Think Outside Boxes is a year-long, outdoor curriculum that is designed to promote exploration and survival in the great outdoors for children ages 7 and up.
For more ways to keep your kiddos educationally engaged during these times, check out our Returning to Learning back-to-school guide to see how subscriptions can help make your life easier as you navigate this unique school year.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Think Outside Boxes
The Subscription Box: Think Outside
The Cost: $39.95 a month + free US shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: Gear, resources, activities, an empathy section, and challenges for kids based on a specific monthly theme.
Ships: Worldwide from the US.
Think Outside August 2020 "Night" Review
Before we get into the review, a quick FYI: Think Outside is collaborating with Gentleman's Box over the next few months! Both boxes understand the importance of spending time together as a family, especially now, so keep your eyes peeled for a special outdoors-edition from Gentleman's Box in their quarterly shipment. In the meantime, you can check out our Gentleman's Box reviews here.
Like I mentioned last month, my boys are obsessed with the outdoors. Our country living lifestyle has them climbing trees, digging in dirt, and collecting feathers, rocks, and bugs more than being indoors. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to outdoor fun, (and we actually do quite a few of the activities I pin...eventually!) but the way my kids lit up when they opened last month's Think Outside Box was absolutely priceless. They literally spent hours packing and unpacking that backpack, finding new uses for paracord, and reading the pamphlet from cover to cover! We couldn't wait to dig into this month's "Night" themed box! Did it wow my kids as much as last month? Read below to find out!
Night Box Booklet
Just like last month, we received an information-packed booklet based on the "Night" theme for August. With trivia on the cover, every page of this pamphlet is jam-packed with educational information, contents, constellation information, navigation tips, crafts, activities, puzzles, and more! It literally takes us days to get through all of the information. Like previously, the information provided isn't just "filler" info, it's real facts that I didn't even know, so I learned along with my boys!
We spent days reading the provided material. While some information was over my 5-year-old's head, Hank (my 7-year-old) clung to every word. He even chose this for his 20 minute buddy reading session with his brother!
August 2020 Night Calendar
Also provided this month was a calendar for the month of August heading into September. Along with the dates, they added fun, unique holidays to celebrate such as "World Daffodil Day", "World Mosquito Day", and "Wiggle your Toes Day!" They have also included the phases the moon will be each week, in addition to things to do this month. I love that the activities are all things to do outside!
Compact Outdoor Blanket
When the kids saw this little green pouch they couldn't wait to dig in and find out what it was! Lo and behold we received a compact outdoor blanket! This lightweight blanket seems to be made of the same material as the backpack, so it's easy to carry, easy to fold, and waterproof! The perfect addition to my purse for an impromptu picnic or stargazing adventure!
It's a pretty decent size, too! While we haven't been able to use it for stargazing (darn school), I am hoping one of these weekends we can muster up the ambition to stay up late enough to try it out at night!
Star Wheel Activity
For this month's activity, we were sent the supplies to make our very own star wheel. This can be used as a quick reference point on which constellations you see at night, especially in the Northern Hemisphere! Very informational and very neat!
Hank was really excited to make his very own star wheel. He has been studying up on it, as he now wants to be an astronomer one day!
Last month we received a black metal screw closing carabiner, and this month we have received one that glows in the dark! This rugged, light-weight, plastic clip can be used for hooking all sorts of things to your pack or pants. While my kids liked hooking their water bottle to it, the possibilities for this gem are endless!
Just like last month, we received another informational postcard. This month it gives us hints on how to have a successful stargazing night! Hank wants to send this to one of his buddies that is Distance Learning this school year, which I thought was pretty sweet!
Constellation Resource Cards
Here we have the first set of resource cards. These water-resistant cards describe different star constellations and can be sorted on the metal ring we received in the introduction box. We can't wait to try and find Orion and Pegasus!
When we were packing our bag last month, the kids begged my husband to give them his flashlight to put in their pack because EVERY pack needs a flashlight!!! And looky here, they have one of their own now! Not only is this a flashlight...but it is solar-powered and has an emergency hand crank so it NEVER needs batteries!! How perfect is that for a kid that forgets to shut things off when he's done with them?! When you crank this flashlight for 1 minute, you get 8 minutes of light! In addition to being so clever, it seems really well made, too. We've played with it quite a bit and it still looks brand new!
Charlie declared this as "THE BEST DAY EVER!"
Multiple Setting Headlamp
Living in the country, we have our fair share of headlamps, but I gotta say this one will be taking the place of a lot of our current pieces. The actual lamp itself features five different settings, including flashing and red options! The light itself is rechargeable and comes with a USB cord to charge it up with. The band is thick, adjustable, and stretchy, it fits a vast variety of head sizes, and is comfortable to wear, plus the clip on the band and the light is adjustable, so the light can be positioned up, down, or straight ahead. My kids were stoked to get their very own version of this (especially because it can be adjusted to fit a child's head)! It went straight into the pack with glee!
How cute is my outdoor man? He has asked me every night when we can go stargazing so he can try out all of his gear...and did you notice he just had to wear his moon phase shirt to go along with the theme?! Love it!
Verdict: This was our second Think Outside box and it is safe to say my kids are obsessed. This has quickly become their favorite subscription box, and they are already asking when we will receive our next shipment. The gear that came this month was all very useful and high quality - things that are real items, but made to get kids into the outdoors. The curation of this box was stellar...between the gear itself and the information loaded pamphlet, I am just plain impressed. When we receive a box that not only my kids love, but my husband thinks is cool too, I consider that a huge score. We can't wait to see what we will add to our pack next month!
All of the included items were high-quality, well-curated, and educational as well as fun. My boys learned all about the night sky, constellations, night hiking, navigation, and nocturnal animals. I feel for the amount of information given as well as the actual items $39.95 is totally worth it!
To Wrap Up:
Every subscription will start with the introduction box, followed by the current month
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What are your thoughts about Think Outside?