Kids, as they are, get really excited on seeing new toys and so did my pre-schooler son! I hid the Flintobox from him and used to present one activity at a time from the box to him. This saved me the hassle of arranging and gathering small parts every now and then and getting engaged in one activity at a time, kept my son curious and interested at all times.
For those who are new to the Flintobox concept, Flintobox is an activity box based on a monthly theme for kids aged 2-8 years. All activities come in separate packs with the required material and a small leaflet with details about the activity. This tells the user everything about how to carry out the activity with their child, the skills that get developed by the activity and the parameters on which you can judge your child.
Flintobox House Explorer Review
January 2016 Flintobox was based on the house explorer theme. Through the activities in this box, my son got introduced to the concept of different rooms in the house, which thing is kept in which room and the purpose that each room serves.
The cardboard box contained seven different packets with the activities packed in them which makes handling the small parts of a single activity easier. It is easier to keep track of the items of a particular activity and it also makes the product look neater.
Activities and things inside the box
- House Of Shapes: This activity had a rectangular board with three hollow places in it to place blocks and make the shape of a house. My son’s name for this activity is loof and chinni – roof and chimney (because one of the houses has a chimney on it) is what he means! He loves this activity the most out of the seven activities in the box. For two consecutive mornings my son got up and the first thing he asked for was loof and chinni. This activity gave him an idea about the shapes, colors, sizes of objects. Fine motor skills, coordination skills and cognitive skills get developed by this activity. My son himself started telling me that the biggest house is that of his, the smaller one is his mom’s and the smallest one is his house. The concept of arranging the blocks in the day and night setting is also interesting and not much parental help is required to carry out this activity.
- Explore the home: This activity contained a hard board with rooms of the house printed on it and the child was supposed to place tiles (with similar images printed on them) on to the image on the board. This activity made him learn the names of different rooms of the house and he could understand and learn facts like a room with a bed is the bedroom and the room where Mumma cooks is the kitchen. It was fun to match the tiles with the image on the board and my son insisted on doing it completely by himself without any help from me.
- Rock The Bed: This was a fun assemble-the-parts kind of an activity which required the child to put in place a small rocking bed, place a small pillow on it, make a monkey (read: monkey cut-out) sleep on the pillow and cover him up with a blanket. The child was then supposed to rock the bed and put the monkey to sleep. This activity is the cutest of all (it’s the mom in me speaking) and my son enjoyed it a lot! He was supposed to make the monkey sleep on the rocking bed and rock him to sleep after placing his head on a pillow and covering him up with a blanket. He felt like the monkey was his responsibility and he enjoyed putting him to sleep. He asked me to sing him a lullaby and joined me in singing it and also asked me to give his monkey warm milk.
- Five Little Monkeys: This activity used the same rocking bed from ‘Rock the bed’ activity and called for placing five monkeys (propped up on the bed) and pretend to play with your child five little monkeys rhyme. Coincidentally ‘five little monkeys’ is my son’s favorite rhyme and he loves to sing it any time. On seeing this activity in the box, I was very happy for him and equally happy was he when he started with the activity. He chose to act as the doctor and would recite the full rhyme by laying stress on the doctor’s dialogue. He pretended to be the doctor, and loved to put colorful band-aids (matching the monkeys’ t-shirts) on their heads and did this a good 5-7 times in a day. It was surprising to see him sleep with the rocking bed and all five monkeys on it by his side. He also questioned me a lot looking at the pictures in the book that came along with this activity.
- Locks and Keys: Containing six locks and six keys, some blue and some pink, this activity was all about learning about the locks and keys concept as that’s the most important to keep a house safe. This activity was fun because all kids, irrespective of their age love locks and keys. Blue and pink locks was something he found attractive and it was good to teach him the concept of color coordination, numbers, more blue and less pink locks, opening a lock and locking it again, etc.
- Kitchen fun: This activity was similar to the ‘explore the house’ activity except the fact that it was all about the kitchen and the things in the kitchen. My son loved the picture of the open fridge and the various items kept inside it. He learned to differentiate between the cooker and the kadhai – what’s kept on the gas and what’s supposed to be inside the refrigerator. He enjoyed matching the tiles to the picture on the board and struck a resemblance between many of the objects on the board and in our house’s kitchen.
- Story book: A hard board story book with many object pictures in different rooms, on each page. It was fun to read the story book at bedtime to my son.
He would look at the pictures while sipping on milk from his bottle and enjoyed the story that I narrated to him using the pictures of objects on a given page. The quality of the pages, the size of the book, the illustrations and the whole concept of the book was totally amazing.
- The cleaner brush: This simple brush brought a lot of fun and work to my son! He cleaned almost every object in our room starting from the cupboards to the mirrors. He also persuaded the others in the house to clean using his brush!
- The Schedule Sticker: A van shaped schedule sticker came along with the box indicating which activity to carry out in which week of the month. I immediately pinned it onto the bulletin board in our room and carried out all activities according to the schedule.
- Packaging: The packaging of the box was of a good quality and the best part was that all the activities were packed in separate bags, labelled neatly with a number, name, time required by child and parent, skills developed and price. Separate bags made handling and maintenance much easier.
- Illustrations: The pictures, illustrations, characters designed were very attractive, colorful and kid-friendly.
- Number of activities: There were a lot of activities to choose from. If I give my child just one activity in a day, even then the 1st activity would get repeated on the 10th day. This is great to retain the child’s interest and curiosity.
- Innovation: The activities were all very innovative and creative. They weren’t something one could predict or expect. This comes in as a good surprise for both the parents and the child.
- No preparation required: All you need to pick is a bag of activity out of the seven provided to you. Just settle down with your child and start playing – there’s nothing that you need to arrange before using the Flintobox.
- Great for parents too: The Flintobox gives the parents a chance to spend some quality time with their kids while playing with them, whereas actually they are teaching them great things at play!
- Level of difficulty of activities: Though the activities were innovative, they were easy and simple for a 2.5 year old child like mine. 3 year old children would find it even easier to complete. It would be better if the activities were more challenging or difficult to complete.
- Irrelevant: The rock-the-bed and the 5-little-monkeys activity has directly nothing to do with houses of a room. It seemed to be more of a monkey and bed activity. These could have been replaced by more of room-specific activities like the others in the box.
Flintobox is definitely a must buy activity box with an amazing concept. It’s excellent for all kids aged 2-8 years as it brings for children a lot of fun, excitement, encouragement and learning while playing.