In the past, I’ve been a huge fan of subscription educational services. So far, we’ve done Magic School Bus, Green Kid Crafts, and Little Passports. I really love that these types of monthy packages make teaching your kids both fun and easy. However, at the moment we don’t subscribe to anything, mainly because all my kids’ activities (sports, music, art class, etc.) are just too expensive. In comparison, these subscription services seem like a steal, especially when you have multiple kids, but since my kids don’t want to quit their beloved activities, for now we’re sacrificing our subscription services. Therefore, I was thrilled when Think With Art offered to send me a free box. (It’s almost like I’m a real blogger!)
Website: Think With Art
Recommended Age Range: Kindergarten, Elementary
Time Required: ~1 hour per box
Cost: $30/month (or less if you prepay for multiple months) — Use discount code RESEARCH5 for $5 off
This is the first product like this that I’ve received for free. A review wasn’t required as part of the agreement, but I decided to do one anyway. In the future, I’m hoping to go back and review some of the other services we’ve done. If you decide to read this review, please remember that I’m extremely frugal. We don’t even have cable. Even though I’m not presently signing up for this service, I definitely think it’s worth the value. (Conversely, if the price seems painful, I honestly think your kids will be okay with some crayons and free time to pursue their creative endeavors.)
Opening the box was like opening a present.
Being the ultra frugal shopper that I am, the first thing I did was evaluate the contents.
This first box included:
- A story/project instruction booklet
- A sheet of watercolor paper
- Watercolor pencils
- A fan paint brush
- A pencil
- An eraser
- A cute owl pencil sharpener
- A tablecloth
- A notebook
- A roll of washi tape
However, in order to do the included project, the only items you really need are the watercolor pencils, the watercolor paper, and the fan brush (assuming you already have items like pencils in your home). Therefore, I decided to price check these items. It turns out these 3 items are not super cheap. If you wanted to buy the items in this box, you could do it for a little less than the cost of the box, but not by much, and you wouldn’t get the booklet.
One advantage to buying the items on your own is that if you bought a watercolor pad, you would get more than one sheet. That’s my only real complaint with this box, is that they only provide ONE watercolor sheet. Fortunately my kids are young and don’t know the difference, but if they were older, that would be a showstopper. It would be great if they included 2 or 3 sheets in their box, or at least had a “sibling add-on” option on their subscription page.
My kids were extremely eager to do the project in this box. First we read the short story about Mr. Toffee the cat and his traveling dilemma. Then I read and explained the instructions to them for the watercolor pencils project. They were all so excited to work on this project and design a solution for Mr. Toffee. The longer they worked, the more I felt like the box was well worth the cost. Currently, I pay $15/class twice a month for my oldest 2 kids to go to art class (so $60/month). Especially as my 2 younger kids get older, it would be AMAZING to replace outside-the-home classes for an at-home subscription like this.
There are trade-offs, of course. With their in-person art classes, I don’t have to do anything. I just drop them off. Also, their finished projects look more, well, artistic. However, I think they had just as much fun working on this art project for less cost. They still got to work with new art supplies besides crayons and markers, learn new techniques, AND they got to keep the supplies when they were done. Probably what I love the most about this box though was the “Think” aspect of Think with Art. As part of the project they had to design an unconventional mode of transportation for Mr. Toffee.
It was so much fun listening to them talk about their ideas. My oldest (7 years) designed an invisible zipline portal. The 4 and a half year old wants Mr. Toffee to travel by going down the sewer drains. My 2 year old wants to put him in the owl pencil sharpener and carry him around. The oldest in particular was super excited about this Think with Art box. He worked on his picture for well over an hour, thanking me repeatedly for getting it, and in the end asked me when we would get our next box. Right now Think with Art is just a subscription service, but I hope one day they have boxes available for individual purchase. They would make amazing gifts.
If you decide you’d like to try Think with Art, use the discount code RESEARCH5 to get $5 off your first box!