*** Update: contest is now closed, winner to be announced on the next post

First things first: this is a sponsored post, in that a company sent me something to review and paid me to do so. Sponsored posts aren’t my usual thing, but in this case I was super-interested in the product and thought it sounded like a fun opportunity. If you’d like to skip it, no hard feelings — I recommend checking out the fascinating ongoing craziness between The Oatmeal and FunnyJunk.com. Or maybe this mesmerizing teaser for The Master, which I am inexplicable addicted to watching over and over (“How would you yourself rank your overall health?” “Strooooooong“).

Okay! So I got a chance to check out a BabbaBox from BabbaCo. BabbaCo was founded by Jessica Kim, who I do not know personally but seems to be a very cool lady with enviably shiny hair, and the idea behind the company is to provide a monthly subscription of fun crafty activities to do with your kids (target ages 3-6).

Basically, the idea is that you subscribe to BabbaCo’s service (U.S. only, at the moment) for $29.99 a month, and every month you get a box of activities (and all associated materials) that’s centered around a particular theme. Each box comes with 2-3 hands-on projects/supplies, an ‘explore’ project which encourages kids to engage with the world, a book, and a prepaid download.

(BabbaCo has a “What’s in the Box?” section with more info. Also, are you able to see the words “What’s in the box?” without instantly thinking of this scene? Man, me either.)

I got my BabbaBox a couple days ago, and here’s what it looked like:

box

The interior packaging was great, which I think is a big plus for something like this. Part of the fun of this would be opening it up together, so it’s nice that they clearly gave a lot of thought to the presentation.

Here are the contents of the box, unpacked:

boxcontents

The theme for this box was “gratitude,” and I’m not gonna lie — my initial feeling was that I wished it was “dinosaurs” or “killer robots” or “super obnoxious things that make pshew pshew pshew sounds” because, well, that’s what my kids are mostly into. I wasn’t immediately convinced the boys would be interested by the activities, but once I started digging into them, I could see that they had a pretty universal appeal.

The three main crafty projects involved paint, stickers, pens, and other fun/messy things, and the kids were delighted by the influx of new materials. The first thing we made were thank-you cards:

thankscards

Another activity was a hot pad (painting words on a cork pad), a third was a plastic serving tray (finger painting, creating handprints, stenciling letters). Again, everything’s included — the washable paint, stickers, brushes, etc.

The included book was called Giving Thanks, and it’s a nice one. I like the artwork quite a bit, and the message (a father walking with his son, giving thanks to nature) worked really well for us — Riley said it reminded him of walking in the woods near the cabin with his dad:

book

Although you should take note that according to this amusing Amazon review, it’s a PAGAN book full of dirty PAGANISM and you might want to be careful because it could possibly turn your child into an animal-worshiping heathen OH MY GOD BURN HIM WITH FIRE.

“This is not a book about being thankful for nature. It is about being thankful TO nature. The book teaches children to be thankful to animals, and inanimate objects of nature – not God. It would be helpful to the consumer if this book was labeled somewhere as a book of Paganism as this is not clear from the cover.”

(Hooooooooooo boy.)

There was a “gratitude camera” and journal for posting the developed photos of the things you’re thankful for (I plan to send the camera with Riley to his day camp this week and make a journal of that instead):

camera

Also, a free code to download the Cookie Doodle app, which Dylan was a big fan of:

dylanipad

Decapitated cow! Where’s the severed head? IT’S IN THE BOX!

(BabbaCo, at this point: “Holy shit, this is the worst blogger review *ever*.”)

Lastly, there was a little gift for mom in there:

tea

All in all, I thought this was a very, very nice collection of things. It seems like BabbaCo really puts a lot of effort into assembling items that are engaging and strike a good balance between offering lots of opportunity for education — and just being plain old fun. It feels pretty flexible, like you can either laser-focus on the provided theme, or treat it more loosely to fit your own preferences.

As for the value ($29.99/month, and there’s an annual membership that’s available as well), I think it’s particularly well-suited for parents like me. Meaning, I’m not naturally creative when it comes to activity ideas, and I don’t have a ton of materials at all times. It’s nice to have a bunch of pre-defined things to do, and not have to run out and buy a bunch of supplies for one particular project.

I easily spend $30 every month on dumb crappy things to distract the kids. I mean, EASILY. On the other hand, committing to $30/month is a different sort of purchase decision, but I think the fact that the box isn’t something that’s instantly used up and forgotten makes it a decent investment. Plus, there’s the value of having someone else hand-pick the contents — you’re gambling that you’ll like them, of course, but it saves time and makes for a fun shared surprise each month.

Conclusion: I like the BabbaBox, and I think some of you with kids in the 3-6 range might like it too. I also like that this is an independent business run by a big-dreaming woman with little kids of her own, and I am not EVEN going to call her a mompreneur.

BabbaCo gave me a couple deals to pass along to you. One is a coupon code, which you can use to get 50% off your first box if you buy a subscription. Here’s the code, which is good for the next 7 days:

SUN50OFF

They’re also offering a giveaway of one BabbaBox to a randomly-chosen winner. To enter, leave me a comment (be sure to include your email address!) and I’ll do the integer-generator webamajig, and if you win — to be eligible, they’d like you to have signed up for their newsletter, and the good news about that is it automatically gives you another chance to win — a box will be mailed your way ASAP.

(Unfortunately, they only ship in the U.S. right now.)

Okay, if you’d like to throw your hat in the free-box ring, please do leave a comment — you can tell me whether or not this service sounds interesting, what you’d like to see them add/change, or just say hi, it doesn’t matter. I’ll announce a winner by Friday, June 22nd. Good luck, and if you actually read this far down, I AM REALLY SORRY I USE SO MANY WORDS.

*** Update: contest is now closed, winner to be announced on the next post

Comments

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Mona
10 years ago

I would love to try it out because I need all the help I can get to distract the kids, besides netflix’s just for kids section.

Nikki
Nikki
10 years ago

I’d love for someone else to figure out activities for my children to do! Great idea!

Shawna
Shawna
10 years ago

I love all your posts! this sounds interesting. Would like to try.

JennB
JennB
10 years ago

Throw me into the ring, even though crafts and things involving creativity make me want to curl up into a ball and disappear. Especially if it involves glitter because then it’s everywhere and I cry.

Sarah Lena
10 years ago

Okay, I love this and would love to win it but may buy it anyway because I AM SO TIRED AT NIGHT AND ON WEEKENDS, but the kids? The kids are always WANTING TO DO SOMETHING.

This is IDEAL, is what I’m saying here. (From a fetal position.)

Justin Allen
Justin Allen
10 years ago

Looks like a great idea. Hopefully I can trade all the containers of disorganized “craft supplies” for this. Also, please don’t worry about the sponsored post. For the entertainment you have provided us over the years, you deserve to be compensated. It’s the least we can do. Keep up the good work and I am glad to hear the move is working out.

Lydia
10 years ago

I’d like to win one so I could see if my nephews would like it. This could possibly cement me as THE GREATEST AUNT EVER in their books (besides the fact that I am their ONLY aunt). They love activities like this, and without the experience of kids of my own, I’m sometimes at a loss as to what we can do together that is age appropriate and fun.

Krista Lyon
Krista Lyon
10 years ago

I think this is a great idea for non-creative Moms looking for inspiration. This little box of awesome may help Mothers spin off their own themes, it is such a great concept! I would love to try.

jen
jen
10 years ago

This seems like something I would like and if I were staying at home still I would LOVE it. I’ll have to go see if they have an every other month box because that would be perfect for the amount of time we are actually home.

Teralyne
10 years ago

I would like tpo try it out with my grand kids. they come to my house every Sunday. They are ages 4 and 6. We like to do things together when they come over. They 6 year old little smarty girl reads my Nook all the time and enjoys it cause at the moment I only have the books she learned to read with for her brother.

abp
abp
10 years ago

I’m def going to get a box for july and august to bring on our weeks down the Cape. thanks!

Emma
Emma
10 years ago

It’s like my BirchBox for the kiddos – sounds great. Worth trying for at least a few months anyway, as you’re right – we drop that cash on a few hours at the movies anyway with much less residual effect.

Kona
10 years ago

So, it’s kind of like Birch Box for kids? I like it!

Trina
Trina
10 years ago

Sounds just up my alley. I am not a crafty person on my own, but, I love to do it when I have instructions and my kids love doing projects also. This could be a fun summer thing around here.

Wendy
10 years ago

This sounds interesting. My son hasn’t been super interested in crafts but maybe that is because I’ve been lazy about offering things beyond painting.

shari zychinski
shari zychinski
10 years ago

yes! someone ELSE figuring out the whole gig is worth it. and a book that shows my boys the beauty of “paganism”? SCORE!

Megan
Megan
10 years ago

Oh boy, would my kids LOVE to get this every month! I am crossing my fingers that I win!

Liz
Liz
10 years ago

I do think this sounds interesting and useful, particularly over summer months or long breaks. Not sure if I’d pay $30/month for it, but worth considering. Possibly a nice gift for someone.

Kim
Kim
10 years ago

Love your blog! If any of the authors I follow genuinely likes a product I never mind sponsored posts. I like learning about new products!

The BabbaBox sounds full of win. My 6 year-old daughter is creative and always looking for some sort of craft project to do. While $30 sounds like a lot to commit to per month, it sounds like the materials and thought put into the box are worth it. If I don’t win I think I’m going to sign up anyway! Might be nice to order around the holidays, wrap the first one, and tell her that her gift is that they’ll keep coming.

Terri
Terri
10 years ago

I love that you did this review! I saw this product on a site and wasn’t sure if it would be worth it for my girls!! I’m definitely considering it now. Like you said, I’m not as good at putting together activities as I’d like to be!! Throw my name in the hat please. We’d love to try this out!!

alexa
alexa
10 years ago

I would love to try this out. I have a 3 yr old who NEEDS activities besides squishing her 1 yr old sister.

Michelle K.
Michelle K.
10 years ago

I don’t have any kids, so I’m not interested in winning anything free, but I wanted to say I think it’s a pretty cool idea. I always felt bad for the young children I watch during the summer when we aren’t doing something SUPER cool. Going to the museum, or park, etc but having something fun and inside makes a world of difference. Especially when its just TOO HOT to go outside.

Deanna
Deanna
10 years ago

What a neat idea!
I wonder if there is a section when you order some if you can see past boxes and order from those. (to use up leftovers on thier end and to have some choices on our end – surprises scare me)

Linda
Linda
10 years ago

Sounds like fun though i wish the age range was a little older — I have a 6 and 8 year old.

Becki
Becki
10 years ago

My 5 year old would LOVE this!

Yogamomma
Yogamomma
10 years ago

Structured fun – just what this momma needs! I feel lucky : yogamomma@cox.net!

Jen B
Jen B
10 years ago

I’ve never heard of this service before, but it is absolutely GENIUS!! Perfect for busy parents!

Angella
10 years ago

I may be Canadian, but we have a place in Washington that we get stuff shipped to. This looks GREAT, and my kids would love to try it out.

meanliving
10 years ago

YES PLEASE!

Nichole
10 years ago

I am bad at creative things. Please consider my hat tossed into the ring.

aimee @ smilingmama
10 years ago

I LOVE this concept! Perhaps like you, I desire to do artsy stuff with my kids but generally fail at the execution of it. Or, I get out the paint once and then not again for 6 mos. I also really like the idea of sending a box to a far-away cousin as a birthday present.

Crystal
Crystal
10 years ago

This looks like fun, and hello! :)

Suzanne
10 years ago

I can’t even read the phrase “WHAT’S IN THE BOX?” without my brain automatically making it ALL CAPSY.

I think this is the perfect solution for wanna-be crafty moms like me who can easily drop $100 at Michael’s only to come home and stare at a giant pile of glitter and glue and feathers and wonder WTF was I thinking?!

Katie
10 years ago

I LOVE this concept so much. And I even do some crafty things but my daughter loves the mail and would just adore this.

Jessica McCanse
10 years ago

I think this is a brilliant idea and I so would love to do this for my son! And word ^^ to Suzanne; I can easily drop gobs of $$ on random crap at the craft store, then get it home and look at it helplessly.

Rachel
Rachel
10 years ago

I love this idea and think I would enjoy it as much as my son. I easily spend over $30 a month trying to find creative fun things for him to do, and this would be great.

Kerry
10 years ago

Whoa. When I saw it was a sponsored post, I was like, ROLLEYES. But this is something I might actually buy.

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

Very cool! Looks like something my kids would love!

Jas
Jas
10 years ago

Great idea, I think. Like you, I am not the “dream up a great activity to do and magically have all things on hand to do it with” type. Pinterest is where I get a lot of my ideas. I’d love to have a box shipped to me with materials and a plan in it, so that I can just enjoy doing something with my kid, and leave out the conceptualize phase.

Susan
10 years ago

Oh, I love this. I’m thinking it would be a perfect wintertime treat when I’m too cold in the wilds of Chicagoland to even think about going outside.

MuthaTeresa
MuthaTeresa
10 years ago

What an AMAZING idea!! I’d love to do stuff like this with the little man, but not being a crafty-type person myself? I’m lost beyond play-doh and water colors.

anniea
anniea
10 years ago

I’m in!

cindy
cindy
10 years ago

I am not very crafty, but my kids enjoy crafts. I think I would like this.

Rebecca D.
Rebecca D.
10 years ago

This sounds awesome, and your review was informative and amusing!

ememby
10 years ago

I saw this somewhere else too… perhaps a FB ad, but I was super interested but like you – committing to always paying $30 a month is well, a commitment. But I love the idea of having no excuse for doing crafty things. I cop out and leave the crafty stuff to daycare for the two days a week they are there but if it was delivered to my door I supposed I wouldn’t have an excuse. And oh my, I just wrote a short story instead of a comment…

carol
carol
10 years ago

I love doing activities like these with my grandkids, and like you don’t often have the creativity to come up with “cool ideas”.

Feisty Eats
10 years ago

I think this sounds like a great idea for young kids. I’d love to gift this to my godson. Thanks for the review.

katalia
katalia
10 years ago

My step-daughter and her mom would LOVE this … I may have to get them a subscription. Thanks for reviewing!

Nicole
Nicole
10 years ago

This sounds great to me. I am soooo not good at coming up with activities. Having someone else do it for me works out great.

telegirl
telegirl
10 years ago

You’d think with a graphic design background I’d be all “I don’t need this, I can do something much better on my own…” But, no. When it comes to stuff like this, I am just not all that creative. Please. send. help.

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