Subscription boxes for babies and children: Mums create play subscription box to entertain children
For two Worthing mums the first lockdown in 2020 was an eye opener when it came to entertaining children.
“As a first time mum I had just started going to baby groups and meeting other parents when we were forced into lockdown,” said 37-year-old Alex Bunce.
“Suddenly I was at home all the time with my new baby and felt lost as to how to entertain my four month old and what I needed to do to make sure she developed key skills.”
Luckily Alex, who works for this newspaper, was able to turn to her friend Kayleigh, a primary school teacher and former nursery teacher, for ideas.
“I’ve always spent hours trawling through different websites, social media channels and forums to find ideas to entertain children I’ve looked after, and subsequently my own,” Kayleigh, 30, said. “I love encouraging them to try new things and the look on their faces when they learn how to do something differently is priceless. It’s worth all the hours of research.”
It was during a conversation later that year Kayleigh revealed she was toying with the idea of starting her own subscription box.
Fast forward to March 2021 and Alex was trying to find a subscription box for her one year old.
“ I just couldn’t find anything suitable,” the mum of two said. “All the ones I bought were either too complicated for my daughter, too expensive or just a box of toys with no information on what to do with them that just lay there unused.
“I phoned up Kayleigh and said if she still wanted to start up a subscription box business I would be happy to be involved.”
“I jumped at the chance to fulfill my dream and I’m so glad it’s not just me running the business by myself,” added Kayleigh.
The name My Little Play Box came pretty quickly and during the next few months the business evolved, with different ideas on how it would work banded about.
“Initially we were going to base each month on the letter of the alphabet,” explains Alex, “but we were worried it would put people off joining half way through. Another idea was focusing each box on a different nursery rhyme but we felt that was too limiting.”
So far themes have included animals, colour and winter wonderland. January’s theme is Under the Sea. Each month the theme is announced on the website and on social media.
How many different age boxes was another consideration.
“In the end we decided to start with four boxes,” explained Alex. “ We looked at research to see when the big leaps in development take place and from our own experience with our children. However we found that we would have far too many different boxes to source and sell so had to combine some ages.”
Boxes are 0-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months and 24 months plus.
Following market research it was decided that each month the box would include a craft, messy play/sensory activity, a developmental toy and a book, with subscribers able to choose which book out of three options each month.
Each box also comes with a QR code where the activities are explained as well as how that activity benefits the child.
Subscriptions are rolling one month or three month contracts, with the option of buying a one off box. Other gift ideas are also available on the website, such as a fine motors box and a ‘Welcome to the World’ newborn baby box.