Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mummy Must Have Review | Box For Monkeys

I'm really loving the toddler stage. I have to admit when she was younger I was dreading the toddler years because I thought it would be all tantrums and defiance, and while I admit there is a lot of that, there's also the fun stuff like crafting and imaginary play. I swear bub's an artist in the making, she's all about painting, drawing and stickers at the moment. The creativity is strong in this one {and I'm loving it}.

Now that she's 2 and has a {slightly} longer attention span it means we can enjoy doing crafting and play activities together, for longer than 5 minutes at a time. She still wants to do everything together with me rather than on her own, but I don't mind because I really enjoy it and love watching her mastering new skills. She gets so proud of herself when she can do new things.

She's such a sponge for new information at the moment, always after new activities and new experiences. I'm constantly coming up with new craft and play ideas {or tweaking her favourites} so that she doesn't get bored. Because bored toddlers are grumpy toddlers and nobody wants that. It can be a bit exhausting constantly coming up with new ideas though, unless you have hours to spend trawling Pinterest each night {which I don't}. Luckily, there are businesses out there where other clever souls have done all the thinking for you. I've recently discovered Box For Monkeys and thanks to them bub's had hours of fun playing and creating.


WHAT IS BOX FOR MONKEYS?


Box For Monkeys is a themed monthly subscription box full of unisex kids activities designed specifically for 3 - 6 year olds. Each box contains all the materials and inspiration to explore for items, cook a recipe, make and create masterpieces, sing music, play games and read stories. Each box is lovingly created by a team of educators and creative parents, and each individual item is tested by a team of product testing monkeys for their seal of approval before it's included.

Each month's box has a new theme and includes a mix of fun, creative and educational elements. The boxes are primarily designed to promote interaction between parents and kids. Don't worry if you're not an overly crafty parent though, all instructions are really easy and they've thought of everything you'll need. Even though bub's only 2 she loves doing assisted creative activities so we gave the October box a go.

BOX FOR MONKEYS OCTOBER BOX - FARM ANIMALS


The October box was all about animals, which is right up bub's ally as she loves all different animals {especially farm animals}. The box included a farm story book, a farm sticker and colouring book, another farm sticker book, a piggy bank to paint, a set of animal dominoes, an animal cookie cutter and twisty crayons. It also included cards with a recipe, a song and items to explore. Each of the games and activities have a sticker with the estimated time it takes attached so you can take this into account when planning to do each one. 

Even before we started playing with any of the items I could tell the box was value for money. With 7 items its definitely a worthwhile investment. There was even ideas for how to reuse the box for play. 

COLOURING & STICKER FUN



You should've seen bub's eyes light up when she saw the crayons. She was literally yelling at me "mummy get scissors open" and followed me to the kitchen to make sure I was opening them. I was a bit excited and apprehensive when I saw that the crayons were twisty ones. Excited because yay I can twist them back up so she can't draw on the walls with them when I'm not looking, but apprehensive because I knew she'd get frustrated not being able to open them herself. There was a bit of frustration because she was adamant "no mine do, not mummy do", but in the end she relented and we twisted them together. Surprisingly enough there were no huge tantrums and then she was content to colour away for a good 20 mins {which in toddler time is forever}.


The Farm Sticker & Colouring Book is a really cool colouring book because instead of being a blank colouring book its an actual story book with coloured pages and some blank sections for kids to colour in. It also has heaps of stickers {which she hasn't pulled out yet, but I'm sure will discover in time}. I've put the smaller sticker book away for later on so I can make all the stickers last as long as possible.

STORIES & GAMES



Being 2 bub doesn't have the comprehension to play a proper game of dominoes yet, but nevertheless she has had a heap of fun playing with them. She loves to tell me what's on each one "sheep, sheep" "cow, pig" "horsey, horsey" "cat, duck". I showed her how to line them up so the matching animals are next to each other, but she prefers to just line them up randomly in a row. To be honest I'm impressed she has the patience to sit and play with them for a long period of time, regardless of whether she's doing it correctly or not. She also packs them away into the box with me when she's finished, which is a small miracle because this child does not pack away toys, ever.


We're going to bake the cookies soon {I've tried to do them a few days in the last week but she wasn't interested then she got sick}. I'm thinking of turning the explore activity into a sensory bin play experience by taking toy versions of all of the items and putting them in a sensory tub with rice. That way she can still find them, but its more suited for a toddler.

PAINTING FUN



I was super excited when I saw that the box contained a piggy bank plaster of paris {are they even called that anymore?}. I have a pink porcelain piggy bank and bub is obsessed with it and always wants to play with it, but it's way too fragile for her so I had to move it to stop her trying to carry it around everywhere. Now she has her very own mini piggy bank that she doesn't have to share. Of course the really awesome part is that she got to paint it herself. The kit included the paint brush and paints {I raided the coins from my other piggy bank}.


I have to admit my ocd was super thankful that the paint included came in individual snap shut pots. I only opened one pot at a time hoping that the piggy bank wouldn't end up a big brown mess. It kind of worked until she started smearing all the paint together on the pig anyway. But she still ended up with an ok pig which has now been dubbed "wainbow pig".



Even though bub is only 2 and a bit {so technically younger than the boxes are designed for}, she's had a great time doing all the activities with me. The box will also keep giving over time as our games of dominos will evolve as she gets older and the crayons will last for ages. I'm also planning on using the cookie recipe to create Christmas cookies for the kids on Christmas day.

It's evident that the team at Box For Monkeys put a huge amount of thought into the products that make up each box. The items cover a range of ages, but its easy to tweak the activities to make them more suited to younger kids. I love that nearly all the items have an educational aspect as well.

I'd definitely recommend Box For Monkeys to other parents and they'd make an awesome Christmas gift for kids young kids. I'm planning on getting more boxes for bub next year because she's had so much fun doing all the activities in this one. Subscriptions are available in monthly, 3 month, 6 month or 12 month options and you can cancel at any time. The price per box decreases with each option {ranging from $47.95 - $59.95/month}. Shipping within Australia is included in the price. For families with more than one child you can pay an extra $10/month to have additional make, create and explore pieces added to the box {no need to buy an additional box for each child}.

Box For Monkeys have provided a special discount code for Finding Myself Young readers who want to try out a box for themselves. Simply sign up for a monthly plan before December 31st and use the code $10offbfm to save $10 off your first months box.

BOX FOR MONKEYS GIVEAWAY {CLOSED}



Box For Monkeys have also given me one December box to give away to a lucky reader. To be in the running to win let me know in a comment below which is your favourite idea from the Ideas for Kids section on the Box for Monkeys website and why. You can see all the ideas for kids here.

Please remember to also fill out the rafflecopter widget below {so I can contact you if you win}. The easiest way to comment is to choose the name/url option and leave the url section blank. If you're having issues leaving a comment, message me on my Facebook page or email me and I'll help you out.

Good Luck!

Toni x


a Rafflecopter giveaway
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Competition commences 12:00am December 1st 2015 and ends 12:00am December 15th 2015. Entry is open to Australian residents only, excluding ACT. One winner will receive a Box For Monkeys December activity box RRP $59.95. Prize will be delivered by Box For Monkeys, Finding Myself Young takes no responsibility for prize delivery. This competition is a game of skill and will be judged as such. All mandatory entry steps must be completed to constitute a valid entry. Incomplete entries will be deemed invalid and excluded from judging. Winner will have 72hrs to respond or prize will be redrawn. This competition is in no way endorsed, promoted or administered by Facebook.


Disclosure - I was gifted a Box For Monkeys box for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own {and bub's} based on our experience with the products. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Jess

52 comments:

  1. I would have to say my favourite idea from the ideas section is the carrot cake. For so long Elliott was never really interested in helping me cook/bake until recently, like the past month. And the only thing he's been wanting to cook?? Carrot cake!!!

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    1. I wish bub would eat carrot cake then I could sneak more veggies in ;)

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  2. spotting shapes with clouds!! I used to love doing this as a kid and now love laying on the trampoline with my 5 year old doing this! her imagination is great so the things she finds can vary quite a bit!

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    1. I love doing this with bub too. I used to spend hours as a kid laying on the trampoline looking at the clouds.

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  3. It sounds fabulous. I made the mistake of giving my youngest son twisty crayons when he was 18 months. He twisted them right out and ate them! #TeamIBOT

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    1. Trust me I thought she might do that too, thankfully she didn't!

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  4. I no longer have most of these crafty things in my house.. instead I have everything in the world that can charge. I need to win an electrician and power points. Got any of those Toni? lol

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    1. Haha no unfortunately, but if you find one can you send them over because I need my air-conditioner fixed and some new power points put in too!

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  5. This is an awesome idea. My two little ones LOVE crafts! I love the whole subscription idea. I was thinking of subscribing for a year for my 3 year old for xmas that way he gets a present each month and it's spaced out instead of all at once so presents get forgotten about, plus he loves getting mail lol

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  6. This is interesting - I haven't heard of it before! My preschooler definitely needs to try one!

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    1. They just launched in October Mandy. Such an awesome concept and great quality products.

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  7. I love the idea of making leaf collages.
    When my eldest daughter was younger, I didn't have a car back then so we would have to walk a lot, and on our walks, we would collect leaves, twigs etc. It would distract my daughter and keep her from getting bored on our walks to the shops etc. Then when we'd get home, we would make these collages.
    It's been years since we've done them, and I'm sure my youngest daughter would love to be taught from her big sister!

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    1. What a great way to stop her from getting bored while walking. We do that sometimes with flowers, I'll have to try it with leaves too.

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  8. Toilet Roll Cars, what a great fun use of items which would normally go in the bin.

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    1. I've started saving some of ours so we can do toilet roll crafts soon. They can be turned into so many cool things.

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  9. Oh I just love getting the kids in the kitchen and helping out. Growing vegies at home is a great way to get them interested. I loved mummy's muesli slice article lots of good information.

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  10. I love the spotting shapes in clouds. Great way to get the kids outside and chatting (and you don't need any supplies or equipment).

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  11. Oh I love the piggy bank!!! So so cute and this is such a great idea for mum like me trying to come up with endless ideas to keep those little minds occupied! What a great product sand such a thorough review

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  12. I love it all, but I'm obsessed with activities to keep kids entertained on a long haul flight at the moment, so the sticker and colouring book really appealed! What a fabulous concept!

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    1. I'm too scared to contemplate flying anywhere with her any time soon lol.

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  13. That's a very cool idea.
    I loved that age too. It's nice when they start being able to do crafty things.

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  14. Kids puzzles sound like a great idea! You can cut into any shapes or size and if one goes missing, it's no biggie!

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    1. We're just starting to do more complex puzzles now, so much fun.

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  15. COOK: Jack’s Carrot Cake. My boys love cooking- well they love helping until it is time to lick the spoons, then helping is over and I'm left with the mess! But any excuse to get some extra veggies into these fusspots :)

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    1. Bahaha I'm sure most kids only want to help until they get to lick the spoon then they couldn't care less.

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  16. I love the gardening ideas, it's something I've always enjoyed and I'd love to pass on my 'green thumb' skills to my kids :)

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    1. I wish I was better at gardening. Everything we've tried to grow dies :(

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  17. Toilet roll cars!!! The kids are fascinated with toilet rolls and cars, great combination. The idea of teaching them about reusing and recycling is wonderful!!

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  18. Toilet Roll cars are my favourite - very unique concept of recycling and kids will love the end product.

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    1. I think we'll give them a go when she's a little bit older.

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  19. Paper Windmills. Such an easy thing to make, but so much fun to use, and all the different colours! Wonderful!

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    1. Bub loves paper windmills! Anything that spins is a winner.

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  20. My big sis and I used to lay in the grass making cloud shapes for ages when we were kids. Love it

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    1. I did with my brother too. I spent so many hours lying on the trampoline watching the clouds.

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  21. Love creating shapes with the clouds. Can't help chuckle at the bizarre things kids can imagine when giving the chance... "that looks like spiderman eating porridge"... what?! hehe

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    1. Haha! Yea I'm pretty sure I used to come up with some random things too. I remember I used to always think I could see a lady cooking dinner in the moon at night.

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  22. I love the Farm Animals cookies and explore gardening, something kids can learn and be very useful!
    Eva Kiraly

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  23. My Son is Autistic 8yo but had the mind of a 5 year old but loves to do crafts, cooking and making salad and has a little garden plot with some lettuce, spring onion, tomatoes, cucumber and potatoes growing, I'm going to try the paper wind mills, Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments, Billy’s Lemon Biscuits and Toilet Roll Cars with him over the next few weeks, I've got so many ideas in my head from your brilliant box for monkeys site and I'm sure my son would appreciate a box of fun things to do, i know i would

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    1. Oh that reminds me I should make salt dough ornaments too! Hope you guys have fun doing all the activities :)

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  24. I would love to win one of these monkey boxes as my dd would get so much enjoyment out of it :)

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    1. They're so much fun, I'm definitely getting more next year.

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  25. I love the idea of leaf collages I did these as a child and loved it also would love to press some flowers to mix it up a bit I loved making miniature garden pictures with all the twigs and bits

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    1. Oh miniature garden pictures is a great idea. I must try that with bub too.

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  26. Love the gardening ideas, my kids love playing outside so im always looking for new things to do with them out there. We are just planning out some gardenbeds in our backyard so the seedlings in the egg carton will be a fun thing we can do altogether
    We would love to win an activity box to keep my busy monkeys busy over the holidays :)

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    1. I planted our veggie seeds in egg cartons and its so exciting watching them sprout.

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