Kids’ Arts, Crafts, and Science Projects Made Easy
Subscription-based arts and crafts and science project companies seem to be all the rage right now. Not only do you get step-by-step instructions often with learning objectives to turn fun times with your children into an educational opportunity, but with many, you also get the products delivered right to your doorstep. Convenient, educational, and fun! What's not to love?
Check out these three subscription-based companies making it easy for parents to do arts, crafts, and science-related projects with their kids.
The company's founder Jessica Kim alone makes me love this company. She is an energetic mother, with a newborn to boot, and puts so much passion into BabbaCo's projects. Babba Boxes come complete with supplies. What sets them apart is their educational focus. They base their projects on four learning elements: create, explore, story tell, and connect. In each box, you'll find at least two hands-on learning based projects, themes that help tie in the project with the child's world and nature, age-appropriate books, and an interactive learning component (I especially love this). Monthly subscriptions start at $29.99.
- PROS: Hands down, the educational focus. This gratitude-themed box, for example, is chock full of amazing projects all reinforced with a powerful learning model to help kids really grasp the concept. If you're looking for a strong educational element to your arts and crafts projects, turn to BabbaCo.
- CONS: The age range for the projects is 3-6. I'd love to see something for older elementary-school-aged children. Also, while the value is great (you get a ton of stuff in each Babba Box and have the option to add in the interactive learning component), the price may be a little steep for young families.
2. Kiwi Crate
Kiwi Crate's website boasts "Hands-on fun delivered right to your door." And they are right! Their arts, crafts, and science-themed projects come complete with supplies and instructions all in a small and easy-to-open box. I just completed a project with my 9-year-old son this week and even though our activity was identified as one for kids ages 3-7, we both enjoyed the project. Check out our masterpieces.
I also like the diversity of the projects. From designing flower pots and planting a window vegetable garden to decorating your own super hero cape, the variety is great and works well with both boys and girls. Monthly subscriptions start at $19.95, including shipping.
- PROS: The price tag is affordable for young families. The projects are simple to understand and all supplies are included. Another added bonus, which I especially love, is that Kiwi Crate gives back. When you make a purchase, product will be donated to the charity of their choice. This past summer, it was the Ronald McDonald House. LOVE that!
- CONS: Again, I'd like to see a more extended age range, maybe 2-10 with different projects for different age groups. I also think the educational elements could be enhanced a bit to help.
3. Sonic Dad
Sonic Dad shares hands-on projects via video tutorials. They are especially excellent for reinforcing or teaching science, technology, engineering, and math and are fun for the whole family. Subscriptions cost $4.99 per month with a 3-day trial or $39.99 per year. Memberships give you access to all Sonic Dad projects and videos, plus two new projects every month. Note: The membership does not give you the supplies to create the projects. Sonic Dad's mission is based on family togetherness and locating the supplies or purchasing them is part of the experience.
- PROS: The videos are amazing and easy to follow and the projects are created by an engineer, making them not only safe and sound, but innovative and fun.
- CONS: For people who are short on time who are looking for fun projects, you have to purchase or locate all of the supplies. I'd love to see an option (even if at a higher price point) that includes all the materials. I'd also love to see more educator involvement in terms of testing, reviewing, and including learning objectives and educational content to share while making the projects. I see this particular service as one with tremendous potential!
4. Steve Spangler Science
Steve Spangler is known for his science project ideas and supplies. Products come complete with instructions, learning objectives, questions and answers, and video instruction. But what is great is the free Experiment of the Week subscription that (per the website) "...features a brand new hands-on, kitchen science experiment and a high-quality video featuring the experiment's steps. You'll also receive special offers, announcements and deals that you won't find anywhere else."
- PROS: The variety is amazing. You can find almost anything for any budding scientist. The prices are reasonable. And, the descriptions, instructions, and reviews are thorough and helpful. The Experiment of the Week newsletter is also free. And the products are reasonably priced. Double score!
- CONS: I'm not finding an option to have a kit delivered to my house at regular intervals with science projects. While I love the idea of being able to choose whatever project I want and what may be most applicable to my child, I also love the idea of completing projects we normally might not take on. Subscription-based services are a one-time decision, making projects a no brainer.
Do you subscribe to or know of other kids' arts, crafts, and science project companies that make doing projects with your kids easy and educational?