Celebrate World Teachers Day with 5 Teacher-Founded Book & Craft Kits

Suddenly we’re in September, which means two things: the school year is here again, and World Teachers Day is fast-approaching.

To celebrate that much-deserved day of recognition on October 5 – and because teachers deserve recognition all year long – the Cratejoy team sat down with five educators-turned-entrepreneurs in our seller community to discuss how their small businesses helped them educate in a new way. To learn more, discover new educational resources for your family, and support small businesses, take a look below!

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Project Home DIY

Christine and Matthew grew Project Home DIY out of their established home decor business, Mason Creations. In the 7 years since founding the business, the husband-and-wife team has designed and created over 10,000 custom home decor products for clients, and now, subscribers can learn to do the same through Project Home DIY’s monthly craft kits. “I've always wanted to teach people how to create projects of their own without the hassle of figuring out the project or gathering all of the supplies on their own,” Christine says. “This is how Project Home DIY started and each month, along with the box, the subscriber receives video and written instructions from me giving them awesome tips and tricks they can apply to any home project they choose to do in the future!”

The educational aspect of Project Home DIY’s business comes naturally to Christine, who worked as a teacher for over 9 years before going into the home decor industry. As a result, she is thorough and thoughtful about what to include in the box. Each and every craft kit comes with all the products and tools you need to complete a stylish and brand-new creative project – “even the hot glue gun and glue sticks in their first box!” Christine says – as well as step-by-step instructions and a video tutorial.

Start your creative journey with Project Home DIY here.

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STEM Book Club

Over the dozen-plus years she’s taught high school, Addy noticed a growing decline in literacy among her students. “When I probe into my students' academic histories, I find that they don't read enough,” she says. This issue seemed to have two causes: first, students didn’t learn to enjoy reading, and second, there was a lack of representation in the books they were reading. It was hard to relate to the stories they read, so that made them less likely to want to.

STEM Book Club is designed to combat that problem by introducing much younger kids – aged 5-10 – to stories with a variety of characters and backgrounds. And, of course, an emphasis on STEM fields! Every month, families will receive a few hardcover books and science activities around a theme; September’s theme is coding.

Upgrade storytime with STEM Book Club here.

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Ceramics in a Box

Maxine, the founder of Ceramics in a Box, is an expert on helping children grow their creativity. How? Well, she has more than a decade’s worth of experience in the classroom and in educational administration. What’s more, she’s the mother to four children. “There is nothing in this world that I love more than bringing joy to the lives of kids and caring for my own,” Maxine says.

It’s this care and enthusiasm that led Maxine to found plaster crafts subscription Ceramics in a Box. Allowing children the freedom of creativity and self-expression, she says, has a powerful effect “on the success and happiness of our youth.” Under this mission, Ceramics in a Box provides families with 3 full-size, well-made pieces of ceramic art each month, as well as paint palettes, brushes, and even a protective apron to keep kids clean while painting.

Her brick-and-mortar business for plaster crafts has encouraged creativity in children for nearly two decades. “Over the past 18 years, our plaster crafts have been bringing joy and happiness to people of all ages,” Maxine says. With Ceramics in a Box, these fun, inspirational plaster crafts can be enjoyed by families across the distance.

Help your child explore their artistic side with Ceramics in a Box here.

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smART Box for Kids

The idea behind smART Box for Kids grew out of founder Elizabeth’s experience as an art teacher. “I used to teach art classes to children with special needs,” Elizabeth tells us. “After having my daughter in January, I wanted to have something educational and artistic for her to do at home.” So the new mom came up with the idea for a monthly book club that includes a related art project in every box. “smART box came to life,” she says, “because I wanted the best for my daughter and I wanted to share that with children everywhere.”

Each of smART’s art projects is curated to match that month’s featured book and “promote self-directed learning,” as well as help children find the right type of art for them. And Christine’s experience informs each and every box that goes out. “I oversee everything, often with a baby in one arm,” she explains. “This is my passion and I’m involved every step of the way.”

Encourage your child’s creativity and literacy with smART Box for Kids here.

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Just Right Reader

Sara, the founder of Just Right Reader, had served as a principal for over 15 years – and a literacy instructor at a teacher’s college, training how to teach reading and writing – before starting her subscription business. That wasn’t what initially inspired Sara to start Just Right Reader, however, but seeing the hard time her daughter had in learning to read. Every box is based around Sara’s “reading expertise of sending kids Just Right books and making reading easy and fun with motivational charts and parent tips.”

Just Right Reader aims to make literacy easier for young readers with personalized reading kits. “We hope to make learning to read easy and fun for parents and kids!” Sara says. “We teach families how to teach their child to read and accelerate reading for kids already reading on grade level… We send kids books at their Just Right reading level, a reading kit, and a guide for families.”

Support your child’s literacy development with Just Right Reader here.