Running on empty when it comes to entertaining the kids? Royal Mail comes up trumps with these brilliant subscription boxes – time to sit with a gin and wait for the postman.
All these companies are currently delivering, but bear in mind that boxes may be slightly delayed (is it patience that’s next to godliness, or cleanliness? Either way, both are coming in handy during this pandemic).
Our first choice for sprogs aged 7-11 who love a little science and road tested for several years by my youngest charge (now aged 11) who made this fun electric circuit back in the day.
The Curiosity Box is a monthly subscription filled with 2-4 STEM activities that link to the curriculum – a godsend for homeschooling parents that are struggling to fill science lessons. Have younger kids? The Curiosity Box also offers Curiositots Box for little’uns aged 3-6.
From £10.95 per box
Can’t make it to the Tate? Introduce your kids to world-class art and give them the opportunity to let rip with their own inspired masterpiece. Educational and creative. I’d start polishing your halo now. Lots Of Lovely Art is a brilliant Berkshire-based biz that regularly introduces children of all ages to art and artists through your letterbox. I’m tempted to sign up myself – June is David Hockney. Subscriptions are available monthly, every 2 months and annually for ages 3+ and 6+ – quote SUMMER for a 20% discount. By the time we’ll be allowed back into art galleries, they’ll know more about what’s on display than you do.
From £27 per box
Still no flour in the corner shop? This’ll see you right. Pick up a monthly subscription from Little Cooks Co and you’ll get all the dry ingredients for easy to follow, healthy bakes popped right through your letter box – ideal for getting the kids stuck into a bit of entry-level baking. Keeping their sticky fingers busy and getting snacks out of the deal? Sign us up.
From £8.33 per box
Thank god for the good weather – sticking the kids out in the garden when it all gets too much is the only thing keeping us sane. If you want something a little more focused, then Willow and Wild subscription boxes are packed with activities for keeping 3-8 year olds entertained outside, from seeds to craft projects. If you’re ‘lucky’ enough to be quarantining with multiple kids then you can also order a Sibling Box, which contains enough activities for two. Does it include a bottle of wine for mother?
From £8.50 per box
If you’re stuck for green space, then Rainy Day Box could be your saviour. With craft projects, baking supplies and toys and games based on the seasons, these boxes either come once a month or you can craft your own box as and when you need it.
From £6.99 per box
Juggling working from home, childcare and keeping the house in check can mean that updating the bookshelf is somewhere down the bottom of the priority list. Luckily, Bookabees can handle that for you. Just let them know how old your kids are (the libraries work best for ages 0 to 11) and what kind of books they like, and one of their experts will pick out a monthly selection and send it in a personalised box once a month, along with fun stickers and bookmarks. That’s the bedtime story ticked off the list then.
From £9.99 per box
No, we’re not advocating locking your teens away (although, now we think about it…) but this isn’t far off. Escape Kit creates clever packs to turn a room in your house into an escape room, full of puzzles and riddles that the kids will have to solve to win. Each kit is designed to take about an hour, and there are plenty of themes to choose from, from magical mysteries to sinking pirate ships or cat burglaries. Each kit even comes with a YouTube playlist for maximum immersion. Depending on which adventure you choose, Escape Kit works for ages 6 to 16+ – looks like we’ve cracked the code of weekend boredom.
From £20 per kit
Overseas holidays might be on hold right now (*sob*), but that doesn’t mean your geo-genii can’t learn about the world in lockdown. Geo Journey sends your explorers a subscription box with postcards, activity booklets and souvenirs from a different country each month, and there’s even a mega-cute suitcase, map and passport for them to update. By the time we’re flying again, they’ll be able to tell you where they want to visit next before you ignore them and book for Ibiza (oh, just me?).
From £12 per box
This monthly book and toy box is fantastic for little bookworms under two. Every month Zaza’s Storybox will send two board or cloth books, a toy to match, and some little goodies (including a teabag for mum), starting at £18.99. There are themed one-off boxes too, including a newborn box, a 1st birthday box and a new sibling box – which also make ideal quarantine-safe gifts to send to friends.
From £18.99 per box
History class homeschooling is sorted with this monthly subscription for 7-11 year olds. Your kids will be able to follow characters Max and Katie as they hop about in their time machine learning about different historical periods – think Ancient Greece, the Victorian Era or the Wild West. Each Mysteries in Timebox comes with a new part of the story, an activity booklet, puzzles and stickers, and if you shell out for the Bumper Box you’ll get a history-inspired craft kit too.
From £6.45 per box
I am woman, hear me roar! Each monthly Make + Wonder box focuses on a fantastic female artist, and comes with four fun art activities designed by primary school teachers to help your budding Picassos explore their creativity. There’s even a Sibling Box option for those with larger families to entertain.
From £14.50 per box