Subscription boxes (page 3)
Subscription boxes have become really popular. They make lovely gifts which give year-round pleasure; children love to receive their very own post and they make a lovely treat for adults. We've also included other home delivery products that are not on a subscription basis, as well as magazines.
The Learning Club is for children aged 3-5 years old and their aim is to help your little one to be 'school-ready' by giving them the tools to build on the useful skills they will need to know. Each box contains four different activities and an instruction booklet; throughout the boxes all seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage are covered.
Our first box is designed to help with literacy skills; the focus areas in this box are 'learning to copy some letters and patterns', 'giving meaning to marks that you draw and make', 'following stories' and 'attempting to read and write your name and sometimes short sentences'. Our first activity is 'mark making' - you are provided with a bag of sand, a tray and shape and letter cards. This activity will help your child to start using the correct finger grip along with learning to copy simple shapes. This will also develop coordination and motor skills.
The second activity is 'first phonic sounds and sight words' - in the box is a ring full of flashcards that you can hold up one at a time to show your child. It is important that the letters are sounded out in the correct phonic way (there is a video for this on The Learning Box website). Once your child knows the sounds they can start trying to blend sounds together to start making short words. There are some sight words to teach and you can encourage your child to try and sound out words that they see around the house or when you are out.
Activity three is designed to encouraged a love of reading. A book is inside the box (ours was The Three Little Pigs), talk to your child about what the picture is on the front cover, try and find out what they think the book might be about, talk to them about the author and the illustrator and follow the words along with your finger as you read with them.
The last activity is to make your own 'Lucas the Lion' (each area of learning has a different character). All the items are included - a wooden spoon, paint, a paintbrush, coloured wool, glue, eyes and a pen. The instructions are easy to follow and your child will enjoy using the finished lion for role play.
I really like how the boxes each have a focus on one area of learning and a variety of different activities in each. The accompanying booklet is a helpful guide for parents as it tells you all about the skills your child will be learning and how to teach them. The box is very much intended to be done along with your child so that you can guide them through the different activities. My mini reviewer loves learning and these activities held her interest well as you can spend as long or as little time as you like on them to suit your child's attention span. You can keep coming back to the activities to do them again and again.
The Learning Club box is sent on a monthly subscription for £15.00 per month (excellent value!), or sign up for 12 months and pay just £12 each month including postage. To find out more take a look at The Learning Club box website and look out for our review of next month's box!
I Did It! boxes are educational activity kits which are 'dedicated to fun learning and continuous discovery', the boxes are aimed at 5-11 year olds and inspired by science, technology, engineering, art and maths. We were kindly sent a selection for review, first up was the larger I Did It! Double the Fun box which has two activities, two instructions, fun facts and extended exercises and the theme of this box was Sand Art. The box contents are beautifully presented and it was packed full with all sorts of bits and pieces that were needed to complete the activities - paints, a photo frame, sea shells, tubes of coloured sand, glue and a mini easel are just a few! 'Sand Art Creation' and 'Design a Shell Photo Frame' were the two main activities; the instructions were easy to follow and the quality of the included contents are really good.
The three I Did It! Little Box Big Discovery boxes have one included activity and come with an illustrated instruction booklet. The first box was Bug Catcher Bingo; the booklet gives your child the history of the game of Bingo, how to play and a variation to the game. The Bingo cards are bright and colourful and although your child will recognise some of the bugs on the cards, the game will also help them to recognise ones that they might not have seen before which gives you an opportunity next time you are out and about to see if you can spot any of the bugs from the game.
The second box was 'Whirligig Spinners' and included instructions, how to make them, how to use them and some fun science facts about how potential and kinetic energy is created, as well as an extended activity and fun facts. My mini reviewers really loved making these and playing with them, and I remember having a similar toy as a child.
The final box was 'Let's Go Stargazing' which included a sheet of constellations and a constellation plotting board, which is something I have never come across before and think it is a brilliant idea as it allows you to use the wooden pegs to plot constellations or to to sew a constellation using the wool and plastic needle provided. Such a clever and practical way for children to remember and visualise the placement of the stars.
Each I Did It! box comes personalised with your child's name, children really love receiving their own post so this is a lovely touch. The quality of the contents is fantastic, the boxes include everything you need and we loved the variety of themes, they were all so different. I Did It! boxes are available to buy individually or on a monthly subscription basis (which can be cancelled at any time in accordance with the terms and conditions)- the Double the Fun boxes are £17.95 each month inclusive of shipping and the Little Box Big Discovery are £11.49 each month inclusive of shipping. Find more subscription options on the I Did It! website.
The Rainy Day box is a super concept, which allows the box to be completely personalised, or for the donor to select from one of the excellent range of pre-selected boxes, which cater to a wide range of interests. We loved our Grow and Learn Big Activity Box with its really varied choice of activities. There are two craft kits - a cress planter and peg bugs - plus a very tasty (and simple) white chocolate and fudge cookie mix, animal stickers and a beetle game from House of Marbles' retro range. Each item comes with clear instructions and the quality is good. Put together, these represent excellent value. There are lots more boxes to choose from, as you can see above. Alternatively, .you can Build Your Own Big Activity Box for £12.49 - this makes a superb gift. To build your own box, you choose a total of five items from a range, which means you get a game and crafts.
The selections, whether in the ready-made box or create your own, are really well chosen, with plenty of variety. They come packed in an attractive cardboard box with a handle, so all the bits can be kept together. A super concept, with something to appeal to every child; the personalisation really sets this apart.
The Rainy Day Box Monthly Subscription Box
Join the Letterbox Club and your child will receive a magical activity box every month, perfectly sized to fit through the letterbox, so no worries about it going astray or having to wait in to sign for it. Inside their box, children will discover seasonal craft activities. Our box was perfectly themed for the spring, taking children down on the farm. The main activities are nicely packaged into separate coloured bags, adding to the anticipation. There's a clear instruction sheet which explains how to do each task - a peg lamb, piggy plate rocker and farm animal balloon were in our pack. There's everything you need in the box, and the activities are complemented by a recycling task - ours was a cereal box cow mask. This is an excellent idea, helping children to be aware of the importance of recycling and encouraging imaginative reuse of materials. The recycling task does require a few simple items from around the home. The box also includes a 'well done' sticker'. Children will eagerly await their monthly box, and adults can be sure that there will be many hours of creative play to be enjoyed. A subscription makes a great gift - subscribe now at Rainy Day Box from just £6.99 a month. The picture shows a taster box, which you can buy as a one-off for just £5.99 - a great way to see the value of these boxes.
First things first - a really eye-catching box, decorated with round the world images which immediately tell you that this is going to be a varied selection. The box fits through the letterbox too. A good first impression makes such a difference. As implied by the box, Munchachos are set apart from other subscription boxes by the global theme which encourages children to explore different tastes and to discover more about the countries they come from. Each box contains five different snacks inspired by flavours from around the world, opening a portal to a new world of taste and discovery. Children can be conservative in their tastes, so these snack-sized treats are a great way to encourage them to widen out in their eating choices. Each pack is created by nutritionists especially for Munchachos, so the packaging is the same for each product. They are attractively packed in uniform cellophane bags, labelled with a 'postage stamp' featuring a scene from the appropriate country plus a product name. The bags will fit really well into school lunchboxes and the healthy nature of the product (no added sugar or salt) means schools will be happy to accept them. For the full description, you need to look at the accompanying leaflet, which describes the product and its origin (there's definitely a sense of humour in evidence as products include such items as in-seine-ly delicious Chomps Elise). Each pack weighs 20g and there's a full ingredients list, including allergens highlighted, plus nutritional labelling. We received fajita flavoured tortilla pieces, cheese and tomato baguettes, chicken flavour noodles, dried mango, pineapple and coconut, and puffed spelt and dried apple pieces - the pieces in each case are really small. My one reservation is a slight disappointment over the use-by dates - our pack was received in late March with use-by dates of the end of April; it would have been good to have longer dates.
The fun learning element comes when children download the free app to create their very own World of Munchachos. This encourages them to gather fun facts as they 'travel' the world, playing great new games, possibly winning prizes, and unlocking new Munchachos, and more. The boxes cost just £4.99 each (April 2019) and subscribing is simple - just create your profile and the Munchachos at HQ will prepare your very own box every week. Order by Tuesday for delivery by the following Sunday. Tasty, healthy snacks, plus fun activities to encourage children to take an interest in the world - a unique and unusual combination. Subscribe now at Munchachos.
It's easy to find things to do every weekend with your children when you're a member of the Weekend Box Club. Hattie, Wooster, Sammy and Oswald send you just what you need to keep children happily engaged with a range of projects which can be sent fortnightly or monthly. I've previously reviewed the regular Weekend Box offering, which is suitable for 3 - 8 year olds, so was thrilled to be asked to review (along with my young tester) one of their new STEM boxes, which are designed for 7 - 12 year olds, so keeping the options open for older children to keep enjoying these excellent resources. A new themed activity box will be delivered through your letterbox (yes, they really do fit through the letterbox!) every month, full of educational fun. The theme of our box was Let's Fly - others include: Catapult Engineering, Bug Catching and Natural Disaster Simulators. They all sound great! Each box includes a colourful instruction booklet, with fun facts, jokes and scientific facts. There were three neatly packaged activities in our box - you do need to add extra items, but these are easily sourced around the house. The activities were: Make a Rocket, Let's Go Fly a Kite and Helicopter Pin Wheels. They are well explained, so children can work on their own with minimal intervention, giving the satisfaction of achievement - although parents will enjoy helping! There's an evaluation sheet plus other activities in the booklet; I'm really impressed with the booklet, which has a variety of activities and is well worth keeping after the activities are complete. Weekend Box offers excellent value, an affordable price which compares well with some others on the market. Each subscription box costs just £8.95 (March 2019), with free p&p. Highly recommended, with lots of different activities to support learning; the STEM box is ideal to support science, technology, engineering and maths, building on the focus being given to these important subjects in education. Subscribe now on the Weekend Box website.
Home educator discount Weekend Box have launched a home schooling discount. Rather than just a one-off intro offer, home educators can save 17% on the price of boxes permanently - more info at www.weekendboxclub.com/home-education.As the boxes are so ideal to support home learning, this discount is a real benefit to home educators, adding to the experiences they can offer their children.
Little Piece of Cornwall Subscription Box
If you love Cornwall and all things Cornish, this is the box for you! "The Little piece of Cornwall subscription box is something we have created so that you can take a little piece of Cornwall with you wherever you go. The only subscription box in Cornwall that gives you a little taste of what Cornwall has to offer, each and every month. Whether you have memories that you cherish of previous holidays here, live in the county, hope to live here one day or planning a visit; the Little piece of Cornwall subscription box offers you a hand-picked selection of treats and products from some of the best brands 'born and bred' here." It's a wonderful way to bring a taste of Cornwall into your home month after month - and to whet your appetite for a Cornish holiday.
Subscribe now at A Little Piece of Cornwall. Prices valid March 2019.
The box arrived in a mailing carton and inside was an appealing luxury gift box neatly wrapped and packaged. Inside were five goodies all from Cornish suppliers - perfect sized treats and a great range. The first thing that struck me was the gorgeous aroma - an enticing start. We had some tasty luxury chocolates, a scented tea light, body oil, body lotion and a soap - a lovely selection of pampering treats, perfect for busy mums to enjoy with some 'me time'. Some of the products you receive will be sample size, some will be full sized and sometimes you’ll get some little extras thrown in. This box was a real joy to open and unpack - and use. The products are carefully selected to give a flavour of some of Cornwall's unique producers and the additional information supplied means you can buy products you love - a good way to support local enterprise. The subscription also includes monthly copies of Cornwall Living magazine, doubling the treats to look forward to, as this comes separately. The magazine is full of inspiration for Cornish holidays, happenings and products - perfect to encourage you to book that holiday! A wonderful gift.
Honestly Good Smoothies
In our time-pressured and health-conscious society, ready-prepared smoothie mixes definitely have their place, and this new company brings us a product that has a very practical place in our lives. Our smoothies box arrived carefully packed, and delivered to the doorstep as requested. Inside, it was well protected with wool packaging and dry ice to keep it all cool. Each smoothie comes in its own pouch, ready to pop in the freezer and get out whenever your family wants a healthy drink. All the fruits and vegetables are organic, sourced from the UK whenever possible. They are so simple to use - just tip into the blender, add the supplementary superfood sachet and some water, then mix . Honestly Good Smoothies re-use or recycle 100% of all packaging (they will collect yours) and donate 2 meals to those in need for every box they send out. The website is easy to use. Choose your favoured box - variety, honestly green, honestly veggie or honestly fruity - and whether you want weekly, fortnightly or monthly deliveries (you can change any time). It costs from £4.75 per smoothie (March 2019). Each pack makes a full pint.
Treat Trunk tell us: "We at Treat Trunk aim to relieve some of the stress of parenting by providing better-for-you, delicious, nutritious and fun snack solutions for the whole family. In each Trunk you’ll find lunchbox, after school and on the go snacks as well as snacks chosen specifically with parents in mind for their health and well-being properties. We strongly believe in self care for parents and having a box of goodness you can always rely on which comes replenished and full of surprises every month is invaluable." This was really exciting to open and explore! Our young testers were happy to find the pack addressed specifically to them - always a nice touch.
Inside, the packets just seemed to keep on coming and they certainly live up to Treat Trunk's stated aim of being healthy and nutritious. There's a good balance between savoury and sweet - I've mentioned just a selection here. First up was a pot of lime pepper savoury porridge, a carton of coconut water and then a sharing bag of almond biscotti (I definitely recommend these!). Savoury snacks included pear crisps and chickpea puffs. Fruit shapes and liquorice bears were among the sweet treats, as well as a selection of fruit and nut bars. Chocolate lovers will enjoy the organic raw chocolate and hazelnut praline. Some of the more unusual products included halva and plantain bites. As you can see, a fabulous choice. All the items are dairy-free, sugar controlled and vegan friendly, and it's a real boon for busy adults not to have to check these things - a definite plus point. I was pleased to see generous sell-by dates - sometimes these can be an issue with boxes, but these were excellent for length. Quite rightly, schools have restrictions on the foods that can be included in children's lunch boxes. On looking through the wide range of healthy snacks in our Treat Trunk, there seems to be plenty of items that would be good for lunch boxes so this will be a real boon for busy parents faced with creating different and healthy meals every day. The packs are also ideal for family days out and picnics and with such a wide variety, there will be plenty that every member of the family will enjoy. Some were brands with which we are familiar but there were many we hadn't tried before, so this is a good way to find out what's available. It's also a good way to encourage children to try something different. The first picture shows you what we received, but there's lots more hidden too, so the other pictures give a better idea of the full range of content. If you'd like to see full sample contents lists, take a look at the Treat Trunk website
A range of subscriptions are available:
Click here to subscribe We are really impressed with Treat Trunk; everyone loves a snack! It's fantastic to find such a wide range of products and so well chosen to cater for every member of the family. Parents have the reassurance that all the products are healthy - and they are delicious, so everyone will enjoy them. A wonderful box to receive every month - I think it would make a great gift too, for anyone looking for a way to treat a whole family.
Foodini's mission is to encourage children and families to cook and eat together, using seasonal, healthy and nutritious food. In our busy lives, it's brilliant to see a product that encourages shopping, cooking and eating together. There may seem to be many similar products on the market, so you might ask 'Why Foodini?'. Well, they are fruit and vegetable based, focusing on seasonal ingredients) and offer two recipes every month. The packs include all the dry ingredients and come with a clear tick-box shopping list for each recipe so you and your child can go shopping together, helping children to make the right choices - or maybe you can use some fruit and vegetables already at home thus reducing waste. On the back of the shopping list there is space for notes. Your child will also learn to weigh out the ingredients rather than having them pre-packaged.
The recipes are not restricted to GF foods, include an activity pack and the illustrated child-led step-by-step cards are different to all other similar companies on the market. The recipes are very easy to follow with every stage listed step-by-step and illustrated in detail. The products come packed in an envelope - I realise this keeps packing costs down but a box would be more convenient, especially for young children, so they can see what is there without having to tip it all out, but it's a minor issue. It didn't fit our letter box but the pack can be delivered to a safe place. The bright red envelope did fit the theme of our box which was Chinese New Year - it struck me that the topical theming would work well for home educators who can schedule this in with other learning. The recipes in our pack were Spring Rolls and Pigapple Puffs. I like the fact that the recipe cards can be kept and collected for future use. They also contain really useful information on the back, about the ingredients used, topical information and other recipe hints. To enhance the theme, we received a set of chopsticks and a craft kit to make dancing dragons - this is great fun. The inclusion of so many extras really sets Foodini boxes apart from others and provides a well-rounded product which, certainly in this case, will enhance interest in other cultures. The Foodini Postal Club boxes cost from £10 a month and can be ordered from the Foodini website. It includes: 2 Recipe Packs (1 sweet, 1 Savoury) with dry & store cupboard ingredients and recipe cards; dry ingredients (i.e. flours/grain/spices/herbs/seeds etc); itemised illustrated shopping lists & measurements guide; activity pack – a craft or growing activity. It's all environmentally friendly. There are also lots of other products available - find out more here. A really well thought-out product which stands out from others on the market.