PARENTS

Monthly Subscription Boxes For Parents

14/08/2014 16:53 | Updated 22 May 2015

From beauty for mums to baby lotions and potions for babies and craft for kids, all kinds of monthly subscription boxes are being launched. But are they any worth a regular chunk of your hard-earned cash?

We test out some of those likely to appeal to families and parents...

Note: all prices include post and packaging.

Toucanbox, from £16.95, Toucanbox.com

Who's it for?

Mums and dads who'd like to get creative with their children but without having to assemble the bits and pieces required and think of the projects in the first place. Aimed at the three to eight age group.

What they say:

"All the instructions and materials you need for a themed exploration into the world of creativity."

What you get:

A large, attractively designed box filled with cute cardboard containers, each of which contains a mini project around that month's theme, eg, birds or safari. There's also a picture book fitting in with the theme.

The details:

The longer you commit to, the lower the cost per month. So sign up for one month and it's £19.95 a time, £18.95 for six months or £16.95 a month for twelve months. Prices include P&P.

Verdict:

Educational, fun and beautifully presented – we reckon most pre-school children's eyes would light up when the boxes arrive each month. That said of course you need to be willing to pay extra for someone else doing the legwork involved in creating the projects.

Nonabox, £25, Nonabox.co.uk

Who's it for?

Pregnant mums-to-be and new parents with babies/ toddlers up to age two.

What they say:

"Nonabox accompanies you through your pregnancy and your baby's first two years."

What you get:

A pretty, ribbon wrapped package containing pampering and practical products selected according to your stage of pregnancy or your baby's age. The box typically contains around ten items from brands such as Aden and Anais, Beaba, MAM and Ella's Kitchen and a mix of toiletries, small baby toys and clothing/ practical items. Contents were clearly worth considerably more in total than the box cost.

The details:

You can choose a one month subscription for £25 or sign up for three months (£70), six months (£130) or twelve months (£200) to reduce the cost per box.

Verdict:

Not sure about the brand name (the company started in Spain and we don't think it translates well to British ears) but overall these are lovely, albeit pricey, boxes brimming with interesting goodies that you wouldn't find easily on high streets.

Project B, £14 per month, Project-b.com

Who's it for?

Pregnant mums from 12 weeks in until the month after their baby's arrival ('month 10').

What they say:

"Helping you through your journey. Each month you'll receive products, from relaxation, to healthy eating, to household, to pampering, plus expert advice to match your month of pregnancy. You can sign-up for any month from 12 weeks [of pregnancy]."

What you get:

Around five items which might be health and beauty products, drinks, healthy snacks or little treats, from big brand names and smaller 'off the beaten track' firms. Examples of companies involved include Weleda, Pregnacare, Palmers, Bambino Mio, Burt's Bees and Green People. Oh and our favourite: Divine Chocolate!

Four expert-written postcards add an informative touch – each month's are specific to your stage of pregnancy and they cover 'your pregnancy this month', 'eating well', 'staying active' and 'shopping ideas'.

The details: £14 per box – you sign up in the month of pregnancy you're in, with boxes arriving the first week of the calendar month.

Verdict: Cheaper than Nonabox, making it a cost-effective way to get a few monthly treats and new products to try out, although given the price there are obviously fewer of them. The postcards are a nice touch and the lower price point makes this a lovely gift for a pregnancy friend or relative!

Sassybloom, from £25 a month, Sassybloom.com

Who's it for?

Focused on new parents and designed as a gift that keeps on coming throughout a baby's first months. Each box's goodies are chosen according to the age/ stage of your baby at the time.

What they say:

"A Sassy Bloom gift keeps the magic of a new baby alive, long after the visitors have left. Our aim is to provide high quality gifts that you may not always find on the high street."

What you get:

Items from the likes of Hipp Organic, Mam, Lansinoh, Baby Einstein and Tomy as well as exclusive products which are new to the UK.

The details:

Sign up for one, three, six, or 12 months, costing from £25 per month.

Verdict:

Although there are practical items, the focus seems to be more on a selection of little gifts, making it a good choice for a new baby 'welcome' present.

Rainy Day Box Co., from £5.99 per month for subscribers or £9.99 for a one off box, Therainydayboxco.co.uk

Who's it for?

Parents of preschoolers or younger primary school age children who are stuck for things to do on a rainy day!

What they say:

"We are all about kids playing and enjoying their box. The box is for age 3-8 years with most activities achievable on their own, but littler ones may need added help from a grown up for some crafts and games."

What you get:

The 'original' box is fairly representative of what you might receive and comes with a cookie baking mix, animal masks craft kit, make your own key chain kit, stickers and a good old snakes and ladders game.

The details:

£6.50 if you subscribe for six months, £5.99 per month for a year or £9.99 for a single box. Subscription boxes are sized to fit through standard letterboxes, cutting down on annoying missed delivery arrangements.

Verdict:

A good mix of activities delivered to your door make this something for little ones to look forward to each month and sensible pricing means it won't stand out too much on your bank statements!

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