Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Review: Lollibox Happy Family theme

Since Lollibox pioneered the concept of fun in a box, delivered right to one's doorstep, many similar concepts have emerged. Some have gone quiet, but I'm glad to note that Lollibox still remains strong in the game, and keeps coming up with awesome new ideas, such as craft parties and craft party boxes.

Lollibox 1

In addition, they don't seem to be sitting in their laurels when it comes to their signature craft boxes. In fact, they do constantly look at ways to improve it, as can be seen with the Happy Family theme box, where they've updated the cover design of the instruction sheets and also redesigned the 'Enrich' activity sheet. With a more vibrant cover design, the instruction sheets retain their detailed feature. There are accompanying pictures for every step, and I like the inclusion of extension activities, like the possible questions to ask to prompt the kids' thinking and response.

Lollibox 8

The revamped 'Enrich' component is now an activity sheet with three sections of various activities relevant to the theme. For the Happy Family theme, the activities include a maze, drawing a family portrait, and an investigation into whether the family members are right or left-handed. These activities are very different from the previous version, which involved a card of three suggested activities ranging from art, science, fine motor and dramatic play. While the current version is more focused, it would be good that future activities also include science, fine motor and dramatic play suggestions. I believe this will provide more variety to a young mind's learning and discovery.

Lollibox 6

Now for the activities itself. There are usually two in the box, and depending on the child, these activities can take up to 1.5 to 2 hours to complete. We did the cardboard house first, and EV and AA both assisted with the painting - EV painted the house while AA took responsibility of the roof. It was a rather serious affair for the both of them, as well as for this mummy too, as I tried hard to prevent them from painting themselves, and each other.

Lollibox 2

Lollibox 3

They both helped with the paper puppets too, which represented a family of four. AA chopped on them, while EV decided to number them. AA lost interest then, and toddled off to do his own thing. EV persevered, and here she is playing with the cardboard house and paper puppets. She keeps wanting to stuff all the puppets into the 'warmth' of the house.

Lollibox 4

The next activity was rather interesting too. We drew outlines of our hands, which looked so fun to AA that he returned to get his drawn too. While this mummy was cutting out the hands, EV entertained AA by drawing more outlines of his hand. AA tried to help and ended up outlining on his own hand.

Lollibox 5

After sticking the hands to the wooden tree stand, we stuck the apples, each representing a family member. I'd ask EV which family member she remembers, she'd identify him or her, I'd write their salutations down, mostly in Chinese, like 妈妈, 爷爷, or 舅舅, then she would stick them on the hands. And the end of it, what we got is a very pretty family tree, literally!

I must say that the activities are quite well-thought out, and fits the theme well. On one hand, I wish the box that the activities came in was smaller, it seems such a waste to use the big box to house two activities, a badge, an instruction sheet and an activity sheet. However, I can understand the rational of having such a box, just in case some themes' activities are bulkier; it makes sense to have a one-size fits all box to fit the different sized activities of different themes. Though I'm not sure about the purpose of the coloured paper strips. If it is just for embellishment purposes, then I personally don't think it's necessary to include it. For one, kids will end up throwing the strips all over the place in the name of fun, plus they will most probably end up in the waste basket, in my opinion, because that's exactly what happened!

Lollibox 7

Did I mention the badge? Yes I did. I think the badge is awesome as an encouraging 'pat-on-the-back' kind of reward. EV was so proud of herself for completing the activities, that she insisted that I pin on the badge for her immediately after she finished, and wore it throughout that whole day. She was still asking for it for the few days that follow. Just imagine: wouldn't it be awesome to have a series of badges that show achievement and tenacity through such creative activities! I think the kid would be so motivated with high self esteem and confidence!

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Hope your kid has as much fun as EV and AA had.

Disclaimer: We received a Lollibox Happy Family for review purposes. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and images are my own.

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