Friday, 5 August 2016

Brain Boost Box - Review

If you are a regular reader you will know that I am a big fan of subscription boxes so i was thrilled to be offered a Brainboost box to review. I chose the School box for 9-12 years old for my daughter Star who is ten. Other options are 2-4 years and 5-8 years boxes. If I am honest I think that maybe I was sent the 5-8 years box by mistake. The activities did seem more aimed at that age and definitely the book that was provided.

As much as I love Judith Kerr and Mog I do think this book is more for my 5 year old rather than my 10 year old. In fact my Little Man picked it up straight away and began reading.

The box arrived addressed to Star which she was thrilled about, children really do love getting post addressed to them. 

Inside the box was six activities each one in a zip lock bag. This idea is brilliant, it keeps everything together for each activity. 

Each bag has a details instruction card. It also tells you about which skills are developed. For this project, Elephant Sewing, you get all the materials needed to sew and stuff a cute elephant. The skills are;
  • Early investigative skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Develops creativity and communication
It gives precise details of how to make the elephant and also makes some suggestion as to how you can increase the child's learning. For example, researching elephants and where they live, how much they way, how tall they are and so on. It's definitely educational.

Also in the box was a basket to weave from a template and ratten, some wooden letters with instructions for several games to play, instructions and materials to make a straw rocket, a bag of beads with thread and a game to play outdoors with chalk and counters.

The beads where very popular with all my children and they all had a go at threading them.

Here is the Little Man deep in concentration.

As the card had suggested I instructed him to thread to beads in colour order. This was his finished result.

I think he did really well and it kept him occupied for ages which is pretty impressive for a hyperactive five year old. 

The little man also really enjoyed the rocket activity. He spent ages designing his rocket, then he played for ages blowing it off the end of a straw.

Brainboost box was the invention of Dr Maryhan Baker, her aim was to create a way that parents could interact with their children in a fun and educational way. The activities in the boxes focus on five core skills, creativity, communication, emotional, physical and cognitive. 

In each box you receive five activities and a book. Each activity is in it's own ziplock bag and has a detailed instruction card with modification ideas to increase the educational value of each one. 

Each box is £20 with free P&P for UK customers. You receive one box per month and can cancel at any time. You can also choose to pay 3 monthly or 6 monthly for a discount on the price. You can also add extra materials for siblings which I think is a nice idea as a lot of us mums have more than one child who wants to join in .

I found the activities engaging and fun and my children enjoyed doing them. I do believe that the activities in the box were for the 5-8 yr age group rather than the  9-12 which is what I asked for. I believe this was a genuine mistake and as it was sent free of charge (and I have two children in the 5-8 yr bracket) I would not complain.

My overall opinion is that the box was packaged well, the box was sturdy and it was easy to keep everything together inside it despite it being through the mailing service. I love the idea of the zip lock bags to keep all the activity pieces together. The activities where entertaining, educational and fun, I actually managed to get my children to give up screen time to try them out. You definitely get more than you would with a letterbox children's activity box and this is reflected in the price. If you found most of the activity bags individually in a shop you'd probably expect to pay at least £5 each and you also get a book, so it's worth the £20 you pay for each box. The only activity I was disappointed with was the wooden letters. They were good quality and very colourful but  there was only nine of them and although we could play most of the games we couldn't make many words from them. I think you need at least 20 letters if not a complete alphabet. We still had fun with them though.

Here is the reply I received from the founder of Brainboost after my post was published.
"Hi Raisie, it's Maryhan, the founder of Brainboost. We are so sorry, we did post out the wrong box! We sent you the Early School box, which is for 5-8 year olds. Thank you for your honest review, we really do appreciate it as it helps us make our boxes even better. Thank you also to all your lovely followers and their comments too. 

We are in fact currently looking into different options to make our subscription more accessible such as boxes with fewer activities for less than £20 and offering a bi-monthly option. We would really appreciate some frank and honest feedback from anyone who might ordinarily be interested in this type of subscription. So please do get in touch and we can email a questionnaire across and then follow it up with a telephone call, if you are willing to speak to me directly.  

With very best wishes Maryhan"

Disclosure: I was sent a Brainboost Box for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I've also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I've loved. If I don't love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It's always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I'll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.
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