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My completely honest review of Montessori by Mom Toolboxes

Montessori By Mom Review

Awhile back, Montessori By Mom generously sent me one of their Monthly Toolboxes to review.

Montessori By Mom is small business operated by Nathan & Teresa Hadsall. I love their concept of monthly craft and educational toolboxes that encourage kids to do hands-on, creative activities to learn and explore different themes.

Montessori By Mom Review

If you subscribe to their Monthly Toolbox Subscription, each month they’ll send you a box that contains everything necessary for hours and hours of Montessori-inspired activities that follow a theme to engage the imagination. Most Toolboxes also contain authentic, high-quality Montessori materials.

Each Toolbox Contains:

  • Themed curriculum for many activities
  • Online video instruction for activities and basic Montessori principles
  • Online resources (with info and printables)
  • All necessary materials
  • Extension activities with other materials from home
  • An online community of parents and teachers

Montessori By Mom Review

Montessori By Mom Review

All the curriculum and materials are curated by experienced, AMS accredited Montessori teachers. They also provide an online video to explain the how and why of each activity.

You don’t have to be a Montessori expert to provide a high quality Montessori education for your children. As long as you are subscribed, you will also have access to the online community where you can ask questions and interact with other parents.

Montessori By Mom Review

Montessori By Mom Review

They sent us this Art Appreciation Toolbox — which had a Masterpiece Art Collection, a Make Your Own Paint Set, and Montessori Shape Work Book. There were multiple activities you could do with each item: studying the paintings, matching the paintings to the artist, talking about different types of paintings and art, trying to paint the pictures, making your own paint, talking about blending colors to create new colors, talking about paint consistencies, being creative with your own paintings and artwork, talking about different shapes and how they show up in everyday life and in artwork… and the list could go on and on.

Our favorite parts of the kit were making our own paint and trying to match the colors in the artwork and then re-create the pictures they sent. We also enjoyed displaying some of the art on the little easel they sent and changing it out periodically. It’s a great way to encourage kids to notice and appreciate art.

Montessori By Mom Review

Montessori By Mom Review

The Montessori By Mom boxes are designed for kids ages 3-5, however, as you can tell from the pictures, Kaitlynn (8) and Silas (6) really enjoyed them. I thought most of the activities could be for a wide range of ages.

I loved that they sent so many projects and supplies. We were able to spend a long time working on the projects and my kids were very engaged in them. Honestly, I had to get in on the fun, too.

I mean when else have I had the opportunity to make homemade watercolors and then paint with them?

Montessori By Mom Review

Montessori By Mom Review

I was very impressed by the quality of the materials. They weren’t cheap, by any stretch of the imagination. And they definitely sparked a lot of creativity.

However, I would say that this is not the type of box you could just hand off to your child and let them have fun with it. My kids needed some supervision, help, and guidance with the projects.

I also expected there to be more detailed instructions and ideas sent with the box. They did give quite a few activity ideas, but I would have loved for them to have been spelled out in more detail.

I think the biggest drawback for me with the Montessori By Mom Toolboxes is the price. The cheapest option is $50 per month. And while it’s a quality box that you get and it has quite a few activities that you could spend hours doing, that’s still really expensive in my book.

You can get $10 off when you subscribe through this link (referral link) and it does support a wonderful small business, but it’s still a lot of money to invest in a monthly box of activities.

My-Completely-Honest-Review-of-Kiwi-Crate-FB

If you are looking for a monthly activity box that isn’t quite so expensive, you might check out my Completely Honest Review of KiwiCo.

 

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12 Comments

  • Sam says:

    I still have a lot of remaining questions after this review. $50 does seem like an awful lot, but it may be worth it for higher income, busy moms and dads. So what exactly was in the box? Was it just a watercolor set? What did you guys paint? What curriculum was in the box sent to you specifically?

    I’m just hoping you can elaborate, I don’t think I’m seeing the whole picture here. Right now, $50 for a watercolor set seems unreasonable. I’m a busy mom who works outside the home who is probably the target demographic for this kind of stuff. But I can get on amazon and buy a set of water colors, paint brushes and a age appropriate book for $15 bucks straight to my door in 2 days.

    • Here’s the box that they sent us: http://www.montessoribymom.com/store/products/art-appreciation/ You can see everything that was in it there. It was very high-quality stuff and probably things you couldn’t just get straight off of Amazon.

      You made your own paint (which was really, really cool to do!) and then we looked at the pictures and tried to paint them by looking at them. There were also multiple activities with art and paintings to do — matching pictures, studying artwork, talking about shapes, discussing paintings and artists, and more.

      They also offer additional videos and activity ideas on their site, as well as a forum for sharing ideas.

      They have more detailed explanations of the kit they sent us and the activities in it here: http://www.montessoribymom.com/blog/art-appreciation/

      Again, I thought it was really expensive for what you got — even though it was unique and high-quality — and I also didn’t think it was the kind of thing you could just leave your kids be with. You needed to give them help, guidance, and input. In addition, I thought the instructions and activities could have been spelled out in more detail.

  • Lisa says:

    I really enjoy your completely honest reviews!! They’re so much fun to read!

  • Julie C says:

    How many hours do you think one child could spend on this box if they did all the projects sent?

    Did you mention the product cost of your box?

  • Rachel says:

    This is wonderful, I’m so glad you did a review. I worked as an assistant in a Montessori classroom. And I wanted to use some of the methods with my little guy. I looked online it it seems they have the preschool hands-on activities all bundled so it’ll take the hassle of figuring out all I need. Thank you. 🙂

  • Sara says:

    I’m going to check this out for my Mom. She had a serious stroke a few years ago. We’ve found that the Montessori approach is useful for her. I think she would really enjoy the art appreciation box.

  • Jen says:

    My children are quite a bit older than this age range (12 & 14) and were blessed to be able to attend a wonderful Montessori school from K through Grade 6. We cannot say enough positive things about the Montessori approach to child-led learning…this does not translate into ‘the child is in charge and can do whatever they want’; instead it means that they are allowed to follow their interests and engage in purposeful work for a few hours at a time without interruption (of course there are assignments and accountability too). If someone is interested in Montessori at home I would encourage them to find some Montessori math materials and learn how to use them. Our kids were calculating the area of their classroom in 1st grade and completing complicated long division by 3rd – not because they are geniuses (lol) but because the material is fantastic about teaching difficult concepts through hands on materials. After Montessori they love math and their non-Montessori teachers are stunned at how well they understand concepts rather than simply knowing math facts and operational steps.

  • Autumn says:

    We are subscribers to MBM, and while $55 or $50 is quite expensive, I absolutely love the materials, they are very durable, and I love how this takes a unit study and turns it into a hands on experiment for kids. We are on a limited income, so I choose to pause my subscription every other month, therefore making it more affordable, just a thought for those who cannot afford a box every month.

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