Subscription boxes are a perfect way to foster your child’s interest without spending a bundle. How does it work? We did the footwork for you, so check out the descriptions below and find the subscription box that best fits your child’s interests. You then decide how long you want to subscribe (most offer monthly, three-month, six-month and 12-month options), you pay a monthly fee and your child receives a box of goodies that will foster their creativity and help beat boredom.
Geared for crafty kids ages 3 through 8, the Kiwi Crate arrives each month full of fun hands-on projects that include science experiments, art projects and build-and-play games. Each crate includes two to three projects based on a different theme each month, such as Space Hero, City Adventure and Around the World. I was sent the Rainforest theme, which included cool crafts like a jumping frog game and a craft in which kids create their own rain stick. These little boxes include everything you need for the craft (even the scissors) as well as a Highlights-esque magazine and other activities to further explore the theme. Kiwi Crate subscriptions start at $17/month and shipping is free. (If you aren’t quite sure if you want to commit, you can purchase individual activity packs on the Kiwi Crate website or at Target stores.)
Got a budding chef or foodie on your hands? Kidstir is geared for kids ages 5 through 10 and features monthly subscription boxes filled with hands-on food adventures for kids. Kidstir would also be a great way to introduce your picky eater to healthy and nutritious foods. The first subscription box includes a personalized cookbook binder and future boxes are geared to a chapter of the cookbook, such as snacks or breakfast. Your child will love creating their own cookbook and whipping up dishes (with your help), as each box features step-by-step recipes, as well as three kid-sized tools, among other fun items. Kidstir subscriptions are $20/month with free shipping. You can also choose three, six and 12 month packages — or individual kits for $25.
Whether your child is just starting to read or is already a bookworm, GiftLit is a great subscription box to help build up their home library. Geared for ages 2 through 12, literary experts choose the perfect books for your child’s age and reading skill. You pick the theme, including favorite fiction for boys or girls, fantasy, page turners, new releases, around the world, classics or historical fiction, and the literary experts can pick out the perfect book — or you can make your own substitutions. You can see which book will be sent each month. You can purchase a GiftLit subscription for three months ($58), six months ($115) or a 12 month ($230) gift subscription. As a bonus, 10 percent of their profits are donated to literacy programs for schools and libraries.
Dubbed the “Netflix of toys,” SparkBox allows you to rent toys for kids up to 4 years of age. The concept is pretty genius — after all most kids will play with toys for a period of time, get tired of them and they end up gathering dust and cluttering the house. With SparkBox Toys, your child will receive four fully-cleaned and sanitized toys that are matched to your child’s age. If your child happens to fall in love with a specific toy, you can even purchase it for a discounted price. SparkBox subscription plans include one box every four weeks ($40), a box every six weeks ($29) or a box every 8 weeks ($24).
If SparkBox is the Netflix of toys, Pley is the Netflix of LEGOs. With this subscription box, you rent LEGO sets to create and play with for a period of time. If the thought of keeping all of the itty-bitty LEGO parts together already gives you a panic attack, don’t worry as they don’t charge for up to 15 missing pieces. Kids create a "pleylist” in which they choose from hundreds of LEGO sets to rent. The LEGOs are clean and sanitized and your first LEGO set is free. After that, Pley subscription plans range from $15 to $39/month.
Geared towards children ages 5 through 12, Little Passports is a fun way for your kids to learn about the world. Your child will learn about the world we live in with Sam and Sofia, who teach geography, history, culture and language. Your can pick the World Edition, in which your kids will join Sam and Sofia as they travel to a new country each month, or the USA Edition, in which they visit two new states every month. The Little Passports subscription plans are $11 for a 12-month plan, $14 for a six-month plan or $12 for a monthly plan.
Your daughter will love this customized subscription box full of the things she loves the most. Geared towards girls ages 5 through 12, you pick a theme (Sporty or tomboy, Girly Girl or Bookworm), tell them a little about your daughter’s likes and she receives a box full of her favorite items. CandigirlBox subscription boxes are $22 per quarter (once every three months) and you receive one box in that time frame — or she can join the CandiGirlClub for $16 more for additional monthly gifts and a CandiGirl T-shirt.
With Loot Crate, your kid will get a box full of “fun and expected geek and gamer gear every month.” Each month, your child receives a box of 6 to 8 cool items, including gear, snacks, toys and art. The boxes are kept a secret until they are delivered — however the theme is revealed (for example this month is Adventure). Loot Crate doesn’t give a specific age, only saying they have a wide range of demographics, are family friendly and gender neutral. Take a look at past boxes to see if it is appropriate for your child. Loot Crate subscriptions are $13/month (plus $6 shipping) for one month or $12/month for a three- or six-month plan.
Green Kid Crafts subscription boxes are the perfect choice for today’s modern kids — they are educational, fun and eco-friendly. Geared towards kids ages 3 through 10, each eco-friendly box is filled with three to four creative and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activites to help them learn and succeed in school. Your kids will love the themes, which include Outer Space, Nocturnal Animals, Mad Scientist and Backyard Science. Green Kid Crafts subscriptions are $19.95/month for a three-month subscription, $18.95/month for a six-month subscription or $16.95/month for a 12 month subscription.
Citrus Lane subscription boxes would make the perfect gift for new moms. Geared for newborns up to age 5, your child will enjoy a box with four or more products specific for their age and stage, including toys, books, snacks, household products and other goodies. Citrus Lane subscriptions include free shipping are $24/month for a three-month subscription or $21/month for a six-month subscription.
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