Building a Library for the Youngest Readers
Subscription boxes for kids have become popular in the past few years, with themes such as healthy snacking, toys or crafting. They are great choices for children, and you can usually customize them based on age, gender and interests.
Highlights, the producer of the highly acclaimed children’s magazine, has entered the subscription box market with their “Let’s Grow” box. The importance of reading to your children, starting at a very early age, has been proven through many studies and is highly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Geared toward children ages 0-2, each monthly “Let’s Grow” box has an age-appropriate theme. The box contains two padded board books and a special toy that relates to the theme/books. Highlights also includes ideas how adults can share the books with your children beyond just reading the text, and incorporate the theme through daily activities and games.
The theme of our box was “Let’s Read,” with the books and parent pamphlet emphasizing the importance of snuggling up and sharing your voice with your young child. “I Have a Book” introduces all the fun things books can cover: ABCs, colors, shapes, rhymes and songs.
“The Sound I Love Best” focuses on listening and taking in one’s environment via sound (birds chirping, rain pouring, etc.) The books are well constructed and withstood my 18- month-old daughter’s attempts at destruction. The illustrations are bright and basic, which appealed to her as she could easily recognize familiar objects. I was very happy to see her sit still for more than 30 seconds and enjoy flipping through the books. The books have one sentence per page and use basic language, making them a great option for beginning readers.
The first monthly shipment also contains a cute collapsible canvas storage tote that is the exact size to store all your new books. The tote was easy to assemble and the neutral colors blend well with any room. My children like their belongings to have defined places, and this tote provides an easily identifiable place to store the books when we are done reading.
We have tried several children subscription services, including this one, and have found several pros and cons with the concept. My children love getting new boxes each month filled with surprises. They are also very convenient for moms who don’t have time to invest in research and shopping. Specifically, the “Let’s Grow” box makes a great gift idea for family and friends looking to send something other than a toy for a birthday or
holiday. It delivers an educational value and offers fresh new additions to the recipient’s book collection, ensuring no repeat titles, as the books are specially made for these Highlights boxes.
On the negative side, the boxes get quite expensive over time. Personally, I prefer to purchase my own selection of books and toys for my children, tailored to their interests at the time. I was also disappointed that the base box price did not include the shipping fees (see pricing below).
The “Let’s Grow” box costs $24.95 plus $3.95 shipping and arrives every four weeks. You can cancel at any time without penalty if the boxes are not to your liking or your child outgrows the age range. They are currently offering a promotion for 50 percent off your first month, which provides a nice opportunity to try out the boxes. If you are looking for something unique to add to your child’s holiday wish list, consider checking out this box!
“Let’s Grow” Highlights Subscription Box
Highlights for Children, Inc.
Available at: www.highlights.com (In the store, listed under Puzzle Book Clubs)
$24.99 per month plus $3.95 shipping
Easy to Read: 4
Quality of Illustrations: 5
Appealed to both boys and girls: 5
Kept my child(ren)’s interest: 4
I would purchase this for my family: No
I would purchase this as a gift: Yes
I found information in this book helpful: Yes
Overall rating: 4
All ratings on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being highest.
Meet the Reviewer!
Christy Petrak is a systems engineer currently taking a leave of absence to raise her two children, Thomas (4.5) and Eliza (1.5). She enjoys spending time with her family, swimming and baking/decorating cupcakes.