How many times have you thought, "I just need to get organized! I'm going to go to Michael's and actually buy all the supplies I need for the 300+ kids' crafts I've pinned on Pinterest. I'm going to have it all set-up and ready to go for the next boredom spell. It's going to be great!"?
Not only have we thought this a million times (and never done it), but we've also heard our friends say it too. We all picture the same happy household. It looks like a cross between a Montessori school and a spread in Martha Stewart Living. The children are all happily crafting and learning and singing and thanking us for being such fabulous mothers ALL AT THE SAME TIME!
But life gets in the way. We don't get to Michael's because we're too tired after a trip to the grocery store or washing the third load of laundry in a day (it's called potty training). We don't have craft projects ready because when we logged on to Pinterest we got lost for hours pinning clothes we can't afford or healthy recipes we'll never make (or is that just us!?!). Instead, we drag out the same old coloring books, the same paper and scissors, and the same dried-up playdough and worry that our preschooler will suffer from the summer slide (is that even possible?!?).
But wait! There's another way.
When Sarah Stewart Holland first heard about Jessica Kim from BabbaCo and her BabbaBox, she thought, "WHY didn't I think of that!?!?" It's one of these brilliant ideas that is simultaneously unique, but fulfills a huge need. Every month BabbaCo sends you a BabbaBox that has a theme and four major components — Create, Explore, Storytell, and Connect. The box is filled with crafts, projects, and even a book that fits the theme and four components. Not to mention, there are QR codes that take you to additional online content where there are more craft ideas, book suggestions, and a free smartphone app (and you know how Sarah Stewart Holland loves her iPhone)!
Jessica sent us each a box to sample and we truly can't say enough about the fabulouness of this product. First of all, Sarah Stewart Holland squealed when it came in the mail. True, she squeals a lot but this was a seriously pretty box (not good for those of us who lean towards hoarding, she kept it in my garage for a month...or two.) Everything was wrapped up and each craft was in its own little bag. While The Other Sarah secretly wished it was meant for her and not the Little Dude (adults love exciting new packages and crafts!).
Sarah Stewart Holland's box's theme was Polar Explorers. Here's what was inside:
- Everything she needed to make ice cube "paints" which was both messy and a HUGE hit (She thinks those two things are indeliably linked sometimes.) She gave Griffin one or two cubes each time and used this craft several times over, including during a play date.
- Felt and glue to make little penguin pouches along with polar animal cards Griffin could color and then keep in his pouch. All the cards had fun facts about each animal. There was also enough felt to make two pouches, which is good because Griffin loves anything involving glue.
- A silicone (read reusable) ice pop maker, which she didn't even know EXISTED, with recipes for a fruit and yogurt ice pop.
- A compass for discovery. Griffin did not put said compass down for the next four days.
- Tacky the Penguin - an adorable book about a little penguin with interesting taste.
- Every component had a QR code that took her to additional online content. The iPad app was a huge family hit (in that her husband also played it...for a while).
The Other Sarah's box's theme was Sun, Moon & Stars. Here's what was inside:
- A pair of binoculars and a lunar calendar for the Little Dude to chart the phases of the moon. Although his drawing skills aren't precise at 2, he loved this ritual of watching the moon wax and wane. Not to mention, it offered us a new way to talk about one of his favorite toddler obsessions beyond Goodnight Moon.
- A paper-mache moon nightlight, which was fun and messy to make in the perfectly welcome way and is something we would have never done because she probably wouldn't have had all the materials on hand or would have sadly considered it too old for the Little Dude. BabbaCo showed me otherwise.
- Various printed sheets and a DIY frame for creating and coloring his own constellations.
- A copy of Twinke Star of the Week and a QR code so he could practice how to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Start on the digital piano app for the iPhone.
- A star wine stopper because parents need to enjoy a relaxing pastime too.
In other words, it was filled with several hours (and a lot of value) worth of fun! With summer upon us and days of torturous glorious free time, who couldn't use a little help in the fun department? BabbaCo even has a Summer Survival Box to get you through the next few months.
The best part of the whole experience? We never once crossed the threshold of a crafts store...there might have even been some singing!
Here's where it gets fun. BabbaCo and Salt & Nectar are teaming up for a little contest. Jessica and her team are always on the lookout for the next great BabbaBox theme. Past themes have included insect, gratitude, sprouting seedings, sun/moon/stars, rainbows, and harvest.
We told Jessica we have the most creative, awesome readers and she said she'd love to hear your ideas for a BabbaCo box theme! You will have until Friday, June 29th at 12PM PST to submit your theme idea in the comments below (or on our Facebook page) and then Jessica will pick her favorite!
Even better? The winner will receive a 3 month membership from BabbaCo!
If you're not the creative type, don't worry! BabbaCo is also offering ALL our readers 33% off their first box with the code SN33OFF.
No purchase is necessary. The contest is open to US residents 18 and older only. Neither the Sarahs nor Salt & Nectar were paid to review the products and host this contest.
We have a winner! Jessica loved Stephanie's ideas for an owl, modern art, or party box. Congratulations Stephanie! We'll be in touch.