If you’re looking for a way to prevent summer slide without resorting to boring workbooks and summer school classes, try one (or more!) of these awesome monthly subscription boxes for kids! Read on to find the best book boxes that encourage reading, STEM boxes that teach vital concepts, and even some craft boxes that inspire imaginations.
Educators claim that students lose up to 3 months of math and reading skills to “summer slide,” so parents respond by thrusting worksheet after worksheet on their kids and creating strict summer school schedules that completely rob kids of their much-needed break.
Preventing summer slide: are we doing it all wrong?
Look, I get it: no one wants to see their kids lose months worth of school lessons and hard work. Still, there’s a way to help them retain knowledge- and even learn new skills- without destroying summer break entirely.
I am not a fan of regimented summer learning schedules that demand hours of lessons before a kid can even think of enjoying the season. I think that our kids naturally learn new skills throughout the summer just by having fun and exploring new interests. Have you ever heard of unschooling? The same concepts that make it an increasingly popular year-round way of educating also apply to summer learning.
Honestly, unless your kids are sitting around watching paint dry, they’re most likely learning new skills and reinforcing old ones just by doing what kids do best: play. Free play is actually highly beneficial, but for those times when you need to add a little more structure into the day (like on a rainy day), these subscription boxes are a great way to keep it fun!Want to prevent summer slide without resorting to boring workbooks and summer school programs? Check out these 10 subscription boxes that teach kids new skills in a fun way!
Kids Subscription Boxes That Prevent Summer Slide the Fun Way
Each of these monthly subscription boxes for kids teaches and reinforces skills in a fun and engaging way. To keep it fun, I recommend letting your kids choose their favorites based on their interests rather than choosing for them based on what YOU want them to learn. I’ve included a video preview when I could find one.
*Heads up: this post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I get a small commission. Thanks!
Description: A monthly box for ages 8+ filled with everything your kids need to complete experiments and design challenges based on STEM concepts. Subscribe for a monthly themed box or buy single boxes geared specifically towards your child’s interests.
Kids get to create neat things that they’ll actually want to use, like musical instruments, bedroom door alarms, and catapults.
Age range: Geared towards kids 8+.
What skills does it teach? GroovyLabs uses the Engineering Design Process to teach kids new STEM-bases skills and reinforce those they’ve already learned.
Description: This hands-on STEM subscription box helps tweens & teens learn engineering and coding by making fun projects that they’ll actually use.
Aside from the fact that it’s one of the most budget-friendly STEM boxes out there, I love that the creations aren’t just throw-away projects. Your teen can make things like a mood lamp, LED dice games and more.
Age range: 12+
What skills does it teach? Electronics and coding (it’s ranked in the top 5% of all products reviewed by STEM.org)
Description: Each box delivers coding projects that let kids make cool things like video games, greeting cards, simulations and more. They can even build apps on the website to use on their phones.
The themed boxes include some hilarious projects and use your kids’ interests (like robots, animals, and fantasy worlds) to better help them relate to the skills they’re learning.
Age range: 6-12
What skills does it teach? Coding and other computer science concepts
Description: Each month, your child receives a STEM toy handpicked by Amazon toy experts and geared towards their age level.
Since it’s an actual toy, kids won’t feel like you’re giving them yet another educational project. They just get to play with something they like. We don’t have to tell them that they’re learning at the same time!
Age range: Different boxes for kids ages 3-4, 5-7, and 8-13
What skills does it teach? Learning through play and imagination, STEM concepts.
Description: Each box comes with 2 hardcover books or 4 board books, depending on which age range you choose. The books are things your kids actually want to read.
Each one is chosen both by Amazon Book Editors who read through thousands to find just the right ones to include and by customer ratings.
Age range: Options for babies, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12
What skills does it teach? Reading
Description: Each box comes with enough science tools for more than 10 fun and highly-interactive experiments created by Steve Spangler, an expert at making science fun. The experiments are crazy cool (and occasionally explosive)! Check out his website to find more neat ideas that you can do with your kids this summer.
Age range: 5-12
What skills does it teach? Science
7. We Craft Box
Description: Each box features a unique theme and story about the crafts and comes with everything you need to make 2-3 crafts. In fact, there are enough materials for two kids to share a box.
Kids learn by making cute crafts that they can use to tell a story. What child doesn’t love craft time?
Age range: 3-9
What skills does it teach? Creativity, imagination, and art.
8. Genius Box
Description: Each month, kids get to explore a new STEM concept with 3+ interactive activities, plus a collectible button and a comic that illustrates the monthly theme. The fun projects encourage kids to explore their passion for science and be more curious about the world around them.
Age range: 8-12
What skills does it teach? Primarily science, although the projects incorporate other STEM concepts as well.
Description: MATTER is a highly specialized subscription that calls itself “part museum, part lab.” Each box comes with “a collection of materials, objects, specimens, or artifacts that have been carefully selected as some of the most interesting pieces of matter in our accessible universe.”
Each box comes with unique items that tweens and teens can keep, display, and show off to friends, plus the opportunity to hold something a literal piece of history in their hands, like fossils from 50 million years ago and a bullet fired during the Civil War.
Age range: Tweens & teens (and even adults)
What skills does it teach? Science (with an emphasis on physics) and history.
10. GIRLS CAN! CRATE
Description: Designed specifically for girls, Girls Can! Crate introduces your daughter to diverse and inspiring women. Each crate comes with an activity book, 2-3 hands on STEAM activities and more. The hands-on activities let girls create things they can use or give as gifts, like wind chimes and jewelry.
Age range: 5-10
What skills does it teach? STEM concepts & history (specifically women’s history)
Remember, free play is best, but these subscription boxes do make great rainy day activities! As long as you let your kids pick out their favorites, they won’t even care that they’re learning! They’ll just enjoy having fun exploring their interests.
Last update on 2020-04-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API