Parents are always on the hunt these days for an engaging solution to the gadget addiction of our little kids. While outdoor play and board games fill some slots, you also want to make it a fun and learning experience. I recently came across Wonderboxx and had one shipped to me for my 5-year-old. And we are super impressed!
Wonderboxx is like the mystery box that Masterchef springs on the contestants (and us loyal viewers!). You are dying to know whats inside and then you jump in with crazy excitement. It makes you think, plan, create and finally you have a very tangible end-product in your hands.
Wonderboxx is a monthly kit with very hands-on learning tools, games and activities for 1 – 8 year olds. Kids in this age group are very difficult to engage, with short attention spans and zero-tolerance for trying to turn fun time into study time! My 5-year-old was super-excited to open the colourful and well-packaged box. What surprised us very pleasantly was the high quality and quantity of the contents.
Everything, from the box instructions to the booklet inside to the activity kits, is presented in an easy to read and colourful style. The box theme for this month was ‘Air and Wind’ and it came with 7 Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kits, a very detailed booklet with additional learning material and experiments and a newsletter for the parents.
The kits revolved around simple DIY building kits with very clear ‘Learning Intentions’. As a parent the learning intentions are very useful and help up to reinforce the concepts as the child is building. With this kit my 5-year-old was happily confused about where to start as all the kits excited her! Which kid wouldn’t want to make their own parachute, model airplane, windmill, crane, battery fan and balloon car! (Frankly the parents get to sneak in some fun too!)
After much debate, we started with the DIY Parachute.
We had a crystal clear instruction sheet, two sheets of pattern paper as the parachute canopy, few pieces of thread and a small plastic figurine (the guinea pig jumping off with our parachute!). Most of the steps like folding and
sticking can be done by the kids themselves and you have to step in only to tie a few string knots. In less than ten minutes our parachute was ready to be thrown off a cliff! And it was a slow smooth victorious landing! Here I stole the opportunity to explain why the parachute sails down slowly and demonstrated how the little guy would have had a very rapid fall without a parachute.
We quickly moved on to the next DIY kit – battery fan disguised as a plane. We had our kit laid out in front of us – a motor and battery, propeller fan and the parts required to assemble an airplane around it. While the folding and sticking needed a little parental help in this one, the excitement as it took the shape of an airplane was palpable. Soon we had our pilot onboard and the propeller airplane was ready. Just switch on the battery-powered motor and the fan began to whiz! My 5-year-old has given it a coveted place on her study table to fan herself when she feels hot! The instruction kit has very useful notes on learning points, discussion questions and this ensures you have a meaningful conversation on what the child has built.
As you can probably guess we now have a working windmill, glider plane, etc etc!
The challenge with such activity kits is multifold – keeping it simple and engaging, ensuring that learning concepts are passed on without forcing it on the child and finally getting the child to come back for more. Wonderboxx scores on all these aspects. The booklet, which is over and above the detailed sheets for each DIY kit), is superb. Over 40 pages of imaginative content on the topic of Air and Wind – puzzles, colouring activity, trivia, stories on important topics like Air Pollution and another bunch of experiments that can be easily done at home.
And the moms and dads need not feel left out – the parent newsletter has engaging articles on various topics – so I will look forward to that too. Even for the kits, the monthly themes are meant to nurture your child’s imagination and curiosity and cover a wide range of subjects like Wonders or the World, Countries and Flags, etc. The younger age groups can try out boxes on Shapes, Colours, Numbers, Sounds, Space, Seasons…. so it’s not just science but the world around us, in an engaging and simplified manner.
The nitty gritty: Wonderboxx is designed for 3 age groups – 1-3 yrs, 3-5 yrs and 5+yrs. You can pick up a single month box or subscribe for monthly boxes to be delivered to you via a 3 month, 6 month or 12 month subscription (with a longer period obviously having a discount).
Do check it out – perfect for the holidays coming up! You and your child will have loads of fun with this mystery Wonderboxx!
Thank you Wonderboxx for giving us a chance to try it out!
To talk to the author over the phone, click here.