We are big readers in this house, and we always have been. Smallest Child is currently too small to read but she loves having stories read to her. The Bear Can Read is a reading subscription box for children aged 2 upwards. Each box is tailored to the reading stage of the child. There are boxes for 2/3 year old, 3/4 year old’s, reception, year 1 & year 2. I originally brought the 3-4 year old’s box for Smallest Child (3 & 3 months) but I was also gifted a 2-3 year old’s box to compare the two.
What’s in the cubs box? (2-3 years)
The cubs box that we tried was all about festivals. There was an interactive board book about Chinese New Year. Smallest Child absolutely loved this book. It was really vibrant and a great way to start off learning about different world festivals. There were also craft ideas to help them learn about Christmas, Diwali, Chinese New Year and Hanuka. The boxes included all the resources to do the crafts. There’s also some additional activities in the box, instructions on how to use the resources and a recipe to make some bear biscuits.
Being the very earliest stage box it is mainly about getting children interested in reading rather than starting to actually read (yet). It’s about laying the foundations for early reading. The quality of the materials is really good and the craft ideas are really good.
What’s in the teddy box (3-4 years)
This is the The Bear Can Read box that I had originally ordered for Smallest Child. It is the first box in the program where the child has their own book to read. The box that we tried had a book with a section for adults to read, and then a wordless section for the child to “read” themselves. I’ll be honest, the first time I tried this book out I was worried that I’d made a mistake and ordered too high a level for Smallest Child. I actually should have had more faith in her. The second and third times we read the book she was loving that she could make up her own version of the story! I now feel like I need to get her some more wordless books.
The theme of this The Bear Can Read box was shapes so there was also a lovely book all about triangles and squares. Again, it’s a decent quality book, not just a cheap flimsy one. There are also a couple of phonics cards, spotlight activity cards, and six worksheets. The activities on these worksheets are designed to work with the shapes theme and also build on the basic skills needed to learn to read. Smallest Child really enjoyed doing the activities and she loved getting her stickers whenever she completed an activity.
The rest of the The Bear Can Read box levels
The other three year groups reading box levels match the National Curriculum reading levels. The way the system works is that there’s the expectation that children will move up a reading level every three months. This matches how the National Curriculum works as well. There’s an increasing number of books included plus more phonics cards. You can see all of the different levels on their website here.
Our The Bear Can Read review
I was very impressed with the quality of all the resources. That’s the books, the quality of the activity cards and the quality of the additional craft resources. Smallest Child enjoyed doing all of the activities from both of the boxes. She particularly enjoyed those in the 3-4 year old box. I think that just goes to show the boxes are exactly the right level! This is one of the most expensive subscription boxes that we’ve tried out BUT I think the contents are longer lasting, which balances out the cost. It’s not just about one-off activities, the books are something that you’ll come back to again and again.
Membership costs £19.99 per month. You can get your first box for £10 using the code Welcome10. You can subscribe here.
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