Being a full-time working mother, there unfortunately is not a lot of time spent in our day doing arts and crafts or themed based activities. What I mean by a themed based activity, are games and projects similar to a curriculum you might find at a preschool or daycare that include several different activities that center around a common idea. It could be as simple as farm animals, vehicles, the color blue, a favorite book, or something more complicated for older children such as a concept like being thankful or being a good friend.
I will also admit that we only really have arts and crafts activities like Crayola Color Wonder markers, Moon Dough and Play-doh. With a toddler and minimal time in my house we need easy clean-up and minimal mess because he if he moves on to something else in 5 minutes, I need quick clean-up. In short, I like “organized chaos.” I know it’s not very OT like, but since we send Gavin to daycare, I know that the curriculum we pay for weekly includes the messy play activities he needs for his sensory motor development.
The Babbabox is a unique concept that aims to take the stress out of getting to the store and searching for all the appropriate materials you might need. Parents, grandparents, doting friends, aunts, and uncles can gift a subscription to a child (1 month, 3 months or 12 months). Each month a theme-based Babbabox could be sent to a child and arrives at your home in a large cardboard box.
The box I reviewed was themed about the Sun, Moon & Stars. The box included 2 arts and crafts activites to make your own moon paper mache nightlight and use the power of the sun to make a constellation of stars on a picture frame. A small pair of plastic binoculars was included allow children to view the moon and stars, kids could also fill out their own lunar calendar. The hardcover book, “Twinkle Star of the Week” was included in the box. A coupon for a free digital download from the iTunes store for a specific theme related app was included and the Twinkle Star app from Kiboomu was sent within 24 hours of requesting the coupon code from BabbaCo. The box also included a boxed, starfish wine stopper.
Overall I felt that all the materials were nicely arranged inside the box. Each arts and crafts activity arrived in a large plastic sealable bag with all the materials required inside and the directions were organized. We really enjoyed the book, the binoculars and a day later the iPad app, which were appropriate for the toddler/preschool age and easy to engage with relatively quickly out of the box.
I have to say, in all honesty, ,I’ve had this box since March and kept putting off the review because I wanted to do the arts and crafts activities, but 4 months later I simply have not had the time to complete the arts and crafts activities included in this theme. Our box included a paper mache activity and another that required the paper to sit in the sun for a bit before using it. I swear every time I thought of doing this activity, it was raining outside. The paper mache craft also needs to dry overnight, several nights in a row. Though the materials were organized and ready to go, I just haven’t had the time to devote to the amount of time the projects take to complete. So my only suggestion to Babbabox would be to include 1 of the arts and crafts activities with materials that don’t take planning and time. I haven’t reviewed any of the other kits, so it’s possible that it just may be this particular kit that has some more challenging concepts. There were some Youtube videos of these crafts also available on the BabbaCo website in case you want to see what they entail.
Otherwise, this is a very unique concept that is a great idea if you are buying gifts for multiple children near the same age in one family because there is literally something for everyone included in the box. A $29.99 month subscription for this is most likely cheaper than buying 2-3 individual gifts and you won’t have to worry about their being a duplicate.
BabbaCo provided 1 Babbabox free to facilitate this review, the opinions are my own.