If you’re looking for a solution to the constant cries of “I’m bored!” from the kids every weekend, a subscription box could well be the answer. Offering hours of screen-free fun, there’s a huge choice of boxes to suit all ages and interests, from baking to art, which arrive in the post, ready to get stuck into.
While some boxes cater to toddlers or teens, the bulk is aimed at three to ten-year-olds. Older children can usually be left to their own devices to explore the contents and activities independently, whereas younger kids may need a bit of help to make the most of the boxes. We found that many of the subscription boxes we tested made a great family rainy-day activity.
As well as being lots of fun, subscription boxes also offer huge educational and developmental benefits – from literacy and learning about science, to encouraging creativity and boosting fine and gross motor skills in the littlest testers.
While the themes of children’s subscription boxes vary, so does the price. Many work on a rolling monthly basis (which you can cancel at any time), but you can usually get the best price by opting for a longer subscription period and paying upfront. A lot of companies do offer payment plans to make it more affordable. The boxes we tested ranged in price from less than £10 a month to almost £75 a month, although we found that for those at the higher end of the price scale they were packed full of quality, ‘keep forever’ toys and games, to justify the spend.
Many companies also give you the option of buying one-off boxes, which is a great way to test out if it’s the right option for your kids before committing. Some also offer sibling boxes at a discounted price, if you predict there might be a riot over sharing.
How we tested
We tested the subscription boxes for a month – with our two-and-a-half-year-old, five-year-old and eight-year-old – putting them through their paces. We looked at value for money, how long they held our tester’s attention, how much fun we had exploring them, if they’d really look forward to it arriving each month and any educational benefits.
The best subscription boxes for kids for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Mud + Bloom box: From £13.95 per month, Mudandbloom.com
- Best for crafts – Toucanbox: From £7.95 per month, Toucanbox.com
- Best book subscription – Books & Pieces storybook subscription: From £12.08 per month, Bookspieces.com
- Best for baking – Baked In junior baking club: From £8.25 per month, Bakedin.co.uk
- Best Montessori subscription box – Benedykt & Sylvester box: From £32.99 per month, Benedyktandsylvester.com
- Best for budding artists – Make & Wonder box: From £15.50 per month, Makeandwonder.com
- Best for celebrating diversity – Little Box of Books subscription: From £17.99 per month, Littleboxofbooks.co.uk
- Best for supporting maths learning – Cubie Education box: From £32.91 per month, Cubie-education.com
- Best toy subscription – Lovevery box: From £80 every two months, Lovevery.co.uk
- Best for little chefs – Foodini Club box: From £11.50 per month, Foodiniclub.co.uk
- Best science subscription box – The Curiosity Box: From £39.95 every three months, Curiosity-box.com