month to month ($9.95), pay for a 6-month block ($8.95/month), or pay for one-off gift options for one month ($12.95) or 6 months ($59.95).
As a passionate advocate for literacy development, the creator of Jack the Wombat Allison makes sure each month’s Adventuregram to your child is packed with lots of fun as well as lots of opportunities for development and learning. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to help your child develop a love of writing and find a new lifelong friend – visit the Jack The Wombat Website HERE, Facebook HERE or Instagram HERE.
Sherbet Creations is a subscription box that provides children with engaging and educational craft activities each month. The Sherbet Creations boxes are designed for 5-8 year olds by co-founders Teresa and Melanie, who has 8 years of Early Childhood Education experience behind her. Each box has 4 craft activities, accompanied by Youtube videos to provide children with direction on the tasks (or children can be left to their own devices to create masterpieces!). The aim of Sherbet Creations is to provide fun and developmentally appropriate activities for children and parents who are looking for an alternative to screen time or extracurricular activities. These subscription boxes give you a chance to sit down with your child (or for them to sit and relax by themselves) and get creative!
Plus, the Sherbet Creation boxes donate $1 from each box to the Bear Cottage (an initiative of Westmead Children’s Hospital), which makes it even more amazing as it also helps a worthwhile cause!
What are your favourite subscription boxes/services for your child? Have you ever gotten one before? What has held you back? Tell us in the comments below! x