Shopping for babies isn't easy. I know that incrediblecognitive, emotional and motors skills are developed in a child's first years, but how can you tell which rattle will actually help them learn cause and effect or which stacking toy best develops their coordination? That's why I love the concept of Sparkbox Toys. They take the guess work out of choosing the best toys for babies.
Sparkbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers four or more developmentally appropriate toys for your child aged six months to years years. The toys have been hand-selected by a group of experts that specially select toys for your child based on age, gender and learning type. In each box, there will be toys that help your child develop four specific learning categories: physical, emotional, cognitive and linguistic. (See some of the brands they work with here.)
As the third boy in the family, my 15-month-old gets lots of hand-me-downs from his older brothers. He loves to play with his brothers' cars and Legos, but he doesn't always have a ton of options for toys at his level. So his eyes lit up when I opened up our sample Sparkbox to reveal these:
(l. to r. Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube, Reeves and Tolo Rolling Ball Shape Sorter , LeapFrog Hide and
Seek at the Farm book, P'Kolino 6- Ring Puzzle Stacker)
Inside were four toys perfectly suited for his age-level and developmental skills. He's had a blast the last few weeks building and sorting, stacking and singing along. But the nice thing about Sparkbox isn't just that they send you developmentally appropriate toys for your kids. You also get to send them back (Less clutter! Good for the Earth!) and get four more sent (New stimuli! New skills! No visit to the toy aisle!). Plus, as your child gets older, so do the toy selections.
Already have a certain toy or can't stand toys that make noise? You can see the toys set to be sent in the next month's shipment and choose to swap any of them out for another toy. When it's time to return the toys, Sparkbox emails you a pre-paid shipping label. Or if you're not quite done with that round of toys, you can hang on to them for a little while longer - no late fees at Sparkbox!
Worried about the concept of pre-used toys? Sparkbox takes cleanliness seriously. They worked with doctors and teachers to create a 5-step sanitation process that even surpasses EPA and school standards.
Beyond just offering the toy service, their website provides a wealth of information on theimportance of play, the types of play, learning stylesand aprogression of skills for your child's physical, intellectual, linguistic and social/emotional development.
Though each Sparkbox contains more than $120 worth of toys, subscriptions are only $22.95 a month with no additional shipping fees. They do require a minimum 2-month commitment, but after that, you can cancel at any time. A great gift idea for a birthday or the upcoming holidays!
Momtrends was not paid for this post. We did receive a sample for review purposes.