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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.