The weather in the Chicago area has been miserable. We went from unusually warm 60 degree February days to wet and cold here in March. The kids felt like we were over the winter weather (I'll admit it, I too was hopeful that the Spring-like weather would continue through the actual Spring), so they've been a little crabby and spending most days inside. We were all pretty excited when our Outside the Box Creation box arrived.
Outside the Box Creation is a monthly subscription that delivers everything your kids need to complete an art project. The theme of the March box was “texture,” and included the paperback book Nuts to You by Lois Ehlert, a Strathmore sketch pad, 4 sheets of 9 x 12″ watercolor paper, a pair of Scotch kids scissors, a set of Cray-Pas oil pastels, 2 textured rubbing plates, 1 piece of corrugated cardboard, and an X-Press It glue marker.
The monthly subscription is $34.95 a month plus shipping (shipping charge varies based on your location, ships internationally – starting next month, shipping will be a $5 flat rate), charged automatically on the 15th of the month until you cancel. You can save 10% by subscribing for 3, or 6 months, or 15% on a 12 month subscription. The company states their boxes have a $50 value, and if you post a photo of your box on Instagram or Facebook, you'll be entered in a drawing for a free box.
Upon opening the box, we found this beautifully designed informational flyer. It was honestly the best looking product insert I've ever seen in a subscription box. It detailed the items in the box, described the monthly theme and how the book and art project relate to the theme, and gave easy-to-follow instructions on completing the art project. The insert was really well done – great looking and informative. Did I tell you they did a nice job on that insert?!
The kids were eager to get started, so we began with the book. The publisher indicates this book is intended for kids aged 4-8, and my kids, aged 7 and 9 enjoyed it. The Outside the Box Creation website states that the box is suitable for ages 5-11. While the book was written for younger kids than the box is created for, I still think it was an appropriate selection. The story is less important than the illustrations, which really inspired the art project in the box. The book pictures showed that you could create the look of texture with two dimensional materials.
The kids started the project, reading along with the instructional insert. The project consisted of using the textured plates, corrugated cardboard, and pastels to design their own papers that they could then cut into shapes and glue onto the watercolor paper.
They enjoyed the project, making art pieces inspired by nature and Nuts to You. My 9 year old especially loved the glue marker; I had never seen one and thought it was pretty cool too. I loved the insert (did I say that already?) and how the book related nicely to the art project. I also appreciated that enough of the supplies were included to accommodate two kids. I can envision us saving the monthly box until the kids' grandparents visit, and doing it together.
*NOTE: We received this box to review for free.*