This week our friend Megan Valdes invited us over to give us a special look at her growing company, My Little Preschool Box. She had the materials for her summer box laid out on the table where we could have a look at them, and she had food prepared for us to munch on. While all of the kids went to the basement to slide into their home-made box fort, Megan walked us through all of her materials and resources. She has a "Starter Box" that comes with the basics that can be used on its own or in conjunction with the monthly box subscription. Within the box there are activities for language arts, math, STEM, nature study, art and more. As she went through I kept thinking to myself, "my kids would love that!"
One of my favorite things about the resources she shared was the fact that most of them were reusable, laminated activities. Of course the STEM and art projects were more or less one-offs, but most of the language arts, math, and even some of the nature study materials were reusable. For instance, a cool extra in the boxes are seasonal scavenger hunts, including everything from walks in the woods to road trips and giving the kids things to look for while in the car. It reminded me of games we played when we were young. These scavenger hunt lists were printed on sturdy card stock with both words and associated pictures for the children to go by.
I also loved the personalized laminated cards that allow children to practice their name with dry erase markers and then wipe them clean. They also had activity pages where you could write a math equation and then use boxes provided for manipulatives, which allows space for actively figuring out the problem.
Great Bang for the Buck
Although I knew I could make a lot of what was provided, I also knew from looking at it all that it would cost me nearly as much to do it myself, and that's not counting the time involved. I also knew my children would really enjoy absolutely everything included. There was no one material or resource I thought would be ignored. Such a great balance between "structured" and hands on play.
Passing the Test
My 4 year old daughter was very excited to find they were dinosaur themed activities. First, the were given a print of a T-Rex skeleton, a glue stick, and some macaroni. They took the individualized sticks and used them to trace the skeleton. Then they added the macaroni pieces to the traced skeleton, making a macaroni dinosaur. It was adorable and all together an excellent practice of fine motor and puzzle related (i.e. problem-solving) skills.
The second activity was math based. There were three boxes provided on a paper with a number in each box (2, 4, and 8). Along with this was a page of dinosaur stickers. They peeled off the stickers and placed the appropriate amount into each box according to the number inside. Watching them add stickers and count them each time to see where they had progressed to was a joy. As an extra, each child was given a full page with photos of different dinosaurs and their names to help children define them within their reading and play.
We had such a good time at this little party and I was really very impressed with the product that Megan has developed. I plan to order a starter box and a couple of extras that my kids will get a ton of use out of. I highly recommend the monthly prescription for those that love morning basket style learning or really any form of unit study style learning for their preschooler or 5-6 year olds just beginning some slightly more structured, hands-on learning.
For More Info
Here are a few pictures of the pamphlet we received with pricing, contents and extras info. Click an image to enlarge: