Children need a lot to feel nourished. Luckily, snack boxes and educational subscription boxes are here to help treat kids’ bellies and minds with fun, healthy foods and opportunities for learning!
New subscription boxes WompleMail, eat2explore, and Pickle & Chip are perfect for building bonding experiences from the comforts of home, from creative activities to teach children about other cultures and foodways to experiencing new foods and indie, artisan makers around the country. We sat down with the founders behind these 3 new subscription boxes to learn more about how they’re helping families and parents-to-be nourish their minds and bellies.
Erin and Alejandro, the cofounders of WompleMail, launched this creative, educational subscription box to help teach kids about the wider world. “We started WompleMail because we believe kids can learn an extraordinary amount about life, even though we never know where it may lead, through exposure to different places and cultures,” Alejandro says. “So that's our mission: educate kids and spark a love of their world through storytelling and engaging, curiosity-inspiring activities.”
Originally educators in their own right, Erin and Alejandro had the opportunity in their lives to travel to different countries around the globe and were, Alejandro tells us, “awe-struck by the variety that our world has to offer.” For families that don’t have the resources to travel as broadly, or need to stay home for other reasons, they developed WompleMail: an adventure in a box that helps children travel to a new country from the comforts of home every month!
“WompleMail is a story-based experience of a different place & culture,” Alejandro explains. The box is designed for children aged 6-11. “Every interactive story (adventuring through an Icelandic folktale, joining in the Tapati festival on Easter Island, hunting for hidden treasure on the volcanic island of Ometepe in Nicaragua) focuses on an amazing, off-the-beaten-path place and is interwoven with activities that actually supplement the story.”
What kinds of activities, you wonder? One recent box, on Iceland, followed the cute character of Womple as he got tangled up in a race to stop trolls from invading the country -- and encountered the “hidden people,” or elves, of Icelandic and Faroese folklore. For this box, kids created a “hidden person” out of special craft materials to hide in a bookcase at home.
Each box focuses on a different country and culture (April’s will be Russia) through an exclusive, original children’s book and fun bonus items to support that month’s story, like stickers, maps, and a brand-new craft activity.
Families looking to spend more time together and avoid the usual go-tos will love eat2explore’s cooking and learning kit. Think of it as bonding in a box!
eat2explore’s founder, Rowena, was inspired to start this business from her own personal experiences. “The idea of eat2explore came to me during a family vacation when I discovered during a cooking class that although my kids loved to travel and try different cuisine, they couldn’t even chop an onion!” she laughs.
As someone who had grown up cooking with her family, she cherished those memories and realized that her kids -- and herself -- were missing a huge opportunity for learning and bonding. “I had been doing everything for my kids and now, they were missing a basic life skill -- cooking. It was during that trip when I decided to pursue my true passion -- food, travel, education and kids -- and design cooking kits to recreate that experience, and broaden it, using the unique foodways of various cultures as a bridge into fun learning and great eating for curious kids and adults.”
Rowena’s expertise as a culinary-trained home chef set her up perfectly to design a box like this; she understands deeply how food and culture tie together. For that reason, eat2explore’s boxes do just that: explore different cultures through their local specialties. “I want to make it easy for families to experience a new country in their own kitchen… take a little break from technology for the whole family, get your hands dirty while cooking, and then sit together and enjoy the meal as a family,” Rowena says.
Each box for eat2explore includes 3 recipes to serve a family of four (that’s 12 servings a box!), along with unique grains, spice mixes, and sauces, shopping lists for each recipe, necessary cooking equipment, and fun educational bonus items about that country like pins, stickers, and toy passports. What’s more, they offer vegetarian and gluten-free recipes for families with dietary restrictions. It’s no wonder that this creative, educational subscription box has won awards! “[We] work with educators on the educational materials and handpicked fun collectibles to go with the country theme,” Rowena explains. “The items are sourced from all over the world.”