Sign up for our newsletter
April 8, 2020
We love subscription boxes because they are truly a gift that keeps on giving all year long! There are so many options out there for kids, but we’re highlighting two of our favorite subscription boxes that are curated by two local moms! We sat down with each of them to find out more about their companies that aim to help children learn and grow!
Meet Akeelah Kuraishi, a mom of two and founder of Little Global Citizens, a subscription box that takes children on adventures from around the world, bringing a new country and its culture to life with each box with carefully curated books, family friendly cultural activities, fun hands-on crafts, language skills, a thoughtful souvenir and recipes.
TBPM: Akeelah, what inspired you to create this kit for kids?
AK: My husband and I traveled the world in our 30s and, after experiencing such kindness from people across the globe, we wanted to make sure our young sons grew up feeling a kinship and empathy towards all people. However, we discovered that it’s not so easy to travel internationally with little ones, especially 2 rambunctious little boys, so we decided that we would find a way to bring the world to them! Little Global Citizens is our gift to teach our children and yours about cultures and people of the world.
TBPM: Why is it so important for kids to learn more about the world around them?
AK: The world they grow up in is globalizing at an incredible rate. The people they go to school with and eventually work with will be from all corners of the globe, so feeling a kinship towards them is essential for a peaceful and happy world. Learning about other countries inspires creative thinking. It helps them gain perspective about their own place in this world, developing their sense of self and confidence. And perhaps most importantly, it helps foster their spirit of empathy and compassion for others.
TBPM: What can parents expect to receive each month?
AK: Every box is entirely unique and includes a beautiful book, hands on crafts, screen-free cultural activities and games, family friendly recipes, a thoughtful souvenir and a children’s guide about each new country.
TBPM: So many parents are reluctant to travel abroad with their kids. What are your tips to make the trip happen!?
AK: I’m a HUGE believer of how enriching travel is for children and families. Even though they may not remember all the details of the trip when they are young, they will absolutely grow in confidence from the experience and it will remain a part of your family’s history together forever. Exposing your children to different cultures and people is one of the best things you can do for them.
Kuraishi’s tips for traveling with little ones:
– JUST BOOK IT! You can figure the rest out once you’ve made the commitment to yourself and your family to travel.
– TRAVEL COMFORTABLY: If possible, try to travel during a time of the day that will work with your family (overnight if they will sleep during the journey) and bring a few comfort items from home (a favorite book, teddy) to help them feel at ease.
– BE REALISTIC: Break your days up into manageable segments. Sightsee and enjoy all there is to offer in your new location, but remember that your little one will be tired at the same time as they are at home.
– LEARN ABOUT YOUR DESTINATION: Read books about the country, research local greeting customs, learn some words in the local language and try out a recipe or two at home. Your little one will feel empowered and excited to test out greetings in a new language and you’ll be amazed at how well received they’ll be by local people.
– ENGAGE WITH LOCAL FAMILIES: A great way to get a feel for a new place is through the “universal language of kids!” When we travel with our boys, we always find our way to local playgrounds so our sons can enjoy playing with local children, and we can meet local parents. Parents the world over bond over the common enjoyment of seeing their kids at play. It’s also a great way to meet people who know the area and learn from them about a little about the best child-friendly restaurants, sights and activities.
– RELAX: Kids are often better with time changes, new foods and unfamiliar places than we expect they’ll be. They feed off parents’ energy, so be as relaxed and positive about your new, unfamiliar surroundings, and they’ll follow suit.
TBPM: Anything else you want to add?
AK: This year, we will offer a Christmas Around the World box. It’s a great way to add to your own family Christmas traditions and a great gift for families that are trying to avoid an onslaught of disposable toys over the holiday season.
Meet Betsy Wild, mom of two and founder of We Craft Box, a subscription box that delivers your children a themed package each month to inspire creativity!
TBPM: Tell us about We Craft Box! What inspired you to create this kit for kids?
BW: Some of my fondest childhood memories are of crafting with my Mom. Now I’m a Mom myself and I want to create these memories with my own children. But with a demanding job and home to manage I found it stressful and difficult to find the time to prepare for crafting. So I created a solution for myself, and have since turned it into a product that is helping hundreds of families unplug from the screen and conveniently enjoy creative time together.
We Craft Box is a monthly package of creativity with 2-3 prepared kids crafts and themed story that is delivered to your doorstep! From lollipop-eating llamas to pinecone bears camping in the woods, each box is a new and exciting theme to discover. With all materials included (that can be shared between two children) and easy-to-follow photo directions, we set busy families up for a win – now they can enjoy stress-free time connecting through creativity.
TBPM: Why is it so important for kids to create art with their parents at home?
BW: Creativity is the magic of childhood, and connecting with parents though art and learning new techniques and materials is not only fun, but strengthens family bonds.
Gifting and enjoying experiences rather than toys has been an ever growing trend – and when pairing it with making memories with your children, that makes for an amazingly thoughtful and powerful gift.
TBPM: What can parents expect to receive each month?
BW: Each brightly colored We Craft Box is delivered to your doorstep during the first week of the month. When you crack open the box, you will first see the short story and some photos of our unique monthly theme. The story is key as it engages the kids and gets the imaginative juices flowing! There are materials for 2-3 crafts in each box and easy to follow step-by-step photo directions. All the materials are included! No need to run and chase down the markers or glue stick – it’s all in the box, and can be shared between two children!
Many of our subscribers (my boys included) enjoy listening to the story, crafting up a storm, then playing with the crafts, or talking about the story more and elaborating in their own creative way. Lastly, we set all the crafts up using the box in some way – I like to put this one display in the home. The children are so proud of their creations and will talk and admire their crafts through the month, or till the next box of crafting goodies arrives.
TBPM: Since we’re talking about art…what are some of your favorite ways to store a child’s creations?
BW: My boys are young (2 and 4), so there is a lot of process art that they do in school and at home. I like to put a few in frames and showcase in the home. It’s amazing what an inexpensive frame from the craft store can do for a simple finger painting! The other fun way I display their creations is on a clothing line set up with clothespins and we rotate their art as it comes in. Part of the fun in setting the kids art on display is just how incredibly proud they are of it. And seeing on the walls at home makes them feels special. I know my 4-year-old, Max, likes to do show and tell with his clothing line of art to all our friends visiting.
To store the boy’s art I have a memory chest for each of them. These are just basic wooden chests that I will continue adding to as they grow. Not only are we adding their creations and mementos inside the chest, but we are decorating the chest itself as they grow too! We have only done a bit of decorating so far, but plan to add to them as the boys grow with handprints, decoupage and even photos. I hope it really becomes a treasure to them one day, or reminds them of some incredible memories we made together.
Kiwi Co Check out Kiwi Co for oodles of crates filled with fun surprises for kids of all ages! All you have to do is pick a line with projects for every age and interest, then wait 2-3 business days for your delivery of a monthly crate that you can pause or cancel anytime. Finally, enjoy “serious fun” with science and art projects perfect to inspire children to become creators and problem solvers! Boxes start for kids aged 0-36 months and have options for age groups up to 14 to 104! kiwico.com
Coffee and a Classic If you love to read and are always looking for new suggestions or ideas, check out Coffee and a Classic for a book subscription service. The creator, Ashlee Doherty, wants her subscribers to open “a complete experience when they receive their book boxes each month.” There are so many classics to choose from that past boxes will never be repeated! You can choose from the STARTER Classic Subscription which includes a classic book, coffee, hot tea or hot chocolate, two “bookish” items, and a book mark for less than $30! For those looking for a little more, enjoy the STANDARD Classic Subscription which includes a classic book, something to sip on, a snack, a mug, two “bookish” items and a bookmark all packaged in a high-quality photo box for $40. coffeeandaclassic.com
Originally published in the December 2018 edition of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.