M is for Monster is dubbed “Preschool in a Box” and delivers four weeks of activities to those who sign up for a monthly subscription. The four activities we tested included one about flags, the beach, the dentist and watermelon – all fun things for a child, well, except maybe the dentist. These educational activities are designed to allow children to practice math skills, gross and fine motor skills, letter recognition and cognitive development, among other things.
My children loved the coloring activities that accompanied each week, really appreciated the beach ball game (any time we let them throw a ball in the house it is a win in their book!), and enjoyed learning how to properly brush their teeth.
In week one the lesson was about flags. The kids select various flag stickers and count each sticker as they match them to the number on a card. My 3 year-old loved counting all the stickers and doling them out to his little sister. We also talked to them about what country the flag was for, but this generally went over their heads. The passport activity is also a fun way to document special places over a period of time – school, the park, the ice cream store – particularly if you start it at the beginning of a busy travel season when the family is going to be out and about a lot. In our case, it didn’t really work as intended but they still liked having the passport and covering it with stickers.
The beach ball game was fun for our whole family and was the most engaging out of any of the activities. Sitting in a circle we passed the ball back and forth to each other and made it a game. While we passed the ball we said the next letter in the alphabet which made practicing letters fun for my little one. We also played beach ball BINGO which was a fun game that my 3 year-old had not yet learned. It is a pretty simple board which makes learning the game easy for little ones.
The week of the dental activity was fun and timely since we are nearing our first appointment at the dentist. We practiced counting the teeth, coloring on plague with a dry erase marker, and cleaning the marker off with a toothbrush. The kit also provided a book about visiting the dentist which was a nice addition as my children love to read. Further, the kit came with a travel case with all the accessories one needs to clean their teeth. We went over each item with the kids, although this part was less engaging for them.
My oldest child at 3 1/2 got far more from this activity set than my 20 month-old based on the activities included, and even then, some activities struggled to keep my older child’s attention. For example, the fourth week we were supposed to glue watermelon seeds onto a paper watermelon. While he loved the opportunity to use glue he lost interest after a few of the seeds and declared his watermelon finished.
Overall, my kids looked forward to these activities as something new and different from their normal toys and games. And I love activities that turn fun play into a learning opportunity. The kids were interested in participating and seeing what was included in each game. We tried the preschool box and, as advertised on the website, is recommended for ages 4-5. Try the toddler box if your kids are younger like mine.
For more information or to sign up for a subscription visit: http://misformonster.com/.
Instructions were easy to follow: 3
My child(ren) played multiple times: 2
Appealed to both boys and girls: 5
Small pieces were a problem: 3
Would travel well: 4
I would purchase this for my family: 4
I would purchase this as a gift: 4
Overall rating: 4
Meet the Reviewer!
Tracey Schroeder lives in Falls Church, VA, with her husband, 3 1/2 year-old son and 21 month-old daughter. She loves trying new products and learning from others what products work best and are worth a try. Tracey works in digital communications for Burson-Marsteller and serves as an adjunct professor for Johns Hopkins University.