HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - It's a goal for all parents -- finding ways to entertain children, teach them, maintain adult sanity and even save money.
WHNT News 19 took action and found several options that promise to provide all those things for less than the cost of a DVD of the movie "Frozen" or the coolest Skylanders toy.
Plus, these ideas even mix in the super-cool idea of a child receiving his or her own package in the mail.
We're talking about subscription boxes for children -- of all ages -- and very affordable for what you get. For the child, it's like a little present arriving each month. There are several subscription boxes for kids that provide arts, crafts, games, toys, books and other goodies.
If you find your children get bored with toys quickly, SparkBoxToys allows you to rent toys and then return them for a new box of toys.
The items are for children up to four years old, appropriate for their age. They come clean and sanitized. The cost is $24 for a box shipped free every eight weeks or more often than that for a higher price. Return shipping is free too.
KiwiCrate is a box that comes for as little as $16 a month. It's designed for children ages three to eight. The company puts together two or three projects designed to inspire creativity and pique curiosity. There are even offers for discounts on the boxes too.
If your child loves science and all things hands-on, GreenKidCrafts.com offers earth-friendly activities that emphasize science, technology, engineering and math. The "discovery box" comes with a unique theme and up to four creativity kits and STEM science kits, plus a learning guide full of puzzles, mazes, brain teasers and crafts. The boxes are for children ages three to ten for as little as $18 a month.
Do you want to encourage your child to learn about and see the world? LittlePassports.com brings the world to them in a way that teaches children about geography, history, culture, and language.
You can choose from the World Edition for a child five to 10 years old --- or the USA Edition for children seven to 12 years old. Each box comes letters, stickers, souvenirs, photos, and access to online games and activities for as little as $12 a month.
With each of these boxes, you choose how long you want the subscription to last and you can cancel any time.
Here are two others worth checking out: Pley.com allows you to rent Lego sets. You're given a pass on several pieces, if you lose them. The cost is $15 a month. Also Babbaco.com offers the Babbabox for about $20 per month for children ages three to seven. With each box, children can receive recipes, DIY crafts, and enriching activities.