I have always been very interested in the literature-based approach to learning. One of my favourite ways to engage my kids is to read them story books and plan activities related to the stories to enhance their learning. You can read about our literature-based learning activities on Deep Ocean Creatures here, here and here.
Honestly, it is very time-consuming to plan such literature-based activities. You have to spend hours searching and planning for suitable activities related to the story book chosen, not to mention the additional time taken to prepare the materials for each activity.
So, I was thrilled to learn about iNbox, a monthly literature-based activity subscription box (suitable for kids 3-7 years old) filled with activities such as art and crafts, Science, board games, card games, puzzles and more, all based on a story book, which is provided in the box too!
When we received our iNbox for March, which is based on the theme “Wildlife Safari”, our kids were so excited that they kept asking me what was in the box. They almost tore the box open in their excitement.
What I like about iNbox is the neat packaging and detailed instructions for each activity. Much thought has been put into the design and planning of the activity packs. There was even a cute little apron provided for the painting activity, which is really a thoughtful gesture.
As with all our literature-based learning, we began by reading the story. The story books in iNbox is based on the character Flinto, an octopus. Every month, a story book about Flinto’s adventure with his friends is provided in the box. The activities for each month are based on the theme of the month’s story. The story book provided in this month’s iNbox is titled “Flinto’s The Brave Rangers”, which ties in with the theme of “Safari Animals”.
After reading the story, we dived into the first activity – creating our standing Safari Animals miniatures.
Activity 1: My Safari Animals
The kids chose an animal each and started painting. I was impressed that the paint was also provided in the box. As only five basic colours were provided, we ended up learning about colour-mixing, to get the colours we wanted, such as red and yellow make orange, black and white make grey.
Instructions were given for the kids to paint the different patterns on the safari animals, using only their fingers.
After finger-painting for a while, our kids asked for brushes to paint with, and they were at it for a good 30 minutes, happily painting away.
I like to see them totally focused and engaged in meaningful activities. Here are their standing Safari Animals miniatures. Don’t you think they’re lovely? Elly, whose favourite colour is pink, decided to paint her elephant pink and in the process, learnt that red and white make pink. I absolutely do not mind her painting an elephant pink. After all, art is an expression of one’s creativity, isn’t it?
Activity 2: Jumbled in the Jungle
Our two boys were thrilled when they saw that there was a board game provided in this month’s iNbox. They had a great time playing with it.
Playing with board games is great for family bonding. We had wanted to play this board game as a family. However, we realised that this game was planned for only 2 players. The kids were a little disappointed to find only 2 counters in the pack. So, we asked our two boys to play while the rest of us sat and watched. They enjoyed the game, although they wished that the whole family could play together.
We solved the problem by getting our own counters! I think it will be good for the creators of iNbox to make provision for families with more than one child in the planning of their activities.
Activity 3: My Safari Jeep
I did this together with Jay one weekday morning, when Zac was in school and Elly was still asleep. Jay loves creating things out of recycled boxes, so this is an activity that appeals alot to him.
The instructions were given in the activity pack. They were simple enough for our 6-year-old to follow.
Towards the end of making his Safari Jeep, Jay realised that one of the parts was missing from the pack. He was a little disappointed that he could not complete his Safari Jeep. I was glad that his disappointment did not last long, as he soon had an idea to create his own vehicle using the wheels provided in the pack and our own recycled materials.
Edited to add:
Smart Alley has kindly sent us the missing part in the Safari Jeep Activity Pack. When Jay saw that, he immediately went to fix up the jeep and this is how it looks like.
Jay was extremely happy.
Activity 4: Animals Facts
Besides all the craft and fun, there was also a booklet with interesting facts about a few Safari animals.
There are some interesting facts on animals, as well as an empty page for kids to draw the animals, based on the instructions given.
This booklet is great to encourage kids to find out more about the Safari animals. Parents who are more resourceful and adventurous can use this as a tool to take their children’s learning further.
All in all, our kids enjoyed the iNbox activities. From an educator’s point of view, I find iNbox to be different from some of the other activity subscription boxes currently found in the market, as it focuses on various aspects of learning, such as academics, language, creativity and discovery. From a parent’s point of view, I like it that iNbox promotes family bonding, as family members gather to complete the activities together.
iNbox aims to help parents make learning fun for their kids, reduce screen time and increase quality activity time.
Most of all, I think this is a wonderful resource for busy parents, who may not have the time to research, plan and prepare their own learning activities for their kids.
Our kids have requested for more iNbox activities, and we have already made our subscription for the next 3 months!
Smart Alley, the producer of iNbox, is offering a subscription promotion from now til 31 March 2014.
If you are captivated by the idea of iNbox, here’s your chance to win one Wildlife Safari iNbox for your child!
Smart Alley is giving away 100 March issue of “Wildlife Safari Theme” subscription box!
To redeem your iNbox, simply follow these steps:
1. Log-in to http://www.myinbox.sg
2. Click on “I Want My Inbox” button
3. Read the Terms and Conditions.
Register your information and contact.
4. iNbox will be delivered to your door step within 3-5 days!
Disclosure: We were given 1 Wildlife Safari iNbox for the purpose of this review. All opinions and photos are entirely my own.