Most toy subscription boxes for kids are absolutely awful. In many cases, parents wind up overpaying for bad toys that end up under the couch before the next shipment arrives. The main point of the toy subscription model is anticipation and repetition. The best toy subscription boxes for kids stimulate their imaginations and inspire them to explore the world around them. Fortunately, there are plenty of subscriptions that can accomplish that — some are just toy-adjacent or a bit unexpected.
Each of these subscriptions boxes for kids encourages deeper investment in activity and play than what’s inspired by your average plasticine clutter. Whether you want your kid to pick up some STEM skills or are hoping to feed their emerging love for literature, the idea is to subscribe to excitement. Take that approach and everything tends to work out just fine.
Parents pick a line based on age (or interests) and get a monthly activity box delivered. You can pause or cancel anytime. The brand's speciality are science and art projects, ranging in complexity based on age. One crate has kids use a fishing pole to catch sea creatures, while another gets kids to assemble and decorate a play medical kit.
This best-in-class toy box is a must for every parent. You enter in your child's birth date, subscribe to the kits that match your child's age, and get a box every 2-3 months. The toys are thoughtful and beautiful, and a sample kit includes a two-sided mobile, mittens to promote hand discovery, and a silicone rattle for grasping.
This gorgeous, curated kit is based on your toddler's developmental interests and milestones, and includes shakers, a bath boat, a puzzle, a shapes book, and stacking cups. There are nine sets available, ranging in age from 0-3 months to 5-6 years; the final one includes a crystal growing kit and a musical instrument.
Every month, parents get a package containing a surprise project for for kids to build, with the focus ranging from science to history to animals to geography. Each kit includes everything needed to make the thing in question, as well as a book and detailed instructions to create something like a seashell frame. This is meant for elementary-school kids.
Little Passports delivers luggage-shaped loot boxes designed to inspire children’s interest not only in travel — the Grand Tour aesthetic gives that away — but in the broader world. The Early Explorers Premium subscription, aimed at kids between 3 and 5, is a standout. The subscription comes (don’t say we didn’t warn you) with a wall-sized map, a host of activities, and genuinely educational books. There are also stickers. There are always stickers.
Take it from the recovered magazine editors currently staffing Fatherly, the newsstand industry is in a tailspin. But kids don’t read like adults. Kids sit with books and magazines and images, puzzling over strange words, new ideas, and the visual language of graphic design — something they take years to take for granted. Along with Kazoo, which is also on this list, National Geographic Little Kids is the best print product for the under-7 set. After that, they’ll be stealing your computer.
Ideal for kids ages six to 12, this coding subscription box starts them out by coding from examples and then they progress to inventing their own apps. Who knows? You might have the next iPhone creator on your hands. Kids learn to make everything from greeting cards to video games.
Surprise Ride activity boxes are marketed as STEM toys. For those keeping track, no evidence supports the idea that STEM/STEAM toys provide children with outsize benefits. That said, plenty of evidence — largely anecdotal, some clinical — suggests that fun projects are fun. These kits are designed for children between 5 and 12, but best for those in the 6 to 9 range. Will they need help? A bit, but not much.
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