Two things that most kids have in common are 1) they get easily bored and 2) they love getting stuff.
But if we had to buy something for kids every time they were bored, a lot of parents would be broke! One thing I am willing to spend on regularly is a good subscription box for kids.
There are only so many times you can go to the dollar store and get cheap things that will end up breaking. You can go out for entertainment instead but for us, a trip to the trampoline park for an hour for two kids is almost $50. Of course we can find other free and low-cost activities, but we also find its good to invest in some toys that encourage creativity and independence like building materials and art.
What to Look for in Good Subscription Boxes for Kids
This is the criteria we use to determine whether a subscription box is worth the price or not:
1. monthly cost
2. number of activities
3. activities that are not only fun but also educational and engaging
We definitely don’t want to spend money on subscription boxes that kids don’t find to be exciting or interesting and we definitely don’t want them to be done with it in 20 minutes. Many of the subscription box websites show what is inside of past boxes. Look at what is available and see if its worth the cost. You can also determine if it matches your child’s interests.
Kids Subscription Boxes
The following are some of the best kids subscription boxes that we believe meet the above criteria:
1. Universal Yums
Kids can definitely have fun with this box on their own or it can be a family activity as well. Universal Yums sends treats and activities related to the country that they pick as the theme for the month. There are three different sized packages you can ask for. The smallest size contains around 5 to 7 snacks which are generally a mix between savory and sweet, depending on what the country is known for. For example, Belgium is known for its fine chocolate so you may find more sweet treats in that box.
Also included in the box is an informative guide book and an activity book.
The smallest box sells for $15 on a subscription and is free shipping within the United States. For an activity that will last a few hours, this is a good deal. The medium sized box with more snacks and activities sells for $26 and the largest box sells for $41. An activity in the $15 to $40 range for the kids or the family to do together one evening isn’t unreasonable. You can read a more thorough review here.
So relax, eat some treats and learn about the culture, language and people from the country of the month.
2. Green Craft Kids
Green Craft Kids is an award winning subscription box was created by a mom and environmental scientist Penny Bauder who wanted to do more creative and meaningful activities with her kids. Each subscription box contains 4-6 educator designed STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) projects and a twelve page magazine to support learning and connection.
Green Kid Crafts boxes are eco-friendly and tested by a panel of experts to ensure kid customer satisfaction! If you have more than one child who would like to participate in the activities, there are usually 6 of them so a box can easily be shared. However, if parents would like them to have their own to enjoy, then a second one can be purchased at a discounted price.
Subscribers can choose boxes from the appropriate age range for their children. The Junior Box is for ages 3 to 5 and the Discovery box is for ages 5 to 10 and above. For a one year subscription, a Green Kid Crafts box will cost $24.95 per month. It will cost a few dollars more for shorter subscriptions.
When we reviewed this product, we felt that for 6 engaging and educational activities, $24.95 was worth the cost.
3. Owl Post Books Imagination Subscription
Owl books provides high quality books for children to receive every month. Each book box contains three books and a craft that are age appropriate. The age ranges that the Owl post boxes cater to are 0 to 3, 4 to 7, 8 to 10, tween 11 to 13 and young adult (YA). Other subscription box options include the Imagination mini which contains just one book for a lower price and the YA Fantasy Imagination box which contains three fantasy young adult books.
The owner of Owl post books is an English teacher and avid reader who hand selects books that fit the child’s age range. The Imagination mini costs $14.99 a month, the Reader’s Imagination Box costs $33.99, and YA Fantasy is $29.99.
4. Steve Spangler Science
This STEM-based subscription box has interactive, hands-on science experiments and design challenges that teach children “how to think like a scientist”. An award-winning team of science teachers and education experts help create the science experiments that kids receive in their monthly subscriptions.
The box comes with materials and instructions to perform 3 to 5 experiments based on a single theme each month. The Spangler Science Club monthly series is appropriate for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years with adult supervision. Each box works well for one to two children.
A 12 months subscription costs $24.99 per month, plus you receive free shipping but the full cost is due upfront at the time of purchase.
5. Little Passports
Little Passports provides a subscription box service with a few different options, depending on your child’s interests and age range. The following are the different packages available and what comes in the first subscription box for each plan.
- Early explorers, ages 3 to 5, receive their first package with a small suitcase, a world map, a souvenir, activity booklet, sticker sheets and a welcome letter from new pen pals.
- The World Edition is for ages 6 to 10 and includes items related to the country that is the theme of the month such as a coin, a souvenir, an activity book and stickers.
- The USA Edition is for ages 7 to 10 and comes with a field guide, large map, and three activity journals featuring six states.
- Science Junior for ages 5 to 8, comes with a full color magazine, a board game, trading cards with fun scientific facts and science stickers.
- Science Expeditions is for ages 8 and up and comes with a tote bag, lab notebook, a forensic science experiment kit, fingerprint analysis card and ink pad, and booklet with fun games and activities.
- Animals Wild for ages 3 to 5 comes with a pop-up rainforest playset, a disk-launch game, four 3D pop out animal friends, and a find the match game, maze and rainforest activities.
Little Passports provides either a monthly subscription or a 6 months subscription. The longer subscription cost is $25.95 per month.
6. America’s Test Kitchen Kids Young Chefs’ Club
American’s Test Kitchen is for kids ages 6 to 13. Each box relates to a theme and is filled with recipes, hands-on activities and experiments. There can also be other items such as useful kitchen tools, family-friendly games and flavorful spices.
Once adults sign up, they receive a shopping list via email prior to getting the box to prepare of the recipes. The complexity of the recipe and time commitment will be clearly marked on each recipe and activity in the box.
Each recipe is kid-approved as it is tested by members of a group of more than 5,000 kids across the country. Families will also have access to a digital library full of recipes, hands-on activities, videos and educational resources.
The monthly cost is $24.99 with free shipping in the US and with a six month subscription the cost will be $21.99.
Older kids will likely be able to be more independent than younger kids who will require full parental supervision in the kitchen.
7. Kids Art Box
A My Artist box is for children ages 6 to 12. Each box comes with three art activities related to the artist of the month theme and one diorama. This art box subscription is great for kids who love doing arts and crafts. They will learn about different artists and also different art techniques. All of the supplies and tutorials are included in the box.
An email will also be sent that includes video tutorials and more ways to learn about the artist of the month. With a 12 month subscription, each Kids Art Box will cost $33.25 per month.
8. Brick Loot
Brick Loot is a Lego subscription box that sends exclusive items, custom sets with Lego bricks and Lego mini-figures in every box. Every month there is a different theme that they sets are based on. 4 to 6 items are included in each box which Brick Loot claims would retail for more than $55.
A one-year subscription costs $27.28 per month and there are shipping charges.
9. Guide Dots
Guide Dots subscription box supports the artist in the child by helping them learn to draw, use new techniques like using pastels and paint and encourages creativity. Children work with a piece of paper that has a few dots scattered around it. Video tutorials help them turn those dots into a work of art.
There are two age appropriate options to choose from. The starter kit includes full-size art supplies along with two art projects.
The level 1 starter kit is for ages 4 to 7 and sells for $93 and the level 2 starter kit for ages 8 to 12 sells for $107 and are full of art supplies. After that, the monthly guided lessons are $29 per month for two lessons.
Are Subscription Boxes for Kids Worth the Cost?
I think any activity that keeps kids busy for a few hours and allows them to learn while having fun is worth the cost every month. Subscription boxes cost less than it does to take kids out somewhere for fun and there is usually an educational component. Try to match a subscription box service to your child’s interests and watch them run for the mail every month.