With Winter quickly approaching, we tend to spend more time inside. Though I love some quiet and cozy time indoors during the slower season, I make sure that we still spend plenty of time in the fresh air as a family. It can be too easy to plop down in front of the TV. And though it is a little more difficult to get out the door with a baby in tow, I know that it is always so beneficial for us to spend time outside every day. I have always tried to raise my kiddo on fresh air, respecting nature, and with a healthy curiosity and imagination as we spend time in the forest. That is why I was SO excited to become a Think Outside Box ambassador! This brand has a mission I can really get behind- To instill a love of the outdoors in children and provide them with knowledge and skills to improve their confidence and appreciation of the natural world.
We have received 5 boxes so far and are about to get our 6th. I wanted to make sure we tried several boxes before writing an honest review. I have been so happy with every box and my son Liam (8 years old) has been SO excited to open them every month! Every box has impressed me. The gear is all high quality and not cheap-o kids toys. These are items he will be using for years. I especially love the waterproof reference cards that come in each box. These are added to his key ring on his pack and are such a fantastic resource for when you are outdoors!
I have been given these boxes for review from Think Outside Boxes. As always, all opinions are my own.
What is Think Outside?
Think Outside is a monthly subscription box for kids that is packed full of outdoor gear and resources. Every month there is a different theme and activities you can do together as a family. There is a Think Outside box for kids ages 7-16+ and now a Think Outside Junior for kids ages 4-7.
How it works
Every program starts off with the Intro Box to build the foundation of the program. This first box got a lot of “oohs and ahhs” from my kiddo when he opened up the new backpack that came in the box.
We are doing the full year subscription. It is by far our favorite subscription box and will be sad when the whole year is done!
Every month there is a new theme with coordinating gear and activities and learning resources. We have received July, August., September, and October boxes so far. I am really looking forward to January because I would like to learn how to make more knots! Liam is really looking forward to February (shelter) and March (fire).
What’s inside each box ?
Each box includes:
- 3 to 5 pieces of quality outdoor gear
- Water-resistant reference cards
- 28+ page educational booklet
- Hands-on activities
- Challenges to do as a family
- Education and skill building
- Monthly themes, such as navigation, shelter building, or star gazing
- National park spotlights
- Global features
- Empathy section
What I like about this subscription box:
We have tried a few different subscription boxes for kids over the years. We use to do tinkering/ STEM type boxes but I found for us personally, most of our projects and activities were done once or twice and then they ended in the trash. They took up a lot of room and my son was pretty bad about losing the small pieces that were necessary for those projects. Maybe now that he is older, we could give them another try. A lot of those boxes also came with a ton of packaging materials and paperwork that we didn’t really use or need. I ended up canceling those subscription boxes because we just weren’t loving them. This box is kept pretty simple with packaging and the booklets that come in each box are actually worth keeping. There are several ideas and activities and resources in them so we add them to our homeschool nature bookshelf as another resource. All the gear that we have received has been good quality. The only thing that did not last was the hand crank flashlight from the Night Box. The clip broke (though the flashlight still works just fine). My son is ROUGH with his toys and gear and I am pretty sure stepped on it, causing the clip to break off. He is bummed it can’t clip on to his pack anymore but again, we can still use it. I was a little nervous that my kiddo would tear the backpack as it is quite thin so it can roll and zip up into itself. We are going on month five and so far so good!
We live in the mountains of Montana and do spend quite a bit of time in the forest. These boxes are educational and quite useful when it comes to wilderness safety and education. We have learned how to make a DIY water filter, different ways to use a dry bag in the wilderness, how to find your way by the night sky, how to treat different big bites and stings, how to treat common ailments, fractures and sprains, and SO much more. Growing up in the forest, I know my boys need to know all these things to stay safe and prepared. The wilderness is wild and can be unforgiving.
I see these Think Outside boxes as an investment for our children. It gives them a reason to head outdoors, it is educational, and teaches real-world skills that they can reference back to for the rest of their lives.
Think Outside even has printable Lesson Plans free on their website for each box! I just found these for the October box and love the discussion questions and vocab list. We homeschool and Fridays is our nature day. We are either with our local nature play group, on a field trip, or spend the day on nature walks or studying something specific outside. These lesson plans are perfect to weave into our homeschool weekly rhythm.
These boxes would make AMAZING gifts ! With Christmas sneaking up on us, I would highly recommend gifting a couple boxes for any kiddo. You can gift
To see an unboxing video of the first box and the Nature Box click HERE.
To watch an unboxing of the August Night Sky Box click HERE.
The September Water Box video can be seen HERE.