I’m Acacia, founder of Big World Boxes.
When the pandemic hit last year and schools went partially and fully remote, I knew young children would need meaningful things to do with their hands.
I kept hearing the same thing over and over again from parents, “my kid just walks away from the computer”, or “they just close the laptop and start doing something else.”
(And to be fair, how many of us adults have wished we could do this very same thing during a Zoom meeting!? The screen fatigue is real. )
As a Preschool and Prekindergarten teacher, hearing these things made sense. Healthy cognitive development in early childhood depends on a diversity of sensory experiences. School through a screen is not going to cut it.
Children have a way of letting you know what they need (if even in the most frustrating ways *closes laptop and walks away*).
In the classroom, my students eagerly crowded around the “Sensory Table”, a center dedicated to providing a variety of physical materials to explore and manipulate. These sensory experiences supported healthy cognitive growth and language development.
Think about it this way, children’s brains develop through their senses: hands touching new textures, feeling their body moving in space, fingers manipulating things like yarn and play-dough, etc. You can read more about the research here and here.
In my sisters words, kids need to touch stuff.
Screentime is often the only dependable diversion to keep your child occupied and out of your hair as you do the bazillion other things that life demands of you, but...
The problem is that too much screentime in early childhood has a high opportunity cost: time spent on a screen is time not spent doing other things that are essential to healthy cognitive development.
And yet even when we know what kids ideally need, getting it to them is a whole different story...
Do you have time right now to get on Pinterest, research educational hands-on activities, compile a list, go to the craft store, pick up materials, come home to set it up for their kid, supervise so they don't track paint through the house or end up making art on your wall, and then clean up?
...not really. The task of managing school from home while trying to get their work done is a lot. We keep hearing things like, "I need a vacation." "Please help." "When will this end?"
So, with these things in mind, I got to work creating our first super sensory, hands-on, project-based box experience: The Hello Bird Box.
I applied years of teaching experience to selecting developmentally appropriate activities, finding award winning books, deciding which materials are safe, engaging and high quality, creating steps for the process and how-to guides that your child can read, figuring out which vocabulary to teach in the process, etc.
As an engineer working in San Francisco for the last two years, I became familiar with the skills that empower people forward in their careers. Engineers have to consume a ton of information, analyze it, learn quickly, solve complex problems, and find creative solutions with tools they don't yet know how to use. We kept these things in mind as we created.
Most importantly, we created it to be easy and stress free for you. Everything your child needs is ready to go. Child-friendly image based guides help them do it "all by themselves". Grown-up guides show you how to scale it up and down so that you're meeting them at the right developmental level.
The experience in each box will...
Equip them with maker skills: I know firsthand working as a software engineer that the world of work cares about what you make and build. Each activity imparts a maker skill, like gluing, cutting, painting, sewing, etc. that will empower your child to be more creative day to day.
- Empower creative confidence: We hear from parents that their kids are proud of what they make! They're gaining skills and developing confidence. Ultimately, we want them to be able to create what they imagine! This is the definition of creativity and at the heart of our mission.
- Develop pre-reading skills: Image based instruction booklets ordered by number (an early childhood math standard) that read left to right (another early childhood literacy standard) and use images to show what to do (matching what’s in their hand to a picture develops their sense of space and position, a foundational skill for mathematical literacy down the road).
- Facilitate language development: Not only do the super-sensory variety of materials help their cognitive and language development, “Grown-Up Guides” include vocabulary, target skills, and how to scale up the task up and down.
- Go deep on one topic over a month or two: Most boxes like this have a couple activities, the Hello Bird Box has twelve unique components, over 10 hours total of educational, hands-on fun (We timed it and interviewed parents to confirm this -- it's at least 10 hours.)
It's made for you, made with you in mind. Every parent that's ordered so far has loved it and said it's 100% worth it. Here, you can read the reviews.
When looking at what's in a box and how much it costs, consider what you'd pay babysitter to watch your kid for one hour? How about 10 hours? There's over 10 total hours worth of carefully planned and curated meaningful hands-on fun for your child in a box.
The Hello Bird Box is truly awesome. It also makes an amazing gift. Many of our happy customers are proud aunties and uncles, or grandparents, who are looking for creative ways to resource and support the busy parents in their lives.
If you're not ready to order one today, or want to wait for a different theme, sign up for our updates below and we will send you five free printable activities for your little one, so you can get a taste of the magic.Thanks for stopping by!
Big World Boxes is family owned and operated out of Seattle, Washington.
It was founded by two sisters in 2020 to serve families and children everywhere.
Acacia taught school for six years before going into tech as a Software Engineer in 2018. I left tech to start Big World Boxes because I love working with children and serving families. I build, curate, and create to deliver joyful learning experiences that equip and empower children for life.
As I help develop and curate the box experiences, Bethany is the operational guru that holds everything together. She makes sure your box is packaged and delivered. She has started small businesses from scratch previous this one and brings all kinds of wisdom and experience to help us serve you better. My niece Maisie and her friends in our community help test the box components.
You can read more about our journey here. Our product is born out of our personal story. Hundreds of decisions go into each product and box, each decision is based on the lessons learned and shared in this story.
Our Team: We say together is better. We collaborate with all kinds of creatives (designers, artists, educators, etc.) to bring together a box. Our aim is to keep the experiences varied, enriching, rigorous, developmentally appropriate, meaningful, and fresh. For this reason, any given box may have ten to twenty unique contributors.
We live to give. In addition to being dedicated to delivering a great product to you, we also have families in mind that can't afford our products. In order to stay accessible to every family, we have made a ten for one promise.
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