The Preschool Box Subscription Review – November 2020
The Preschool Box is a monthly subscription that sends preschool activities to encourage learning, reading, and creativity in children aged 3-6. Every box contains specific learning objectives that focus on phonics, reading skills, and basic math concepts with activities, crafts, and a book.
A portion of all proceeds for this subscription supports an orphanage for at-risk children in Uganda through Rafiki Africa Ministries.
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.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About The Preschool Box
The Subscription Box: The Preschool Box
The Cost: $32.95 + $5.95 US shipping
The Products: Every box contains specific learning objectives that focus on phonics, reading skills, and basic math concepts and includes 16+ hands-on preschool activities, ready-to-go craft materials, and a book.
Ships to: The US for $5.95 and worldwide at varying rates
The Preschool Box November 2020 Review
The centerpiece of the box is this parent guide and activity workbook. It has a welcome letter on the inside as well as the curriculum plan for this month. Each Preschool Box has 4 weeks planned out for your child to do, so by the time you finish everything, your next box should be on its way to you.
The first 6 months of this subscription teach your child the letters of the alphabet (letter recognition, sounds, and writing) and numbers; the second 6 months focus on sounding out and reading words. At the end of the subscription, you receive a fun graduation box! This is box #9.
Here’s a look inside at the parent guide and workbook pages. Week 1’s plan covers vowels, the long A sound, and the long E sound. Week 2 covers sequences, subtraction, and the long I sound. Week 3 covers the long O sound, subtraction word problems, and sequencing. Week 4 covers the long U sound, vowel blending, subtraction, and comparing short and long vowel sounds. At the end of the booklet is a reading log to track what books you and your child read each day.
Every box keeps the paper materials for activities and crafts in a tabbed folder, and the smaller supplies for the crafts and activities are bagged to keep them together.
Here’s a closer look at the worksheets. Kids all learn differently, but my son enjoys working through preschool workbooks so he likes completing these pages, usually. I would say that I have seen the difficulty of the pages “level up” as we’ve continued this subscription, and I think the tasks they give are helpful. I appreciate that there is variety between worksheet pages so it doesn’t feel like you’re just repeating the same tasks over and over with each letter or sound. The one thing I will say is that we’re starting to hit a point where my son thinks through math problems in his head faster than all the steps the pages walk him through, and sometimes he works out missing words or sounds verbally and has low motivation to write them, which is okay with me as long as he gets it. It’s really important when doing any kind of learning at home to allow some flexibility and remember that the processing is the important part; if your child “gets it,” but it’s a battle to get them to fill out every line and box the papers say to, then that’s okay and just do what works for you both.
Here are some of the crafts in this month’s box, which was for long vowel sounds: A for Alien, O for Orange, U for Unicorn, and I for Ice Cream. Some boxes, the crafts feel like a lot of just coloring, but these were fun for him to do parts on his own like cutting up pieces of the orange paper, arranging and gluing the ice cream scoops himself, and once the shapes were cut out, he did the unicorn craft all on his own.
One thing I do have to say about Preschool Box’s crafts is that they often involve a fair amount of cutting pieces out to prepare. The instructions say to have your child cut out the ice creams, or the letters, etc, but my child doesn’t have the dexterity to cut the shapes well or just gets bored of cutting out a big U before he even gets to the fun part of gluing shapes together. This month, I took a few minutes to go through the box and cut out all the shapes of things so that when we have a few minutes to sit him down with a craft, I can just pull the pieces out and show him what it’s supposed to look like and he’s ready to go.
These are the activities in our November box. Activities in this box included making little balls of playdough to make a tactile version of subtraction problems (they set out playdough balls, and then smush the amount they’re subtracting), a page where you color in the number of circles you have left after subtracting, word problems about dinosaurs that you read to them and they act out (ex. “three dinos were playing, one went home for lunch, how many are left?”), Vowel Owl sticks where you read words and they identify which vowel they hear in it, and a sequencing board with cards for them to put 3 pictures in the order they occur.
The activity I think was our favorite was probably the playdough subtraction or the dinosaur word problems! He had a lot of fun with both, and I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that they were the math activities this month. I’m starting to really see an affinity for math in my son!
Squirrel’s Secret by Susie Linn – Retail value $9.99
We like getting a book in every box! This month’s was about a squirrel with a secret and he tells someone who isn’t listening properly. Well, of course, that animal goes and tells another animal who isn’t giving their full attention. The cycle continues until everyone is super confused about what Squirrel’s secret surprise is and he has to clear it up and everyone realizes they weren’t listening correctly! (and not to spoil surprises.)
GoGo Squeez Happy Tummiez Organic Fruit on the Go Pouch, 3.2 oz – Estimated value $1.00 (Buy a 24 pack for $24.54)
This month they included a GoGo Squeez pouch! My kids love pouch snacks so this was a nice inclusion for us.
Verdict: We have really enjoyed our subscription to The Preschool Box! I have found it so helpful, having school-at-home work for my 5-year-old simplified and prepped for me. Since getting this box, he and I have been doing things from it together and it’s been really fun seeing him work, learn, and play. I’ve been learning new things about what subjects he likes, what activities he responds to well, and they cover content widely enough to help me see his sticky points that he needs to practice outside of the work in this box. Also, I love that some activities are repeatable so we can build up a sort of library of educational games and activities to reach for later. Some things are so simple I never would have come up with on my own, like the playdough subtraction or the dinosaur word problems! With so many families planning to home school or do virtual school, I can see a subscription like this one being very helpful for a lot of parents going through this pivot.
It’s hard to put a concrete value assessment on this box because of its nature. I can say that it has totally been worth the cost for my family, though. I know I could probably find resources for similar crafts or projects online myself, but I also have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old and I just do not have the time or bandwidth to be able to sit, research, plan, and prepare educational activities or crafts at the moment. Having everything in this box ready to grab and do together (or even to set him up with something to do on his own while I do something else!) with no effort, decision making, or internet hunting on my part has made a huge difference for us. Additionally, I am really happy with how the subscription has increased in skill difficulty in a way that’s been right along with my son’s skills improving. I’ve also felt empowered to see where he needs practice and I have been able to help him nail those down!
To Wrap Up:
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