A common refrain from Bubbles these days.
(Yes, I am now Mama - from Mimi to Mummy to Mum, and now Mama)
This school holidays, I've had some products sent to me to review, that help me create activities at home. It has been very timely, and enjoyable, for both Bubbles and myself.
From the thrill of receiving mail addressed to her, to tearing it open to discover what is inside, it is like having many birthdays this month.
First up, we've had a jolly LolliBox sent to us. Close friends would know that I was until recently toying with the idea of creating activity kits for children. Well, the folks behind LolliBox have done it, differently from how I envisioned it, but quite brilliantly.
Each box is comes with 2-3 activities of a certain theme, with new themes added each month. Boxes get delivered right to your door. You can choose to purchase individual boxes, or opt for a 3 or 6 months subscription, where discounts are given.
We received a Blow Wind Blow box to review, with Christmas wrapping and an additional Santa Wobbler kit thrown in. This box came with 2 activity sets, one of which is the making of a sailboat out of wood, paint, paper, and a wooden chopstick. I really like how each activity came packed neatly in a clear sealed plastic bag. Each bag had all the materials needed to do the activity, and an instruction manual. This activity in particular included a paintbrush and a cute set of paints.
I was quite blown away (pun unintended) by the instruction sheet provided for the activity we did. It came with full coloured photographs of how to do the craft. I thought this was a useful feature for children who are not yet able to read, or even for children's caregivers who are unable to read English. It also shows me that there was actual experimentation when the LolliBox folks created the activities.
Also helpful were suggested questions for further discussion about the theme and subject with your children. I imagine this being particularly useful for working parents who choose to have a caregiver oversee the activity with their children in the day, and then personally engaging their children in conversation about it when back home from work.
We took the sailboat we made out for a spin at the pool. Unfortunately, it was a little top heavy with the chopstick sail, and kept toppling over. I would try this again perhaps by cutting the stick a little shorter. We had fun however, floating other toys on it. Like this - a really old jelly mould that I played with as a child:
LolliBox is said to be designed for children from 3-7. Given this wide age range, there is a need for some parental guidance to gauge if an activity is suitable for a child given his/her interests and abilities at the given time. I personally chose to let Bubbles only do the Santa wobbler and the sailboat activities, and have decided to keep the other activity of creating a wind sock till later. The wind sock activity includes an observation chart for recording wind effects - this is interesting, but I would prefer to keep it till she is better able to read, and perhaps even write.
Having an activity box with specially curated materials sent to your door is an attractive idea. It saves time and brain space of any busy parent (and I don't know any non-busy ones!). I also prefer kids to be meaningfully engaged with well thought-through activities like those in a Lollibox, than having them glued to electronic gadgets.
This is also a great gift for birthdays or Christmas. Check out their Christmas promotions here!