Stumped for Grandkids’ Gifts? Consider Subscription Boxes
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
It can be difficult to know what grandchildren want to receive, especially if they live far away and you are not able to spend a lot of time with them.
Most include free shipping and will send the boxes directly to your grandchildren. It works like a magazine subscription, only instead of receiving a periodical, the subscription box offers unique goods that aren’t available in most stores.
For one price, the recipient receives a box each month containing a set number of items or the supplies they would need to do or make something, like pot a plant or bake a treat. All you need to do is know the age and basic interest of your grandchild.
Alex Morgia is owner of MonthlyBoxer, a Watertown-based company that packages and ships boxes for subscription box companies. He said that subscription boxes have become popular because “it allows you to spread a gift out; you give them gifts all year to spread the joy.”
While one could certainly shop every month for four to eight small items to give to a grandchild, Morgia explained that subscription box companies buy in bulk so that their items often cost much less than at stores or retailers’ sites.
There is also the element of surprise.
“It’s nice for children to get something in the mail with their name on it,” Morgia said. “It’s special to get something when you’re a kid and you can’t buy stuff for yourself.”
The “unboxing” is also part of the thrill, as subscription boxes often come with custom boxes, internal paper wrapping, and little details like stickers to make it special. (Tip: search for unboxing videos on YouTube to see what a particular box is like.)
Morgia said that most companies offer a one-time box, three-month subscription or year-long subscription.
Here are a few examples:
• Calmbox ($35/month). Stressed teens would enjoy these gifts intended to help them relax and unwind, like scented candles, tea and essential oil diffuser and oil.
• TheraBox ($30.99/month). Spa-loving girls can pamper themselves with this indulgent box that includes skincare items, aromatherapy products and other feel-good delights. Compiled by therapists, the box promotes wellbeing and good vibes.
• HopeBox ($29.99/month). Give the gift of coziness with HopeBox, which delivers books, candles, healthful snacks and bath and body items, all vegan and not tested on animals.
• mintMONGOOSE ($12.99/month). Choose gold, silver or rose gold finishes for the three pieces of fashionable jewelry that arrive each month.
• Nail Shack ($8.75/month). Your granddaughter can glam up her nail routine with Nail Shack’s four sets of nail polish trips, nail file and cuticle pusher. The company offers a children’s option for younger girls.
• LD Accessories Box ($30/every three months). Jewelry, scarves, sunglasses, make-up, and more arrive every three months to keep your granddaughter at the top of fashion. The items can be customized to her preference, too.
• Glamour Jewelry ($14.95/month). Older girls and teens will appreciate the grown-up appeal of the three pieces of jewelry provided in each Glamour Jewelry box.
Arts and Crafts
• The Adults & Crafts Crate ($30/month). If your teen granddaughter is “over” the kiddie foam crafts, the Adults & Crafts Crate takes her skills to a higher level with projects like engraving, wood working and hand-nailed yarn. Each project results in an aesthetic or functional item (no googly eyes or pipe cleaners included!).
• Paletteful Packs ($22.33/month). In addition to the four to five full-size, high quality art products included, recipients also get an artistic goal each month to help teen artists improve techniques or learn new skills.
• We Craft Box ($25/month). Each kid-oriented box offers three or more craft projects each month with crafting tools and instructions included.
• Green Kid Crafts ($19.98/month). Using sustainable materials and STEM-oriented project, this box mashes together science and crafts to equal fun for middle school children. Each box includes supplies and directions for making six art/science projects.
• Stickii Club ($10/month). Select sticker styles of cute, retro, pop or assortment and your grandchild will receive stickers and stationery items. And maybe you’ll start receiving thank-you notes.
• Lovevery ($36, every two months). Tots through age two will engage with these toys meant to promote brain development. A parental guide is included.
• Matter ($29.99/month). Science whiz kids will receive between five to six items each month, including scientific specimens, vials of periodic elements, and crystals.
• Kiwico.com ($19.95/month). Select from a variety of educational interests at each age level to find boxes that offer educational crafts, projects and games.
• Little Passports Box ($13/month). Children aged 3 through 9 can learn about geography and worldwide culture with this global-oriented box’s stickers, booklets, cards and maps.
• House Plant Box ($11.25/month plus shipping). Receive a new plant to nurture each month, including herbs, air plants and more conventional houseplants. The company provides answers to plant questions, too.
• The Plant Club ($23.33/month). This box provides the plants, tools, soil and directions for growing a healthy plant each month.
• Succulents Box ($4.75/month). Growing a succulent garden inside is easy with this subscription. Succulents are easy to grow and perfect for younger children who may forget to water plants.
• My Garden Box ($35.50/month). Everything’s included to grow a bevy of beautiful plants with My Garden Box.
• SnackSack ($21.50/month). If your grandchildren enjoy trying new snacks, SnackSack brings healthful nibbles to their door. The company offers many different choices, such as vegan, gluten-free, organic, non-GMO, and fair trade.
• Universal Yums ($14/month). Let them travel the world with their tastebuds with snacks from around the globe. Each box includes sweet and savory items from a different nation, plus a booklet with information on that country and recipes.
• Jerky Snob ($15/month). Any jerky aficionado will enjoy this box of specialty assortment of jerky treats from a variety of sources. The recipient can try unique jerky types not available in stores.
• KidStir Cooking Kit ($20/month). They can cook up a good time with this culinary kit for kids, which includes children-scale tools, shopping list and simple recipes for ages 5 through 10.
• Marshmallow of the Month Club ($9.75/month). Natural ingredients and accompaniments like graham crackers, chocolate and beverages make this one sweet box for lovers of s’mores. The cute presentation is also very appealing.
• Elevate ($29.99/month). Athletic and health-conscious kids and teens will appreciate the thoughtful choices in the Elevate box as they enjoy post-game refueling on protein bars, nuts, sport beverages and more.
• Fresh Baked Cookie Crate ($20/month). If you’re not available to bake for your grandchildren, this crate has you covered. The box includes all you need to bake a batch of cookies from ingredients—not a mix. Maybe order the kit for yourself so you can virtually bake together.
• GeekGear (£14.99 GBP/month, ships worldwide). Harry Potter fans can indulge their wizarding aspirations with this box that includes both unique and licensed products, from T-shirts to teas.
• My First Reading Club ($16.99/month). Children will receive age-rated books to help them learn the joy of reading with three books to read each month, plus an activity book. Choose from board books, picture books or chapter books.
Want more ideas? Visit www.cratejoy.com or www.amazon.com (type subscription box in the search menu) for other subscription boxes that may interest your grandchildren and others on your gift list.