I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of buying my kids toys that just pile up or break. This Christmas, I am giving my kids experience gifts, gifts that will get them to think creatively and challenge them to experience something new and exciting.
I want to share with you four mom-owned small businesses that offer exactly that: experiences. Not only do I love these businesses with their creativity and opportunities for fun learning — but my kids love them, too.
This pirate-themed box is like an escape room for kids. They will solve math puzzles and problem solve to unlock combinations to get a prize. Blimey Box will also email you 90 (yes — you read that right) more escape room experiences that you can set up with your set, ranging in all difficulty levels. My kids absolutely LOVED this box. And I loved that it was a great (and very sneaky) way to get them to do math. They loved the challenge and feeling of accomplishment when they finished.
I’ve never seen a product like this before. Started by an architect couple in Florida, 5 Archi Camp is like a three day architect camp for kids at home. These are actual, to-scale architectural models made from nice wood and other materials. There are great instructional videos that teach kids the step-by-step process. Kids can customize the projects with different colors, designs, and details, making them open-ended and full of creative opportunity. My son loves to build, and I feel like these models have shown him a possible career choice that matches his interest. He loved making his model and is begging for more.
Places, Please is for your kids that love dress-up and imaginative play. The “littles” box is perfect for ages 3-7. The box came with a colorfully illustrated book, lots of props and costumes, and prompts for an impromptu play (or playful fun). There’s even a bag of popcorn for the audience! My little girls love dressing up and playing pretend. They giggled and played all day with the activities in the box. The more grown up Places, Please box is great for 7-14 year olds. I was so impressed with everything inside. We received a small binder full of warm-up exercises and tips on how to put on a good play. We got a director’s book and four actor’s books with a written play. The box also came with highlighters, pens, costumes, and props — everything you need to put on a real play. This was so fun for my family. It would also be great for a play date, group of friends, school group, or family reunion.
I wouldn’t be a great business owner if I didn’t mention my own product, the Winkle Crate. The Winkle is all about independent, hands-on learning for ages 4-11. You know those DIY projects you see on Pinterest or Instagram and you think, “I’d like to do that with my kids” — but then you realize you’d have to do a lot of prep and shopping, and who has that kind of time? The Winkle does all that work for you. Each project is STEM-based and has video instructions, so kids are learning while having fun. The projects are fun, colorful, and creative. If you choose a subscription, we have a Fun-for-One box with four projects a month, and a Two-Can-Do box with two sets of the projects. The Two-Can-Do box is the most popular option for those with families of two or more kids.
I know there are a lot of choices when shopping for the kids in your life. Please consider supporting small businesses in your shopping choices. (Small Business Saturday is coming up on the 28th!) These shop owners are passionate about their products and want to give you the best value possible. And — speaking from personal experience — we all do a little happy dance with every new customer. Because we truly care.
Thanks for your support!