Edit: The All Things Crafty Subscription Box was a PR sample sent to me for review, in return for my own honest opinion. However, the company are no longer trading.
I’m totally brand new to the Blogging world and I must admit, these last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind ride. I’d spent months toying with the idea of starting a blog, and eventually I thought “Just go for it! You won’t achieve anything by sitting around mulling over it!” So I did! And a few days later I was invited to write my first ever product review! Exciting times for a novice!
My Mission: I was invited by ChiChi-World to review their All Things Crafty Monthly Subscription Box. For just £7.99 a month (including p&p), Chi-Chi World promises to send your child a box once a month, containing at least 7 Arts & Crafts projects aimed specifically at Pre-School & Primary School Key Stage 1 children (basically ages 3-7 years), that will encourage learning through play. My 4 year old daughter Cici (Cici… ChiChi-World… I just realised how confusing this could get!) LOVES arts & crafts- or abs & crabs as she hilariously pronounces it!- So I jumped at the chance to try it out!
First Impressions: Last Thursday, the U.K. Local Government Elections were being held up & down Britain. Cici’s school is usually a designated Polling Station, which meant one thing… DAY OFF SCHOOL!! WOOHOO!! I also had the day off work, so, as it was giving glorious warm weather, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to plan something fun for the both of us to do together… But what???
I spent the whole of the previous morning brainstorming ideas and all I kept coming back to was ‘picnic’. Cue Mr Postman, bringing with him our All Things Crafty Box! Cici was at school (our Postmen & women do the rounds around lunch time), so I had first dibs on the box & the chance to check out the contents before her.
The box fitted perfectly through our letterbox, so there’s no worry about having it sent back to the sorting office 15 miles away if there’s nobody home! The box wasn’t particularly exciting to look at, just a thin, plain white cardboard box addressed to me, and I initially thought “How on earth can this box contain 7 individual Arts & Crafts projects?” I was surprised to find that it did indeed contain 7 projects and all of excellent quality! I decided we’d take the box with us on our picnic the next day – fresh air, sunshine, exercise AND Arts & Crafts… What more could a child and her grown up want?
So the next day, we set off with our picnic and our All Things Crafty Box.
The Product: Cici was itching to open the box & see what was inside. It contained:
- Welcome Sticker
- Envelope containing ‘Important Information’
- 6 colourful striped paper bags containing individual crafts projects
- A colouring in page
- A pack of felt tip pens
- A box of crayons
Welcome Sticker: Stuck to the inside of the box, the cheerful ‘Welcome Sticker’ details the ‘Theme of the Month’, which for May is ‘Sports & Games’. Clear & straight to the point, this colourful sticker instantly makes you want to get stuck in.
Envelope Containing ‘Important Information’: The envelope was handwritten, which appealed to me- it felt personal, like it had been written & created just for us. The information sheet inside was typed, using an easy to read text and an easy to follow layout. The page detailed:
- a list of the 7 projects & the art supplies included
- important health & safety info – age requirement, hazard warnings (choking & possible clothes stainage… YIKES!) & the all important CE stamp which is required on children’s toys to show they have been health & safety approved
- company contact details
Individual Craft Projects: Cici had a choice of 7 projects to complete. 6 projects were packed individually into coloured paper bags & the 7th activity was a colouring in page. Each paper bag was clearly labelled with the project title and level of adult supervision required. I am happy to report that very little adult supervision was required for all 7 projects, although I hovered in the background just incase. Cici had fun choosing her favourite coloured paper bag to open first & having a peek inside.
Each bag contained everything needed to complete each project, including easy to understand instructions. I was worried that we’d need to go on the hunt for pva glue or scissors or other random art supply, but delving into each paper bag, I was pleasantly surprised to find that every tiny detail had already been thoughtfully considered; ChiChi-World are always one step ahead!
For her first activity, Cici decided on the project labelled ‘Design a Tennis Racket Biff Bat’, which simply contained, well, a biff bat!
Now felt tip pens are banned from our house as Cici prefers to colour herself in instead of the paper, so we put those back in the box and opened up the box of crayons. The crayons worked perfectly on the wooden bat and Cici & I discussed the various colours, naming them & choosing our favourite colour. Mine is green & hers is currently red in case you were wondering… Once the bat was beautifully decorated, Cici tested it out and discovered she was actually quite good at it! Mummy? Not so much!
At this point, we decided to pack up and leave. Although it was a beautiful day, it was quite windy; the joys of the famously temperamental British weather! Back at home, Cici decided she wanted to continue with her projects. She chose the ‘Lacing Shoe’. Again, it contained a full set of instructions, a shoe template to colour in & a lace. Cici had fun with this activity but found it a struggle to use the crayons on the glossy card. If you’re a felt pen fan, then I’d recommend using those to colour in instead. Although Cici needed a little help with the lace, she did what she could and gave it her best shot. Excellent practice for the future, and gave her the chance to develop her fine motor skills.
Next up, ‘Scrape Art Winners Badge’. The kit contained a scraper, empty badge case & a black disc, the aim being to scrape away at the black disk in order to make a badge. Cici enjoyed this to begin with, but quickly tired of it when she realised the scraper wasn’t actually a crayon… and that she couldn’t colour in the table with it! She also refused to wear it, not even for photography purposes!
Moving on swiftly, she attempted the ‘Football Mosaic Coaster’, containing a foam circle & some foam stickers. Now Cici is sticker mad, so this project was right up her street! She was quick to work out which stickers went where, and quickly completed her coaster, for which she immediately had to use!
Her next project was ‘Rugby Player Finger Puppets’ & included a team of 6 Rugby Players & a Pom Pom. Again, Cici found the Rugby Players difficult to colour in with her crayons due to the glossy card, but all was not lost, we had a fun time trying to use our fingers to kick the Pom Pom ball across the table to score a goal!
Cici’s final task was the ‘Trophy Fridge Magnet’, the creme de la creme! The kit contained a card shaped trophy, some stickers, a tube of glitter glue & a magnetic strip. She quickly got to work to produce her dream trophy, and I must admit it looked fantastic! Cici is yet to complete the 7th project, the colouring in page, but she’ll get to it soon enough I’m sure!
What We Loved:
- I touched upon it earlier, but the fact that ChiChi-Worlds All Things Crafty Box can fit perfectly through the letterbox is very appealing, no need to sit around at home waiting for it to be delivered!
- The box opens up to bright, cheerful items! We like pretty colours in this house!
- Plenty to do, easy to do, minimal adult supervision required and everything needed is supplied. Enough said really!
- The handwritten envelope – gives it a personal touch.
- I love the educational spin on it, and it gives us plenty to talk & learn about. We got to practise our colours & talk about a variety of sports. Each activity also helps your child to develop his/her fine motor skills.
- The box could be shared easily between siblings, but if you’re feeling extra generous, there are discounts available for more than one box.
- Most of the contents, include the box, can be recycled!
Our Helpful Suggestions:
- The box was pretty boring to look at for something that’s aimed at young children, but appreciating the low monthly cost and the quality of the craft items inside, I’d be willing to overlook this factor. Cici suggested painting a picture on to it would make it look more attractive!
- Not 100% impressed with the card stock supplied- excellent quality & great for felt pens, but not so handy for crayon users.
I’ve purchased a couple of Beauty Subscription Boxes for myself in the past, but it’s just never crossed my mind that there could be ones available for Cici! In my personal opinion, £7.99 for this subscription box is a bargain for such great quality and hours of fun! The subscription can be cancelled at any time, so there’s nothing to tie you into a contract. I wouldn’t think twice about purchasing the box in the future, specifically to use during school holidays and to take with us on family vacations! The box promises ‘learning through play’ and it definitely achieve that in our case!
Disclaimer: The All Things Crafty Subscription Box is a PR sample sent to me for review, however the opinions expressed are 100% my own!