Caterpillar is a huge fan of both reading and subscription boxes (he loves getting parcels in the mail that are especially addressed to him!) and these awesome boxes from Explorer Story combine the two beautifully.
Explorer Story’s creator Catherine is a teacher and mum who got the idea for this project when developing homework boxes for her class. She wanted to help involve parents in their child’s learning whilst at home so, as a parent myself to a little one who is fully engaged in preschool now and looking forward to full time learning next year, I was really intrigued. Each box is themed to a particular subject and helps to develop your child’s interest, initially through reading, and then further through the related activities.
I was really impressed with how much we received in our box and the relevance to the topic. The quality was fabulous too. Some subscription boxes tend to include poorer quality items but Explorer Story was the opposite of this, a wonderful and happy surprise.
What You Get
- Superworm by Julia Donaldson. I don’t mind admitting I did a little dance when I saw this. I’ve mentioned before what huge fans of Julia Donaldson we are and this is one we don’t already own. Caterpillar was thrilled too and we’ve been reading the story regularly since we got it (I will do a full review of this story in a future Butterfly Book Club post).
- The Big Book Of Bugs. This is a beautiful book. Hard-backed and packed to the brim with information about every insect you can think of; including tons of facts and brilliant illustrations. I can see us referencing to this book again and again in the future as Caterpillar grows and learns more about science and nature.
- Creature Peeper bug explorer. This is a great toy to accompany the books. It’s a great style where two viewing areas and use of mirrors means you can observe the insects you capture from both the top and the underneath in great detail. We’ve already used this to study a daddy long-legs much to Caterpillar’s amusement (and my squirming!).
- Big Bunch-O-Bugs toy insects. Again, a fab companion to the books. You get so many different insects (18 in total) and they are really detailed. We spent a lot of time studying and grouping the insects by number of legs, colour, whether they have wings etc (as per Explorer Story’s enclosed play suggestion). Coupled with The Big Book Of Bugs, Caterpillar and I were able to have a great discussion and learn a lot about the different insects without even having to go outside and find any yet!
- Crayola Twistables – By chance, before we received this box, I’d given Twistables a shout out in my Eight Essentials For 2 to 3 Year Olds post. Caterpillar spent some time drawing the various toys bugs (and then made me try too – and no, I wont be sharing my terrible drawing attempts!)
- Bugs Top Trumps. Although this game is a little too old for Caterpillar I was really pleased to see something aimed towards older children included. The entire contents of this Explorer Story box can easily be enjoyed by a wide age range of children, which is the real beauty of it. Even though we couldn’t play, Caterpillar enjoyed looking at all the pictures and sorting the cards.
What We Love
- The theme. I don’t know what future themes Explorer Story have in mind but this first one gets a big thumbs up from us. We’re huge nature and biology fans in this house and it was perfect for engaging his imagination.
- The quality. I can’t highlight enough how impressed I was with the range and quality of the products we received, especially The Big Book of Bugs which is gorgeous.
- The accompanying literature. Catherine takes the time to include suggested play and learning ideas with each box which is really handy for someone like me who sometimes struggles to think up suggestions.
- The excitement. As I said, Caterpillar loves getting toys or books through the mail so a subscription box is always going to be a hit in this respect.
- Learning together. There is plenty I don’t know about insects myself and it was lovely to go through some of the book together to find things out and to answer Caterpillar’s endless questions. Explorer Story’s aim is to help parents explore and support their child’s learning and we really did.
It’s clear that a great deal of thought and passion has gone into this idea and I think Explorer Story is a brilliant idea for children and parents looking to expand their love of books to other learning opportunities. To find out more visit www.explorerstory.co.uk or visit find them here on Twitter and Facebook.
Would you like to try out the next Explorer Story box free of charge? They have kindly offered to give away one of next month’s boxes for free to one of my readers. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter box below for your chance to win (open to UK residents only)