Coming up with good ideas of how to educate and entertain pre-school children can be really hard. “Home is Where Your Start is” make themed educational postal boxes that are based on EYFS outcomes. They are designed by an NNEB qualified Nursery Nurse with over 30 years childcare experience. Mandy also just so happens to have worked in the nursery my boys used to attend, so I know first hand how great she is!
We were very kindly gifted a box and asked to review it. The content of this review is based on my own experiences. Mandy had no input in this review and didn’t see it before it was published.
Each monthly box is based around a central theme – the first box that we’ve reviewed has a dinosaur theme. The box is aimed at preschool aged children, with simple EYFS educational activities and resources that you can do at home with the kids. They are designed to either work alongside the activities that your child may be doing at nursery, or for you to use as the basis for home education. They’re also just really fun activities that children love to do, very much based on learning through play.
What’s inside the box?
As this was our first box there was a free playmat included. The box includes almost all the resources you’ll need for the four activities, some additional resources and a resource booklet. There’s a little shopping list of some store cupboard basics that you might need. Things like flour etc to make the salt dough. And food colouring. We get through tons of food colouring thanks to all the science experiments we do!! The booklet is where the real value for money for these educational boxes comes from – it’s a fantastic resource. This is what we got in our box;
The dinosaur activities
The first educational activity that we tried out was making dinosaur eggs. I’d seen these before, but I had never tried them myself. I think I made mine a bit too big as they did take quite a long time to melt, by which time we all had pretty chilly fingers!!! I even ended up cheating and getting some warm water to dip the eggs in so they’d melt more quickly. When we do this again I’ll make them much smaller. I also think this will be a lovely educational activity to do with toddlers in the summer!
What I particularly like about the “Home is where your start is” preschool educational boxes is that you get details of how to prep and full instructions on how to carry out the activity. The instructions don’t just tell you how to make the activity, they also guide you through how to make it into an educational activity. It’s not just about making dinosaur eggs, it’s about helping the kids to explore their world through the eggs.
Other activities included in the book were making salt dough fossils (really must remember to get the finished product out of the airing cupboard and paint them) and making dinosaur handprint pictures. This looked like so much fun I scanned the dinosaur cut out and did one at the same time as Smallest Child. Hers was better!! One for the wall I think.
Each booklet includes four activities, all of which can be repeated in the future. There’s also a makaton sign of the month, recommended reading, some ideas on practical positivity, songs and a game. In case you decide to order the box yourself I won’t spoil the game but it’s hilarious! We all ended up playing it as a family and having such a giggle. Since then Smallest Child has been over a few times, picked up the game card and demanded we all play again. Which we have, many times.
The Halloween Box
We’ve now had our Halloween box and started doing some.od the activities. Once again we’ve been so pleased with everything that’s in the box and how easy it is to turn something as simple as potion making into a learning experience. Can’t wait to try the other activities over the next few days.
This time we actually did something a bit different. We followed the instructions on the box, but then we included some of the Halloween crafts we’d recently made and turned it into a much longer game. In the end I had all three kids playing witches and wizards for over an hour! How’s that for an activity starter!?!
We have also tried out the Autumn box. I can honestly say they’ve all been as good as each other. You can read my review here.
Educational activities for pre-school children
I like to think that I’m quite good at learning through play with Smallest Child (and the boys before her). We do lots of games and crafts, and I try to then tie it in with things she can learn. I’ve had zero training though and just do want I think is right. This educational box made that soooo much easier. It took all the planning out of setting up the activities as there’s literally a step-by-step guide. The box also eliminates all of the thinking about expanding the activity because that is included too. We ended up having an entire dinosaur themed day, but it all centred around the contents of the box. AND you’ve still got the resources themselves to use again such as these mini dinosaur figures that are quite happy with all their other mates in the dinosaur box. One of the suggested books was in the Harry and a bucketful of dinosaurs series. Before bed we read every single one we have in the house (which felt like 1,000 but I think is actually about 7) – it was a lovely way to end our dino-day.
These educational activity boxes are perfect for people who are home-educating, people who want ideas of things to do with the kids and also a really good idea for childminders. Although you’re only given one set of EYFS resources in the box, I think it would be easy enough to adapt them to multiple children. For example, with the giant footprint they can all measure their feet and help to collect different items. The box and activity ideas make it easy for people who want to do EYFS educational activities with the kids, but don’t really know where to start. Everything has been planned by an expert and you have everything ready to go!
A look inside some of the other boxes
We’ve had quote a few of the boxes now and I can quite honestly say they’ve all been great. There’s seasonal themes, where appropriate, but also general interest themed boxes. Here’s what was in some of the other boxes we’ve tried;
Our Home is Where Your Start is educational boxes review
I think these are such a good idea. Although they’re one of the more expensive educational subscription boxes available, I think they are REALLY good value for money. Hubby and I went through the box together, and did most of the activities together with Smallest Child. He was really impressed. They’re not just one-off activities, they are things you will be able to do again and again. As you do more of the activities you’ll also, just naturally, start following some of the principles in the other things that you do with the kids. The book that’s included is excellent quality and we will refer back to it again and again. We’ve got the Halloween box arriving soon and I cannot wait to see what’s in there!
The boxes cost £14.50 each, including delivery. There’s a new box every month, but it’s not an automatic subscription so you aren’t tied into a contract. For more details of this month’s box and to buy your own visit the Home is where you start is website.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook