Encourage Play April 2015 Review
Disclosure: This box was received free for review.
Encourage Play is a new subscription box that is designed to help kids develop social skills, so they learn how to better build relationships with peers. Boxes are $20.00/month (plus $5.00 shipping). Each box comes with two ready to go activities for a small play date with two children. There will also be a family activity in the box, which is something that family can do together to building that month's skill.
What's in the box? 2 ready to go activities for a small playdate (2 kids) and a family activity
Encourage Play ships in a plain white box, but it had decorative tape on it.
The theme for this month is “Managing Feelings”. This is a great theme for children. Children have strong emotions and it's often hard for children to control them. This box is all about how children can learn to control their emotions.
Family Activity: This activity is made to explore different coping skills and how your child can manage their feelings. The coping skills are divided into calming, physical, distracting, and processing. Encourage Play gave sheets of ideas on how to deal with different coping skills.
There was a sheet of instructions for the two activities in the box: Zen Garden and Calming Jars.
Everything was wrapped in red tissue paper.
Zen Garden: There were two containers with lids, sand, polished stones and a wooden rake. There were enough supplies for two children. A zen garden is a great way to relax. I used to keep a zen garden on my desk. You can rake the sand, make patterns, and place rocks in patterns. Playing with a zen garden is really relaxing.
This activity was designed for a play date, but I decided to do it with both of my boys. My boys really enjoyed this activity and they actually played with it quietly while I cooked. It is hard for me to keep my kids from wanting to destroy the house, while trying to cook. My oldest son played the longest with the zen garden. I had to watch my 3-year-old a bit closer, to make sure he didn't put the stones in his mouth. Both kids loved the rake and were able to play with the sand, without sand going everywhere.
My 3-year-old is busy kid, but he spent a good deal of time playing with the zen garden.
L loved burying the polished stones and he has played with the zen garden every day since it has arrived.
Calming Jars: For this activity, your child adds glue to the bottom of the jar and then adds water. Shaking the bottle of glitter can be very relaxing.
The glue was a bit hard to squeeze out, both of my kids insisted on doing it themselves.
T was over the moon excited about this activity. He loved the finished project.
Can you see his excitement?
L also enjoyed the project and took it as a science project. He loved explaining to me about how the bubble formed in the jar with the trapped air.
Final Thought: I really enjoyed Encourage Play. I like that the box focuses on a child's emotional development. Both of my children really enjoyed this box. My 5-year-old loved the zen garden and my 3-year-old loved the calming jar. Both of my kids have continued to play with the projects, since they got them. If you want to try Encourage Play, use this link.
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