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While snail mail may be a thing of the past, there is still a palpable joy (followed by the adorable puttering of tiny footsteps) that fills a house when a package is delivered. Double that joy when the package is addressed to the kids themselves. Here, the 21 best subscription boxes for kids that will make them laugh, read, learn and play.
Cost: From $38 per month
What you get: The number of items varies depending on the month’s theme, but each teacher-curated box includes a gripping read and hands-on activities, plus a monthly challenge (like sharing an image of your maze design) for the chance to win a prize.
Why we love it: An award winner for the 6- to 11-year-old set, this box is themed around seasonal learning topics. Last April’s package, for instance, was all about Earth Day and included experiments, a DIY terrarium and a book about bugs.
Cost: From $66 per box
What you get: Each box comes with four or five toys, books and activities that are tailored toward developmental milestones that pique your kid’s curiosity and imagination.
Why we love it: The organizers behind this box for kids up to 3 years old work with child development experts to find the most stimulating and age-appropriate items (think building blocks, shape sorters and walk-along wooden toys).
Cost: From $18 per box
What you get: Three or four books each month based on your child’s age and interests, plus a surprise gift (like crayons or a notebook).
Why we love it: This monthly box is personalized with books and gifts that match your child’s age. So a 12-year-old might get paint sets and YA novels, while a 2-year-old might get stuffed animals and a few board books.
Cost: From $17 per month
What you get: Creative materials for two or three activities, a parent’s guide to support learning and a magazine filled with stories and games.
Why we love it: Get your 2- to 4-year-old spotting planes and squirming through the bushes in search of bugs with this monthly box. Each one is organized around a science-y theme like reptiles or rainbows, ideal for your scientist-in-training.
Cost: From $27 per month
What you get: A variety of toys, books and merchandise from your kid’s favorite TV shows, movies and books. Yes, it’s perfect for your tiny geek.
Why we love it: Got a Batman-obsessed kid? Sign him up for this monthly box, which comes with toys and stickers from beloved franchises like The Little Mermaid and Spider-Man. (And yes, Batman.) Designed for ages 3 to 7.
Cost: From $17 a month
What you get: Materials (like yarn and washi tape) for fun DIYs, step-by-step instructions and online video tutorials.
Why we love it: Calling all moms of artists: This monthly arts and crafts box (for ages 9 and up) has everything you need to complete a creative project from start to finish. Previous boxes have included tools to create colorful wax candles and black ink wash painting.
Cost: From $19 per item
What you get: Eight items of clothing based on your child’s preferences, from sizes 2 to 14.
Why we love it: Get picky kids excited to get dressed each day by signing up for this personalized shopping box—with zero membership fees—that sends eight items of clothing tailored to your kid’s age and gender. Let your mini pick their faves and return the rest for free (or save up to 30 percent if they love everything in the box).
Cost: From $25 per kit
What you get: Everything you need for a day of baking, including mixes, decorations (like sprinkles, chocolate chips, gummy bears and more), supplies (molds and cookie cutters) and a recipe card with no more than six easy-to-follow steps.
Why we love it: Co-founded by Sarah Michelle Gellar, this sweet subscription will teach kids all about baking and will result in fresh treats the whole family can enjoy (like unicorn cupcakes and caramel doughnuts). Bonus: The company uses only organic and sustainable ingredients.
Cost: $20 per month
What you get: One educational project per month for your mini Elon Musk.
Why we love it: Getting your kids interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is easy with this genius subscription that sends chemistry kits or computer microprocessors based on your child’s age straight to your door.
Cost: From $13 per month
What you get: Boxes vary depending on the age group but will usually contain a map, an activity and stickers, plus a variety of travel-themed items (think luggage tags or collectible coins).
Why we love it: Take your mini around the world with this travel subscription box filled with activities and games that vary each month to focus on a theme. Previous boxes have been centered around world music, oceans and countries. Kids will especially love toting their new treasures around in their very own suitcase or backpack.
Cost: Varies depending on the item but includes a $20 styling fee that goes toward any purchases.
What you get: Eight to 12 clothing items in sizes 2 to 14 handpicked by a stylist based on an online profile with your kid’s preferences.
Why we love it: You’re probably already familiar with Stitch Fix’s adult subscription box, and this kid version is pretty similar. Each month, hand-selected items are delivered to your door and you have three days to decide what to keep (and pay for) and what to send back. Dragging a grumpy kid around clothing stores is finally a thing of the past.
Cost: From $8 per month
What you get: Depending on the plan, receive seven, ten or 15 all-natural snacks.
Why we love it: Can’t get ’em to eat right on the regular? Try a subscription box of ever-changing healthy snacks (like Gimme seaweed crisps and Once Again almond butter) to make the whole thing more fun. For each box sent, Love with Food donates at least one meal to American families in need.
Cost: $28 per month
What you get: A story and activity book, a science or art activity, and collectible items like stickers or buttons.
Why we love it: Empower young women with this badass box that features an inspirational woman each month (like Frida Kahlo or Bessie Coleman) for girls ages 5 to 10 to read about, then complete a few activities that relate to their lasting impact. Yup, that’s the kind of empowerment that leads to a long-lasting lesson.
Cost: $40 bimonthly
What you get: Every other month, a car-themed box arrives with five different activities and wearables, plus a special magazine.
Why we love it: Car and truck enthusiasts will love this motor club for kids that always includes something to construct or design and is great for, um, revving up those STEM skills (sorry). And don’t forget to download your R&T (road and track) Crew driver’s license online.
Cost: $25 per month
What you get: Four to eight Lego items per month with a retail value of at least $45.
Why we love it: Turn your kid into a master builder with this fun-filled box packed with bricks, accessories, mini figures and Lego-compatible products. Adorable fact? This subscription box was started by a mega fan when he was just 9 years old.
Cost: From $17 per month
What you get: Each box comes with coding projects for kids to choose from, ranging from easy to more advanced.
Why we love it: Designed for 6- to 12-year-olds, this computer science box lets them build a new app every month that runs on any computer, tablet or phone with a web browser. (But don’t worry, grown-ups don’t need to know anything about coding to help out.)
Cost: From $18 per month
What you get: Choose from one, five or ten experiments per month.
Why we love it: Let Ellen DeGeneres’s go-to scientist Steve Spangler start your 5- to 12-year-old kid’s future STEM-based career with exciting new experiments each month. Ever wondered why a doorknob might shock you? Or how to make slime? Put on your goggles and get ready to find out.
Cost: From $37 per month
What you get: Five to seven surprise sensory toys and items per month.
Why we love it: Boxes are curated by a pediatric occupational therapist for kids with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, neurological impairments and emotional disturbances. Previous toys have included putty, light-up toys, drawing utensils, aromatherapy dough and fidget spinners. It’s the easiest way to engage your child in fun sensory play while promoting their development.
Cost: $15 per month
What you get: Two pairs of socks plus a mystery prize.
Why we love it: It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries: Where do all the socks go? Instead of hunting behind the dryer every Sunday, enlist Sock Panda to send kids ages 3 to 8 (there’s also a box for tweens) two new pairs a month. For every pair you receive, the company donates one to a kid in need.
Cost: From $36 per month
What you get: A selection of toys, books and activities every two to three months, made from sustainably sourced wood or 100 percent organic cotton.
Why we love it: This is another great selection of toys created by child development experts that are specifically designed for your child’s particular learning stage. Designed for newborns up to 24 months, previous toys have included a magic tissue box for a 5-month-old or a felt ball set and treasure basket for a 9-month-old.
Cost: From $25 per month
What you get: Two or three children’s books featuring characters of color, plus fun activities to go with the stories.
Why we love it: It can be hard to find diversity in children’s books, but this fantastic box makes sure that kids can see themselves represented in literature. Each box is curated by age and includes learning tools and family fun to accompany each story.
Original reporting by Katie Maguire
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