BUYER’S GUIDE Best play & learn subscriptions

Featuring different topics, these fun subscription kits should provide your young ’un with endless hours of enjoyment!

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Before you know it, the school hols will be upon us once again and you’ll need to (gasp!) keep your little ones both busy and entertained. Better yet, throw learning elements into it, so that they’ll make the most of this time.

Check out age-specific subscription kits with learning tools that promise to boost junior’s know-how. You can try it for a month, or opt to extend this service for months and even years. Your kiddo will definitely anticipate receiving a fun package in the mail regularly!

Here are several we love.

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Junior Explorers

Price From $24.99 for one monthly “mission”. You get discounts if you subscribe for three or more months. Shipping is $2 per month.

From Junior Explorers

What For ages 6 to 11. Join Kyle and Kia on wildlife and nature missions every month and explore amazing places like the Arctic, Serengeti and Amazon. Once you get the box, flip through the “mission kit”, in the form of a booklet, to locate the mission checklist ― this details what you need to complete the mission.

The Great Barrier Reef mission, for instance, includes animal cards, little rubber sea creatures, a wristband and stickers. Also includes activities like spotting the difference between two pictures, and facts about the marine life that can be found at the reef.

Each junior explorer will also get a log-in code to be used at www.sg.juniorexplorers.com, where she can go on an online mission and discover more online activities. At the end of the mission, she will receive a “Certificate of Achievement”, along with an explorer badge.

Parents say We liked the digital aspect of this subscription kit ― something that will excite the kids. Mum of two Karen Seet, 34, loved the educational properties for her daughters. “My 9-year-old loved it, and I think it’s perfect for this age as she would be able to read and navigate the website on her own. It might be a bit more difficult for my 6-year-old as she’s not used to using the computer and may need some guidance.”

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Spur Box

Price $27.90 for one trial box, or $23.90 per month when you buy an annual subscription. Free regular postage in Singapore.

From Spur Box

What For ages 1 to 4+. Choose from four different subscriptions ― Sensoria for 12m+, and P-Skool 2, 3, and 4, for those aged 2 to 4+. A P-Skool 2 pack for 2-year-olds focuses on their emerging language skills, as well as their sense of touch and sight.

Targets sensory and tactile elements, in addition to providing reading and play material in each box. For instance, it could contain alphabet sensory cards (where the letters are formed in a sandpaper-like material), a craft kit, thematic worksheets and a surprise tinker toy.

Parents say This kit is great for tots learning the letters of the alphabet ― the activities revolve around the letters chosen for the particular kit, which helps to reinforce the learning. Says Claudia Lin, 30, mum to Jacob, 3, “It’s a very well-thought-out pack that engages the child in each of the activities.”

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Flying Books

Price From $34.50 for a single-month’s subscription (shipping fee included).

From Flying Books

What Books chosen specially for little readers aged 12 months to 7 years. Go online and choose a monthly, 3-month or 6-month subscription, then indicate your child’s age and gender. You can also choose a “Siblings” pack, if you have more than one child.

The books arrive gift wrapped, so junior will be super psyched to receive his “surprise” each month. Every month, before shipping the books, Flying Books will send you an e-mail with the month’s titles in your package, so as not to send you a book you already have.

Parents say If you want raise a book-loving kid but have no idea where to start, this is perfect for you. Each package not only includes a personalised note about the stories, it may even include tips on what sounds to emphasise on while reading. So, even parents who “seldom read” will know what to expect and how to make the most of the books.

Chia Li Ling, 40, mum to 5-year-old twins Jasper and Jensen, thinks it’s a great idea “as I trust I will receive quality books that have already been screened, rather than wasting time trying to figure out what to buy.”

Keep clicking for more fun activity sets!

 

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Little Passports

Price US$14.95/$20 a month for a 12-month subscription. Shipping starts at US$5.50 a month.

From Little Passports

What For ages 3 to 12. Little Passports, which is from the US, aims to introduce little explorers to different countries and their cultures. Choose the Early Explorers edition for kids aged 3 to 5, the World Edition for kids aged 6 to 10 and the USA Edition for those aged 7 to 12.
We checked out the Early Explorers edition’s introductory pack, which includes a world map, an activity booklet, a luggage tag, stickers and photos. In the later months, junior will explore a new theme each month, like music, oceans and dinosaurs.
Parents say We had a pleasant surprise the minute we ripped open box ― it contained an adorable mini-suitcase in bright orange, yellow and blue that will surely entice the little ones. In the activity booklet, you’ll find colouring sheets, mazes and other fun things for tots. The activities may seem simple, but they will stimulating a young child. Junior will also enjoy the stickers and a cute luggage tag. Features a note telling you what to look out for ― world landmarks ― in the next package, which is great as the little ones will eagerly anticipate the next delivery. The package was shipped from the US, but we found the two-and-a-half week wait pretty reasonable.

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My Messy Box

Price A box for a single month costs $34. Enjoy a discount when you subscribe for six or 12 months. Shipping is free.

From My Messy Box

What For ages 3 to 6. Each box presents a different theme to encourage imaginative play, creativity and hands on learning. Each box features active, creative and explorative packs. A toolkit (that includes things like spades, funnels and tweezers) comes free with a six- or 12-month subscription.

Parents Say Each varied box boasts colourful and attractive contents that will appeal to little learners. We checked out an animal theme pack featuring plastic animals, colouring materials and even dried beans for sensory and explorative play. Clear and concise instructions accompany each activity.

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Thinkasaur

Price $48 for a single box. Enjoy savings if you subscribe for six or 12 months. Free shipping.

From Thinkasaur

What For kids aged 7 to 10. Each box comes with three or four science experiments, as well as all the ingredients you’ll need to conduct them. Packaged neatly in ziplock bags, pictorial instructions offer ease of use. Safety equipment like goggles are also included for certain experiments, while stickers and a colouring poster are thrown in for added fun.

Parents say The priciest of the lot, but it’s well worth the splurge. The box we checked out included very visual experiments (like lots of foaming and fizzing!), which we know will dazzle the kids. . We particularly liked the parental guidance meter and the mess level indicator on each experiment sheet, so parents will know what outcome to expect.
Jeanne Sasha Teo, mum to Flora, 9, is impressed because she thinks that she wouldn’t allow her child to do such experiments at home otherwise. “She will love this ― and looking at the instruction sheets, it looks safe enough to do at home. Lots of learning and discovering to be done with this.”

Main photo: iStock

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