|[THUMBNAIL: Abbie in her school uniform doing a craft after school]|
I've always been a big lover of arts and crafts, mainly stemming from my childhood as my parents enrolled me in a lot of summer holiday clubs. As I couldn't participate in many physical activities, I'd end up being creative instead. Everything from sewing my own Barbie clothes to making a toy playground out of card and PVA glue (thank you popular 90s show Art Attack!)
So when I had Abbie, we did messy play and all things creative from a very young age. You'll see as you read on just how much of a love for crafting she inherited from me!
It was when I was pregnant with her little sister Ava that I saw the arts and craft subscription box called 'Toucan Box' on a TV ad and thought why not? I wanted to make sure Abbie and I continued having special time together, just us, doing these sorts of things, even when I'd be all consumed with caring for a new born again. For £5.95 per fortnight, we gave it a go.
|[IMAGE: Display of the box - customised with your child's name and example of instructions and number of craft bits included]|
Abbie was so excited when the 1st FREE box arrived through the letter box. I loved the fact Toucan Box addressed the craft boxes to the child that it's meant for. The incentive of receiving a package of goodies which was clearly identified with its bright blue box and sketch like pictures all over helped get her eager to break it open!
Inside you get;
- An step-by-step instruction leaflet
- A special sticker progress chart that amount to prizes!
- Reward Stickers to add to the chart- Everything you need for the TWO craft projects
- Useful related vouchers
Things I LOVE about Toucan Box ~
- On the instruction leaflet there's clear indications of level of difficulty and how much adult help maybe required for each craft.
- Online as you're ordering you pick your child's age range, so you need not worry about receiving something you end up making yourself! You can also tweek it to a younger age box if your child is a beginner or has additional needs where it maybe more appropriate.
- Absolutely everything bar water and for painting and scissors are included. If it involves colouring you'll always find a tiny box of crayons. They even include extra googly eyes (because you know one is bound to go missing!)
- The sticker chart with prize incentives for completing each craft is great! Especially encouraging if your child is finding some part of the craft difficult, it keeps their focus and persevering on the task at hand. The prizes are good quality too!
|[IMAGE: Collage showing Abbie doing various Toucan box crafts including - making a dream catcher from paper, string and beads, a crocodile clothes peg and a wool bowl using paper-mâchè]|
We never got the same box twice (unlike with Weekend Box where we got send FOUR boxes of the same craft 😡). Each craft was fun, enjoyable to make but explored different fine motor skills to keep it challenging and the child practicing the things they may not have had much practice in. For Abbie it really helped her cutting skills!
Things I DID NOT like about Toucan Box ~
- That once you complete the 100 crafts, it starts over again with what you received in box 1. So if you have an avid, competitive budding artist, you'll eventually run out of crafts. This was a very sad realisation as I simply thought we'd get another sticker chart for the next level up or something. So unfortunately that did end our journey with Toucan Box.
|[IMAGE: Abbie proudly holding her final reward for completing 100 crafts with Toucan Box - a large black and red backpack with the Toucan box logo]|
This is the backpack we sent off for once Abbie had completed 100 Toucan Boxes. She still uses it with pride today! It's a lovely souvenir to our time with Toucan. We did try Weekend Box after this, but found they weren't even in the same league and like I mentioned above, their system kept sending us duplicate crafts.
I would definitely recommend Toucan Box for children ages 3 and up. Not all crafts will need adult help but it is a lovely thing to do on a rainy day with your littles. They even have sibling and family boxes!
If they ever extended beyond the 100 craft limit, we'd definitely re-join but for now we're back to picking up a million craft bits and doing activities from CBeebies magazine...
I want to Thank the people behind Toucan Box for all the lovely crafts and memories they helped us make together!