Mila & Pheebs create stationary and activity boxes for children. They contain a mixture of stationary, crafts, stickers, and fun items, based around a different theme each month. It’s £10 per month plus £2.99 P&P.
Last month was a lovely Spring box. They’ve kindly sent out another, and this month’s theme is The Perfect Pet Box. As you can see below, April is National Pet Month, which ties in nicely. When Little C saw the theme her immediate response was ‘bunnies!’ because the child is obsessed with rabbits. So it was an immediate hit theme-wise.
While I love anything craft/stationary related, this particular subscription box is aimed at children, and my lovely helper is my six-year-old daughter Little C. She is crazy about stickers and arty creative things, so this is a perfect match for her. Anyhow, on to the box.
It comes in a flat box which fits through the letterbox. It’s pretty sturdy, and because it’s so flat you’d have a job to actively crush it. Also the contents don’t tend to be particularly fragile, so the chances of any kind of damage are minimal.
It’s a plain box but they add nice branded stickers, so you know what you’re getting. Sometimes they put the theme on the outside, but not this time. It doesn’t matter either way, the chances of opening it up to find lovely things are extremely high.
Inside the lid, as you can see, is the theme and list of contents. I usually don’t look at this because I like to be surprised. On the top is something they’ve only started including since last month: a newsletter.
This is a lovely addition to the box. A few jokes, bits of trivia, significant dates, beautifully arranged in a colourful and easy-to-read format. It’s also nice-quality paper. The jokes were especially handy, because they kept Little C distracted and chortling while I took pictures.
So after the newsletter we got to dive in.
Everything is always packed very well, and there are tempting glimpses of things to do.
Stickers. There are always stickers, and they are always nice ones. Once again Little C was immediately drawn to the bunnies, though she likes other animals too.
The boxes always contain at least a couple of craft kits. They are usually simple but effective. We haven’t done the picture frame kit yet (I’m going to have to print out a suitable picture) but Little C got her hands on the Cat Scratch Art one right away. Remember those cards with black coating you scratched off to make a picture with the colours underneath? This is exactly the same, in the shape of a cat. I think the ‘cat scratch’ thing is pretty clever too.
(Excuse the pyjamas, it was the morning of the last day of the holidays.)
Anyway, we stuck the magnet on the back, and it’s now brightening up the microwave.
Another craft kit, this time a little more DIY. I think this is a great idea as it encourages kids to be hands-on with glue and scissors and things.
Another package of stickers, which have a pleasingly 3D feel. Along with these is a pencil with a little cat eraser topper. This is a standard inclusion in the box, a different one every month. They are incredibly useful in our house because Little C is a drawing maniac and we get through lots of pencils. We are also constantly losing erasers, so more are always welcome. Besides, there’s something very pleasing about using a cute pencil.
You can see the pencil again, and a little notebook. For some reason Little C loves these tiny notebooks (the one from last month’s box was filled in about three days). I think it must be something to do with scale for small children. So many things are big to them that having something child- or even doll-sized is very appealing. The pages also have a very faint picture of the cat on one side, so you can either draw over them or decorate them as you choose.
Now we come to my personal favourites.
There is always at least one tiny collectible eraser in each box. We have a cow and a ladybug from previous boxes. I have forbidden the use of these erasers, and they live on a shelf looking adorable. Incidentally, they are Japanese, and totally kawaii. In this box there are two, that adorable little hamster (squeee) and the cat. Love ’em.
Along with the stationary things they also include two blank greetings cards. I especially like the one with the little relief paw prints. Again, this is a great opportunity for kids to let rip with their own creativity. I’m a big believer in making rather than buying cards, and I always have a stash of blank ones for birthdays or whatever.
Finally, the activity pages. There is colouring, a maze, and a wordsearch. Again, a thoughtful addition to the box for a little guided creativity and sneaky educational value.
Even though Little C would have liked a box consisting entirely of bunny-related items, she was very happy with this because she also loves cats and dogs. Let’s face it, they are the most popular pets. Though it may have made her step up her campaign for us to get a dog. We will see.
Anyway, conclusions. I really do like this box very much. It has a terrific combination of things to do and to keep, and I like that you can dip in and out of it without feeling obligated to do a whole lot of things right away. I can imagine it would be a seriously useful thing to take on holiday, along with drawing paper and colouring supplies.
With children you can never have too many pencils or stickers, and you get both in this box! It’s great that kids can flex their creative muscles with the greetings cards, and it also encourages generosity and thoughtfulness. We can always think of someone who would like a nice card. I really like that the items like the pencils and erasers are just so gorgeous, because it’s totally possible to have something functional that is also pretty.
The themes are pleasingly neutral, so would appeal to boys and girls. Having said that, (excuse me while I indulge in some stereotyping here) I would imagine that while ten-year-old girls would probably still enjoy this, boys might have to be slightly younger. But hey, it all depends on the kid; I reckon up to eight or nine this would be totally cool, and my six-year-old adores it.
For £13 a month this is good value. I don’t mean that buying these things individually would be twice the price, but part of the value of boxes like these is that someone else puts the thought into putting together a theme and collecting all of the items in one place. This would make a lovely gift for any child who likes their stationary and creativity; we’ve used and continued to use pretty much every item in every box. Especially the stickers.
Another hit from Mila & Pheebs!