For families, school being out means parents are scrambling to keep their kids busy. That’s why we at Parenting 101 had our kiddos play with five monthly art subscription boxes, and evaluated what our children liked and didn’t like about each.

Why order monthly art subscription boxes?

Photo courtesy of Kiwico_inc via InstagramPhoto courtesy of Kiwico_inc via Instagram
Photo courtesy of Kiwico_inc via Instagram

Anything to keep my child’s hands busy and let me work! We’ve been hearing that a lot from parents, but these monthly art box subscriptions will probably require you to be more hands on with the projects. No worries, we’ve heard that parents are running out of activities to do with their kiddos too (how much Nintendo Switch can we let them play?!).

Art boxes will help, as they come in the mail once you sign up for a subscription, can be cancelled anytime, and are pretty inexpensive for all the use you get out of them. But getting the wrong one might just have your kiddo (toddlers, preschoolers, and grade schoolers) running to mama. Here’s how it went for us, and hopefully, one of them will work for you.

Kiwi Co. monthly art subscription boxes

Price: $16-$30/ month 

Discount: Kiwi Co. is offering 40% off as of this writing.

  • Pros – Kiwi Co. has eight different boxes that spans every age group (0-104-years-old), and each is very hands-on. There are shapes for toddlers in the Panda Crate (ages 0-24 months), costumes in the Koala Create (ages 2-4), and things like creating arcade claws and pin-ball in the Kiwi Crate (ages 5-8). The best feature has to be the Imagine! magazine that comes with it, as it has ideas for inspiring new projects that go beyond the art box.
  • Cons – Beyond the 0-24 month range, all but a couple of boxes are very much educational in nature. Geography, engineering, and science are among their categories. That’s great for parents, but could be problematic for kids looking for more fun, or traditional art driven projects (i. e. drawing). If it’s “art” that you’re looking for, then there are two boxes you should keep in mind: The Doodle Crate for 9-16+, and the Maker Crate for 14 and up.

Conclusion: Kiwi Co. has something for everyone — babies, toddlers, preteens, and teens, and also leans toward the educational side.

Cratejoy We Craft Box monthly art subscription

Price: $25-$30/month

Discount: Cratejoy is offering 40% off your first month, after signing up for a three month subscription

  • Pros – One of the great featues of the We Craft Box is that Cratejoy sends you one project, with double the material. That means it’s great for siblings! In an ideal world they would share, but if peace in the household is what you’re after, this is a great art box. The We Craft Box is also seasonally themed, and makes each project gender neutral. The project is also based on a themed story, enabling children to play with their crafts long after they’ve been constructed.
  • Cons – Cratejoy doesn’t have any boxes to choose from each month, as you simply get what you get. Their boxes are also only meant for kids 3-9-years-old, so toddlers and adolescents won’t find any use for this subscription. It’s also slightly more expensive than other art boxes, but the fact that you get two projects more than makes up for the added cost.

Conclusion: This is a great option for parents with multiple children, whether they’re girls or boys.

Art History Kids The Studio monthly subscription box

Price: $20-$25/month

Discount: It’s $20/month if you pay for a year up-front

  • Pros – Will The Studio make your child the next Michelangelo, Monet, or Picasso? Well, probably not, but at least they’ll get to learn about these art geniuses while they paint. The Studio box was originally designed for home schooled kids, as it gives four lessons and projects (one for each week) in each box. The advantage of this approach is that it was created for the parent that has an appreciation for art, but might not have an artistic skill set, or knowledge of art history. There’s also mobile friendly lesson plans.
  • Cons – If you’re not interested in turning arts and crafts time into lesson time, then you’re really leaving a lot on the table here, so it’s hardly worth it. However, even Art History Kids admits that you could skip the lesson plan, and spend 30 minutes, or an entire day every week learning and creating. Options are limited as well, as there are no choices for boxes you want to receive. It’s also not meant for toddlers, but preschoolers, grade schoolers, and even teens will find a lot of value.

Conclusion: If you love art, and art history, this is a fantastic way to connect with your children on the subject (and teach yourself too if need be).

Sketch Box monthly art subscription

Price: $30 or $40/month

Discount: None

  • Pros – Unlike Kiwi Co. or Art History Kids, Sketch Box is a purely drawing and painting box. Sketch Box is also very much committed to teaching kids to use the tools of the trade, as each box comes with 4-9 quality pieces (i. e. Copic and Krink paint markers, Zig Brush Pens, Caran d’Ache Luminance Colored Pencils). Sketch Box is so committed to quality art supplies, that every sale generates a donation to the Dreaming Zebra Foundation, which is committed to providing underprivileged youths with art supplies.
  • Cons – Sketch Box is strictly meant for the budding artist, and certainly not for toddlers and preschoolers. They also only have two options — regular, and premium. There’s not a whole lot of difference between the two except the premium box gives more, better art supplies. Their supply chain is a bit stretched, as we found they’ve been sold out in months past. But that’s mostly an indication that people love it, and can’t get enough of it.

Conclusion: Sketch Box is very much meant for a pre-teen or teen (or adult) with a keen interest in drawing and painting.

Cratejoy Terra Create monthly art subscription box

Price: $30/month

Discount: None

  • Pros – Terra Create is similar to Art History Kids The Studio boxes, in that they were designed for home schooled lessons in art. Each box contains a bit of a history lesson that coincides with what you’ll create. The big difference however, is that Terra Create leans far more toward the crafting side of art than drawing and painting. Terra Create also boasts that each project is gender neutral, and the company is committed to sustainability. 
  • Cons – Terra Create art boxes are meant for kiddos that are 9 and up, so toddlers and preschoolers will miss out on this one. Their service is also slightly on the expensive side, but only by a few dollars. They also have some supply chain issues, as parents are gobbling these up like cookies. Steps for each project are mapped out verbally and drawn to great effect, but it is complicated, and may require some help parents, as it was originally designed with that in mind.

Conclusion: If you love design and crafting, and the history of each, this is a fantastic option. It’s also a great way to connect with your kids.

Monthly art subscription boxes are without question a fantastic tool for kids to learn and have fun. The only question is, which one is right for your child? We hope we shed some light on what to look for when shopping for art boxes, and wish you well in your search.