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Kids Night In Box “Top Secret” Review – April 2021

Kids Night In Box is a monthly subscription box designed to bring life lessons and educational aspects to help children play with a purpose, focusing on experiences rather than toys that sit around and collect dust. They include topics such as finance, world communities, and different abilities presented in a fun and engaging manner.

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 Kids Night In Box

The Subscription Box:  Kids Night In Box

The Cost: $41.99 per month + free shipping to the US (save with longer commitments)

The Products: Each month is based on a specific theme, and includes items such as books, activities, recipes, and life lessons in each box geared towards kids ages 3-8.

Ships to: the U.S. for free, Internationally for an additional cost

Kids Night In Box “Top Secret” Review

As you may know, I am the mother of two boys, named Hank and Charlie. Hank just turned 8, and Charlie recently turned 6. They are busy, busy, busy, and love playing together and participating in family activities. I came across the Kids Night In Box, while browsing the ‘net one night, and I just had to check it out. Anything that exclaims to deliver “life lessons” in a fun and engaging manner is very appealing to me, and I couldn’t wait to see if that held true. Read below to find out more.

 

“Top Secret” Guide Book

In all honesty, the box was a little smaller than I was expecting, but we couldn’t wait to get started. The first item we received was a nicely themed guidebook that offered a friendly welcome, shared the link to this month’s custom Spotify playlist, described themed recipes, and included all of the instructions for this month’s activities. I would say this piece of literature was the most important item in the box, as we would have been lost without it. There wasn’t much for illustrations, but the instructions were well described, and easy to follow. The back also gave us ways to continue our play by offering movie suggestions, field trip ideas, and games that could all be customized to fit the “Spy” theme. 

Just look at those excited faces!

 

Ready To Read: Hamster Holmes A Bit Stumped Book – Retail Value $4.99

Boy oh boy, do we love receiving books, and as Charlie is a beginner reader, being provided with a level two Ready To Read book was perfect. This cute story is about Hamster Holmes, who is a detective. His sidekick (Dr. Watt) is a firefly who communicates in code. Together, they are summoned to help Rufus Feathers solve the mystery of the missing patio tiles! Will they solve it? You’ll have to read it to find out! Hank is 8 and an advanced reader, so he was able to fly through this book. It was a little challenging for Charlie who is in kindergarten, but he was able to read a lot of the easier sentences. They both really enjoyed this book and actually were interested in looking at ordering some of the other Hamster Holmes books in the series, which I definitely consider a win.

Activity One: 1- Hamster Holmes

The first activity described in our brochure was to find a comfy spot and read our book. Choosing the pouf in the living room, the kids curled up and took turns reading. Like I said above, Charlie was challenged, but Hank was able to help him as only a big brother can. The detective theme of the book really set the mood for this “Top Secret” themed box and got the kids excited to see what else they would be up to this month. 

Activity One: 2- Training Introduction

After reading our book, we were given a little background as to what to expect throughout the rest of our “Night In”. Our training would be made up of two parts — mind and body, meaning it would require careful thinking and physical activity! 

 

Secret Agent Badge/ Dry Erase Marker 

I love the authenticity of this badge holder! The Secret Agent insert includes a place for an Agent Name, Code Name, and a photo. It worked out really well that a dry erase marker was included, so we could alter the name on the badge so both boys could test it out. The clip adheres to a pocket quite nicely, and because it is pretty much exactly what I have received in the past from work training, the boys felt it was really legit.

Activity One: 3- Secret Agent Badge 

Before we were able to begin training, of course, we needed to create the secret agent badge. After a quick game of rock, paper, scissors, to see who got to fill out the badge first, Hank inserted his name and found his code name using the name generator included in the guide book. We found Major Panther quite fitting, and he insisted on going by that the rest of the day, even when our box activities had ended!

Alphabet Decoding Sheet

To complete our decoding mission, we received an alphabet decoding sheet, which the kids couldn’t wait to get started on! Did they crack the code? Read below to find out!

 

Activity Two: 1- Decoding Mission

Changing up the pace, we headed into the mind missions. Our first mission involved decoding phrases and sentences using the coding guide. Charlie was really excited about this activity and was able to easily identify and write the correct letters. Hank assisted in the reading, so it was a group effort.

 

Fingerprint Decoding Sheet and Ink

For our next mission, we received a fingerprint decoding sheet and an ink pad. It is safe for fabric, wood, and paper, and was quite decent in quality.

 

Activity Two: 2- Fingerprint Mission

Once our decoding mission was complete, we moved on to the fingerprint mission. We recently did a study similar to this in our Little Passports Science Expedition box, so we were sort of professionals going into this, but kids also seem to love inking up their fingers and making a mess. The actual mission consisted of the three of us stamping our finger into one box that was labeled, then secretly stamping below to do some matching. This was actually harder than I thought it would be. All three of our fingerprint patterns are similar, but we did eventually crack the case….phew!

Activity Two: 3- Patience Is a Virtue Part One

The next activity was one that didn’t involve any supplies. All the kids had to do was sit across from each other and stare into each other’s eyes and try to make the other person laugh without making ANY noise. I have never thought of doing this exercise, but it was hilarious! I don’t like to brag, but I kicked both kids’ butts with my silly faces….no I will not post the photos of that! Ha! They constantly ask to do this now, which is nice as it isn’t messy, it can be done anywhere, and everyone gets along when doing it.

Blank Puzzle

The second part of the patience mission was to design a puzzle and put it together. We received a 5″X7″ blank cardboard puzzle to decorate.

 

Activity Two: 3- Patient is a Virtue Part Two

Here Charlie is designed his lovely rainbow puzzle. He loves drawing and designing and really enjoyed putting his creation back together.

 

Crepe Paper and Tape

Moving right along to our physical missions, we received crepe paper and tape to set up a laser challenge.

 

Activity Three: 1- Laser Challenge

For our first physical challenge, the boys needed to go through a laser obstacle course. While they were working on their puzzle, I took the liberty of creating an obstacle course using the crepe paper and tape provided. I found the tape a little thin but did appreciate that it didn’t peel off any paint on my trim work and walls. It held the crepe paper up well, and the kids liked crawling through this course so much that we had to keep it up for days. This was great until I realized I needed to bring my laundry basket into my bedroom to put away clothes…let’s just say the pictures of me crawling through this course while carrying a basket full of clean laundry were definitely not cheerful!

Activity Three: 2- Balance Ladder

Using the leftover tape from the laser challenge, we were able to create a ladder on the floor for our next activity — a series of physical challenges using the ladder.

 

Now, this was interesting… The kids tried out all of the challenges but found themselves obsessed with wheelbarrowing up the ladder. They were giggling so much they were hysterical. Who knew a little tape could keep a couple of little guys entertained for so long?!

 

Activity Three: 3- Training Session

Another hysterical moment was our training session. We are active people, and while the boys did fine with jumping jacks, the struggle was real for the push-ups, squats, and sit-ups. We didn’t even try the mountain climbers!!! This too was hilarious, and I have to be honest — the kids were so worn out after this box that they fell asleep almost instantly at bedtime!

Cotton Candy

We are heading towards the finish line people! The last item we received this month was a bag of cotton candy. It looks small, but once you pull it out of the bag, it seems to last forever! Deliciously sweet, the boys couldn’t wait to bust into this bag, and it was hard to wait this long! The only concern I had with this package is that there was no label, date, company name, or ingredient list to be found. It was rightly sealed and such, but I would have liked a little more info…

Activity Four 1 – Top Secret Snack

Who can resist cotton candy? I know we sure can’t! Because we were official secret agents by this point, we were provided with a snack to enhance our brainpower prior to being given our mystery to solve.

 

Mystery Bundle

Now that we have completed our training, we received a mystery of our very own to solve using these included clues. Can we do it? Read below to find out!

 

Activity Four: 3- Apple Pie Mystery

Our last activity involved solving clues based on the activities we previously practiced. The kids worked together to decode a clue, study fingerprints, and eventually solve the mystery. This was a fun way to summarize our day, and the kids had a ball! What can’t these detectives do?

Verdict: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I signed up for Kids Night in a Box, but I have to say it was a lot of fun. As far as life lessons go, this month we learned the importance of detail, reading, patience, physical health, and fun! The curation and theme were enjoyable, and I really appreciated the suggested ways to continue, to turn this into an entire themed day. I know this box is based more on the actual experience over physical items, but I did feel the $41.99 price point was a little steep. If they were able to include a game that we could re-use or more supplies, I feel this would help up the value. If you are a busy parent or guardian that appreciates an easy, well-thought-out theme day without much prep, I recommend checking this box out! I can’t wait to see what theme next month will be, and hope to see a bit of an increase in value.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Possibly. Each box is delivered between the 16th and 21st of each month. 

Check out our list of the best kids subscription boxes for 2021, recommended by MSA readers like you!

Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What do you think of this month’s box? 

Kids Night In Box

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Written by Becca Peterson

Becca Peterson

While I am taking a time-out from being a Clinical Laboratory Scientist, I am currently staying at home with my 2 sweet boys! My first subscription was Julep thanks to happening upon the MSA website, and it all went downhill from there! I have subscribed to Ipsy, Boxycharm, Degustabox, Julep, Graze, Bluum, Walmart, and more because I love a good surprise! I truly am a subscription addict!

Posted in Kids Night In Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Kids| Tags: kids-night-in | 0 comments

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