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This week we received our first THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES, an outdoor subscription box made for kids. Read on to see our initial reaction to this new surprise box and a full review. Is this adventure box worth your while?
I received this product free of charge and compensation for my time to provide a fair and honest review.
My kids are getting bigger, and “go play outside” doesn’t have the same impact it once did.
They are at that funky in-between age when they’re not old enough to go farther than yelling distance but too old to be entertained by a sprinkler and bubble machine for hours. Ah the good ole days…
And when the neighbor kids head off to camp or school the familiar chorus of whining starts, “There’s nothing to do.” By the end of summer they’re desperate for novelty and when fall begins, left to their own devices, they’ve resorted to a game of “who can throw the most sticks on the roof?”
Outdoor Subscription Boxes
As a book-binging, Netflix-watching, blog-writing modern mom, myself, I don’t even know where to start. I’ve taught them all I know about nature – which, admittedly, is not a-whole-lot.
This month, I was excited to try a couple THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES – a subscription box for kids that promises to “get your kids outside and active.”
Getting my kids outside and active is exactly what I want. And, as a non-nature person myself, a convenient little kit with guided lessons is exactly what I needed to do it.
What’s inside your THiNK OUTSiDE BOX?
I appreciate when a company puts some effort into their packaging, and THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES has done just that. The boxes are thoughtful and attractive with themed colors and images, that are the perfect size to store right on your bookshelf.
The packaging is appealing to kids with a cute little joke right inside the flip top lid. Inside you’ll find easy-to-open, resealable bags that will help you keep all your materials organized.
Kids will be really excited to see these little bundles arrive on their doorstep. And they will be able to do all the un-boxing themselves, no scissors needed from mom!
- Seasonal themes
- Activity guide (24+ pages)
- Hands-on lesson plans
- Outdoor gear (3-5 pieces)
My initial reaction when we opened the box was, “Wow, this is real stuff, not just toys.” Maybe I’m jaded, but many times when a package says “KIDS” what they really mean is disposable, plastic tchotchkes that will break in five minutes. Not this box.
The quality of this kit really adds an authentic element to the activities. I am impressed that everything inside is real outdoorsman, quality materials. You’ll find supplies in your kit that you will want to keep in a tool box – not a toybox.
Each kit includes a full color activity guide. Inside you’ll find an introduction to the gear and how to use it, safety tips, activities, and a variety of fun facts, games, and skills.
These (not so little) booklets are great for engaging your child and teaching you both how to safely use the materials. The lessons inside will help you extend your activities even after you’ve used up what’s inside the box.
For example: the THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES Fire Box included (1) information on the box’s components, (2) what fire is used for, (3) what to collect for your fire, (4) building a fire and fire extinguisher using the included and natural materials, (5) general safety tips and tips for campfire safety, (6) myths about fire, (7) info about fire ants and fireflies, (8) features about Uluru, Australia and Death Valley, (9) empathy page regarding people who have lost their homes due to brush fires, and (10) a lesson on building a fire escape plan for your home.
Phew. There’s really a lot in there.
What makes this outdoor subscription box stand out?
My kids and I are thrilled with the THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES. These are truly a stand-out product when compared to other similar subscription boxes for kids. The quality, duration, and educational value makes these boxes an excellent resource for parents.
I don’t think I can emphasize enough the sheer quality of these boxes. Each of the boxes we received has materials that we will keep long beyond the lifespan of the box itself.
Adding to our outdoor toolbox: a wood-handled, metal firestarter, metal bellow, magnifying glass, metal tweezers with a tiny flashlight so my old eyes can see their tiny splinters, and a waterproof first aid case.
THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES stand out from other kid’s surprise boxes because they are not a single-use activity. The lessons and projects included extend the life of your box far beyond a day. You will be using these materials and lessons for months, possibly years, to come.
For example: the Fire Box contains 8 (!) fire starters and information about building a fire using natural, found materials that your kids can reference when they run out. Whoop! Toasty marshmallows all year!
These boxes are very focused on skill building in the outdoors – i.e. how to start a campfire and fire safety, using natural materials in new way, and what to do when you get a bug bite.
I find that many surprise boxes give kids the “Wow I did it!” feeling. But the THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES stand out because after learning and practicing their new skills, your kids will not only have done it, but they will have learned new skills that they can carry with them and build on throughout their lives.
THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES for Homeschoolers
These boxes are so much fun – for any kid. But I think that the additional information and lessons inside is what makes them really valuable for homeschoolers.
As my kids have grown, we’ve moved away from our nature study units into more structured science curriculum with some extra, fun STEM activities thrown in during downtime and breaks. Where most of our kindergarten year was spent outside, by third grade all of our lessons take place inside. It’s kinda sad.
I am so excited to find a product that makes it easy for me to teach (and learn, let’s be honest) outdoor skills. Total transparency here, I’m not super science-y. I’m no outdoorswoman, either. I need the support of a guide. And a convenient little box of quality materials helps, too.
But what if you are already an outdoorsy family?
My guess? You will love these boxes even more. The materials and guide included in the THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES are going to enable your child to learn and practice their outdoor skills with more and more independence.
Homeschoolers in action! See how Amy uses outdoor subscription boxes to encourage growth mindset in her homeschool.
The bottom line.
The authentic materials and engaging lessons will inspire your kids to get out and learn. These boxes really deliver.
THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES can be used as a stand-alone nature study curriculum, as a supplement to what you’re already using, or just as a fun surprise set of activities to do as a family. Your kids are going to love it.
Find THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES Online
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.