A graphic showcasing subscription boxes for kids from Owl Crate Jr., Little Passports, Lovevery, and Girls Can! Crate
Credit: OwlCrate Jr., Little Passports, Lovevery, GIRLS CAN! CRATE
Gift Edit 2023

The Best Subscription and Hands-On Learning Gifts for Kids

updated Aug 11, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

This feature is part of Cubby's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

What’s better than a gift you give once? A gift that keeps on giving! And subscription boxes provide that feeling of tearing into a new gift every single month, making them a great way for long-distance friends and relatives to stay connected with kids that they might not get to see as often as they’d like. With kits for every age, stage, and interest — from cooking to crafting to engineering — there’s a subscription kit out there for every child. Here are a few of our favorite subscriptions and hands-on learning gifts for kids.

Our Top Pick

Our top pick, Kiwi Co. Crates, starts at $23.95 per month. When it comes to subscriptions for kids, Kiwi has it all. There are easy, artistic crafts and complex feats of engineering. With high-quality materials and easy-to-follow instructions, these kits set kids up for success.

The Best Subscription and Hands-On Learning Gifts for Kids

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With contents curated by a pediatric occupational therapist, Sensory TheraPlay boxes are ideal for self-regulation after school or following a big event. They’re perfect for kids with specific sensory needs, but I can’t imagine any kid who wouldn’t love one of these boxes. Kids will have a blast discovering five to six squishy, poppable, fidget-busting gadgets in every box.

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Ideal for budding chefs between the ages of 4 and 14, these monthly boxes include thoroughly tested and easy to follow recipes, and cooking tools to help kids get the job done. Plus, as you receive more boxes, your kids can assemble the recipes into their very own cookbook.how and why behind your kids’ favorite foods.

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Little Passports

The best way to explore the world without the price of airfare, Little Passports World Edition subscription makes geography and cultural studies super fun. The first month, kids get a passport, wall map, and suitcase. They’ll use those as the journey from Australia to Turkey, with monthly boxes that include souvenirs, fun educational activities, and a letter from fictional jetsetting penpals, Sam and Sofia.

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You probably already know about Kiwi Co.’s crates, which are available for a range of ages and interests, but now Kiwi Co. also sells their crates individually, allowing you to cherry-pick based on your kids’ very specific and evolving fascinations. This solar lantern kit does a great job of teaching kids about electronics and solar power as they build their own working wood lanterns.

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Shaped like the best school bus of all time, Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus, this science kit is loaded with experiments and all the tools, from droppers to tweezers, to make the magic happen. Fans of the show ages 8 and up will lock in for hours, testing hypotheses and engineering new creations.

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Learn about France by whipping up a pot of boeuf bourguignon, or explore Ethiopia while trying your hand at doro wat. Arguably the best way to learn about the countries of the world is through their cuisines, and Eat2Explore hones in on that with their monthly boxes. Kits include recipe cards, shelf-stable ingredients like spice blends and sauces, and a cooking tool, plus an explorer guide with neat facts about each country.

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Get to know all about curious, creative, fierce women, and then use that inspiration to complete related activities, from painting to auto mechanics, in these femme-focused crates. This subscription is ideal for kids from elementary school through high school, each crate includes three hands-on activities, a book introducing a pioneering woman, and a cute pin. I especially appreciated the additional child add-on for $9/month because both my 10- and 4-year-old loved these boxes!

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Learning Resources

One side of this hands-on easel is a magnetic whiteboard for computations, doodles, and magnet play, and the other is a felt board for displaying felt shapes for visual/tactile learners. And when you’re done with the easel, it folds up and stows neatly, which is always appreciated.

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Kids love to get their hands dirty, and this gardening kit sets them up to do just that while learning how to care for real plants. The bundle includes everything needed to grow two kinds of plants — green beans and squash — in planters that attach to a window with suction cups (making sure they can't be knocked over). It also comes with tools to grow snap peas in a mini upright planter box. Both items are wonderful ways to introduce kids to gardening, developing skills that will serve them well their whole lives.

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In the first four years of life, a kid’s main job should be to play, and what they choose to play with can make a big difference in their development. Lovevery’s play boxes include developmentally appropriate toys for young kids as they learn about the world around them.

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We learn best by doing, and kids are no exception. This learning tower allows little ones to get right up to the action, whatever it may be, so they can lend a hand and learn through experience. Developed by a mom and Montessori educator, this learning tower is adaptable and safe (and can fit two kids at once) and will empower your kids to explore their world from new heights.

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You can do a lot with a sticker: You can brighten someone’s day, add a personal touch to your stuff, or create a work of art. Four Bears Sticker Club is the subscription box with sticker fanatics in mind. Each month, kids will discover puffy stickers, nature and animal stickers, and others from an endless list of designs they can use to decorate their world.

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was $27.99

This seemingly simple activity teaches kids color recognition, hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, sorting, and problem-solving while encouraging creativity. With 120 wood shapes, there are unlimited possibilities for kids to create their own designs.

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Owl Crate

There is no adventure quite as special as the one you discover in the pages of a great book, and Owl Crate Jr., a subscription service that delivers a new hardcover book every month for kids 8-12. On top of the book, kids will love the activities and extras related to each month’s themes, such as Campfire Stories and Mythical Beasts.

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was $202.00

Designed for learners ages 3-5, Osmo works with kids’ devices to lead them through open-ended play that touches on shapes, colors, numbers, letters, and a variety of other subjects through games that kids want to play over and over again.

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Designed for kids 12 and up, the engineering projects from Creation Crate require a bit of parent involvement for younger kids, but children 8 and up who are interested in making things work will adore these projects, from making a mood lamp to fabricating a functioning alarm clock.

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Uncommon Goods

If your kids have shown interest in crocheting, this is the place for them to get started. Woobles has taken the frustration out and, in its place, created beginner-friendly crochet kits with adorable designs like Pierre the Penguin and Nico the Cat. Designed with older crafters (12 and up) in mind, kids around 8 may need some parent assistance to get their Woobles going.

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Designed for kids 3-6 years old, these activity boxes encourage play-based exploration around a variety of themes. Each box comes with a storybook that you and your child can bring to life through an included project, a game, and snack. With boxes sent out every three months, the pace of this subscription is a bit slower, giving kids more time to dive into their boxes before another one shows up.

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If your kids, like mine, have an insatiable appetite for LEGO, Brick Loot is a brilliant option that delivers a different themed kit including a LEGO minifigure, exclusive custom sets with LEGO bricks, and a few surprises.

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