Baking, time travel, natural exploration and crafting fun delivered directly through your letterbox

2020 has been the year of staying in and the toys mini ones receive under the tree this year may have a greater opportunity to be played with this festive season if schools are delayed in returning next term. But many parents will still be searching for suggestions of worthier Christmas gifts than the adbundantly available one-trick-pony plastic lumps in shiny boxes (or at least someting to go alongside them…)

So, as they’re delivered directly to your door mat, a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year, containing a variety of activities designed to keep your mini ones’ hands busy and minds engaged, it’s no wonder that letterbox subscription services are experiencing a surge in range and popularity.

Mini number two would be looking forward to the launch of Lincoln’s The Back Garden Bakery Bakers Club if she knew it’s been ordered for her for Christmas – read more about it at Inspire your mini baker with lots of membership incentives and, if we manage to harness her enthusiasm into making anything that looks vaguely edible, then be sure to check the blog again in the new year to see what she thinks of it.

We’ve already had lots of fun reviewing Mud + Bloom’s nature-inspired activity box here – Educational, fun and easy ways to inspire children to connect with nature. And Jo from A Rose Tinted World is also a fan of this one – “It is so full of really good information and a really good prompt for learning about nature with your child. It is fun whilst being educational,” she writes in her post Mud + Bloom Subscription Box Review which includes some very pretty ice decorations. 

And there are lots of different boxes to choose from too as some more of my fellow bloggers are keen to recommend.

“The Mysteries in Time box is fantastic,” says Jennifer who writes at Mighty Mama Bear. “It’s a brilliant way of making history accessible and interesting for kids. You get a lot inside the box and my kids loved it”. Find their full review of the box aimed at ages 7 to 11 here – History for Kids: Mysteries in Time Subscription Box Review.

Small House Big Trips’s Kelly thinks that The Learning Club (aimed at ages 3 to 5) is “fabulous”. “This box incorporates the full 7 different Early Years Developmental Milestones into fun activities through the use of 7 unique and fun characters,” she writes – find her full review at The Learning Club.

In her Positivity, Self-Care, and Mindfulness Gift Guide, The Less-Refined Mind’s Kate includes the Letterbox Anxiety Mindfulness Craft Kit from The Breathing Buddy. “This letterbox kit is really, truly lovely,” she writes. “I adore the simplicity of the crafts and the way it has all been put together. Because it’s a small business, it’s not overly commercialised in terms of packaging or items – it all feels very authentic, and the concepts – both individually for each craft, and in its entirety as a product – are wonderful.”

If your minis ones are particularly crafty you might want to consider a toucanBox, recommended by both Shel from The Willow Tree and Welsh Mum Christy.

In ToucanBox Review – A Kids Craft Box, Shel epitomises why these subscriptions are proving so popular at the moment: “With the second lockdown leaving us and being in a Tier 3 area, staying at home seems to be on our agenda more than ever.  Therefore, sourcing arts and crafts kits to keep the kids entertained is high on my agenda at the moment!” Aimed at children aged 3 to 8, Shel praises it’s unboxing appeal – complete with secret compartment – found it very engaging and liked that you can choose the crafts for each box. 

And Christy has had a similar experience, writing in Craft Subscription Box ToucanBox Review that “when we were forced inside this year and I wanted to keep my three year old entertained and educated in a similar way to nursery, crafting seemed ideal”. Opting for a bee and a crocodile craft, Christy found it “stress and hassle free” which is definitely a winning statement for any parent.

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“Being a working mum, I don’t have much time to organise kid’s activities” writes Rowena from My Balaning Act. “That’s why a kids subscription box is perfect for my lifestyle! It means that I can still do cooking and crafts with my son but without having to worry about the time it takes to plan and prepare.” In her post Kids Subscription Box UK: Foodini Postal Club she praises it for teaching kids about food and encouraging them to get creative in the kitchen.  “It is perfect for fussy eaters as it will give them a new appreciation of food, allowing them to explore new flavours and seasonal ingredients.”

Will your mini one be unwrapping something to unbox this Christmas? Let us know your favourite subscription boxes in the comments.

Inspire your mini baker with lots of membership incentives

Businesses having to innovate during the pandemic is hardly unheard of but one Lincoln woman seems to have particularly honed the art of adapting to our ever-changing Coronavirus circustances.

Helen’s The Back Garden Bakery was both successfully supplying cakes to local cafes and teaching decorating technique workshops before lockdown struck, taking away the majority of her existing trade.

Bouncing back from such a ruinous outlook, Helen had soon not only launched “Quarantine Cupcakes”, delivering sweet treats directly to customer doorsteps in a socially-distanced manner, but also took her in-person workshops online, beaming her creative tutorials virtually into people’s homes via whichever screen worked for them.

Now the cook is launching her third innovative service just in time to vie for a place on mini ones’ Christmas lists. Not content to settle for our doorsteps and our internet connections, Helen is looking to share her love of baking through our letterboxes too, creating a club that could welome members from across the country as well as locally.

“The Back Garden Bakers Club came about in the midst of COVID, when business was all about adapting to stay afloat,” she explains.

“During lockdown I ran online tutorials for children and had such an amazing response I started to think about how this could grow and become something that wasn’t just about lockdown. In a world where our children have technology thrust in their faces on a daily basis, I wanted a way to use that to lead to a positive, creative experience.”

And so the idea for subscription packs evolved.

“Every month there will be a new recipe card to try and two online tutorials to follow at your leisure,” she says.

“Full access to The Back Garden Bakers Club members-only website jam packed with helpful hints, tips, tutorials and a gallery space for all club members creations will be included along with full access to a private Back Garden Bakers Club Facebook page with weekly competitions to win amazing baking goodies.”

And if eating the results of such inspiration isn’t enough in itself, Helen’s club provides plenty of extra incentives to keep your litle bakers reaching for their rolling pins.

“In month one you also receive a Back Garden Bakers Club logo apron and a Back Garden Bakers Club Challenge Wall Chart – complete both monthly challenges and receive prizes at three months and six months.

“In month two you receive The Back Garden Bakery Cupcake Recipe Book and a fabulous folder to keep all your recipe cards safe.

“And in month three you receive a Back Garden Bakers Club Baking Journal filled with spaces to design your own creations and recipes, to put in pictures of your work, a calendar to keep check of all your birthday and anniversary baking dates and a fab fun sticker sheet.

“And, if that wasn’t enough, from month one you receive a 10% members’ discount card that can be used for Back Garden Bakery Workshops, one-to-ones and any cake orders.

“All through December there are fantastic discounts for three monthly, six monthly or 12 monthly passes – it’s £14.99 per month, for three months paid in advance it’s £40, for six months paid in advance it’s £75 and for 12 months paid in advance it’s £145.”

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For more information please visit The Back Garden Bakery, email Cakeme@backgardenbakery.co.uk or call 07958 045243.