The Best Toy Subscription Boxes and Toy Shares

by: Brittany McCabe
What’s the difference between a toy-share subscription and a toy subscription box? Are they worth the money? Which is right for my child? A child development specialist answers all of your questions.

Subscription boxes are all the craze. There is nothing better than finding a box of shiny surprises waiting for you at the door. But what about your kids? Are they worth the money? What’s the difference between a toy share subscription and a toy subscription box? Which ones are good? Well, I am here to break it down for you!

First off, yes! They are totally worth the money for kids. For one, many of the subscription boxes include toys that are priced over the price of the box. That’s a no-brainer! Another reason, you don’t have to do any of the research, planning, prepping, or shopping. You had me at “I don’t have to do.” As a busy mom, the last thing I want is to go down a toy aisle with my kids. Yikes!

More: The Best Toys for Your Child

Not only do subscription boxes save you from the dreaded toy aisle, but many of them come with parent tips, detailed step-by-step activities, online resources, and of course, all the materials you need. Subscription services are a great way to provide quality and engaging projects that you can feel good about. These boxes not only give your child several new stimulating, thought-provoking, and educational projects, toys, materials, games etc. a month, but you are not locked into any contracts and can cancel at any time. Not only will these boxes save you time, but chances are, they will probably save you money.

What’s the difference between a toy-share subscription and a toy subscription box?

Searches for toy share subscriptions are one of the top trends on Pinterest in 2019, with searches up 313 percent. A toy share is different than a toy subscription box in that in order to receive toys each month, you must trade in old toys.

Pros of Toy-Share Subscriptions and Subscription Boxes

  • You can avoid the dreaded toy aisle!
  • Curated activities and toys tailored to your child’s likes and needs
  • Great value that will save you money
  • Save time on researching toys and planning activities
  • Educational and engaging fun that does not involve a screen

As a mom of two and a child development specialist, here are my top 10 toy share and subscription box choices for kids. This list includes choices for both girls and boys and is good for multiple ages ranging from 0-16 years. This list breaks down the details, costs, ages, value of our favorite toy subscription boxes on the market, making it easy to compare and contrast and choose your favorite. You may want to try a few different subscription boxes to find the one that resonates most with your child.

The Best Toy Share Subscription Boxes for Kids

1. Toy Library

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What it is: A toy share service created by parents who wanted to reduce screen time, reduce clutter, and be environmentally sound. Toy library enables children to be creative and imaginative with new toys, while not continue adding to the toy pile. Toy library also gives back by donating toys to underserved children.

Ages: 0-10 years

What you get: Choose from 500 + toys, that have been cleaned & sanitized. You are able to pick 2 toys a month with different monetary value depending on the subscription you chose. Each box that is sent will also come with a free return label to return the toys when you are finished with them. There is no charge for normal wear and tear.

Why it’s worth the money: Your child can work on specific developmental domains that need to strengthen all while playing and having fun with new toys. The various domains include: fine motor, gross motor, play and social, self-care, sensory processing, and speech sounds.

Prices & subscription options: Novice: $19.95/month; Wizard: $29.95/month; Year of Toys: $199.95/year

Shipping: Free

2. The Village

What it is: Toy Village is focused on providing a way for caregivers to trade, share, barrow, and donate toys. The focus is to try and reduce clutter and toy waste while also focusing on play and creativity. You can share your old toys and pick toys that you are interested in borrowing or trading for, as well as donate unwanted toys. Even if you do not have any toys to trade in, you are able to borrow toys. Toys can be kept for 30 days and you are allowed up to 10 trade-ins per year.

Ages: 0-10 years

What you get: Up to five toys, depending on the subscription choice. Toys can be picked from several different categories. All toys are high quality, cleaned and sanitized. All donations are free of charge to ship and you will receive trade in credit.

Why it’s worth the money: Children can be fleeting and change their mind on what toys they are interested in, having a revolving door of a few toys helps to keep interest sparked, will save money while not adding to the toy clutter.

Prices & subscription options: Basic Play Plan: $9.99/month; Premium More Play Plan $19.99/month

Shipping: Depends on location and service

More: 12 Awesome Toys Made in the USA

The Best Toy Subscription Boxes for Kids

1. Amazon STEM Toy Club

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What it is: Amazon is certainly a household name and this powerhouse is quickly gaining popularity for their kids’ subscription boxes! These boxes are curated with high-quality toys that are often priced over the cost of the monthly subscription rate.

Ages: 3-13 years

What you get: Every month you will receive STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) toys focused on various concepts such as, counting, building, and cause and effect for younger children all the way to principals in physics, chemistry, and engineering for older kids. Each toy is engaging and handpicked to spark a love for scientific thinking. The toys shipped are from a variety of different price points as well as different brands.

Why it’s worth the money: First off, it’s rated a 4.2/5 stars on Amazon with over 1,100 reviews. The toys picked in these boxes help to build a love for science and building blocks for a future in robotics, computers, and natural science. The projects and toys help to build cognitive thinking and fine motor skills. You do not have to have any background knowledge in STEM to help supply your child with the best toys to promote thinking outside the box.

Price & subscription options: $19.99 a month

Shipping: Free

2. Brick Loot

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What it is: This company was founded by a nine-year-old who was disappointed by a subscription box he ordered for his ninth birthday. He was inspired to make the best building blocks subscription box to keep kids busy and happy. This is the perfect subscription for kids who love Legos and for kids who love to build and create.

Ages: Ages 6 and up

What you get: A box shipped with a different theme every month, each delivery has four to eight items and they will vary from LEGO minifigures to custom-built LEGO boxes to LEGO accessories and the newest brick items on the market. Many of the items are exclusive and custom made for Brick Loot. Examples of some of their monthly themes have been: Mini City, Arcade, Mystery Defenders, Mad Science Lab, Trains, and Galaxy Fighters.

Why it’s worth the money: If your kid loves bricks and LEGOs, this is a great choice that will consistently change up the themes and allow your child to build new and interesting sets as well as grow their collection.

Price & subscription options: 1 month: $27.28; 3 Month: $25.98; 6 Month: $25.48; 1 Year: $24.88

Shipping: $6 in the USA, $13 in Canada, and $15 for all other countries

3. Bits Box

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What it is: Bits Box was created by two former “Googlers” who were passionate about teaching code to kids. With how embedded computers and technology are in our world, it seems like a great idea to teach these skills to kids when they are young and help provide them with the confidence needed for a tech-heavy future. These boxes are specially designed with fun and engaging coding projects that allows kids to build real apps on the Bits Box website, then it can be used on any real devices with a web browser; phones, computers, tablets. They range in difficulty from easy to advance.

Ages: 6-12-years

What you get: Every month, you will get various projects ranging in difficulty and projects that introduce new computer science concepts. Each new project will have a code to start with and the child will change it to make it their own. These apps are completely workable in real life on real devices. Some example of the coding projects is; simple things from birthday cards, to funny interactive pictures, to simple games.

Why it’s worth the money: Bits Box helps teach computer science to kids in a super fun and hands-on way. It provides kids with a creative outlet through coding, which helps to lay a strong foundation in computer science.

Price & subscription options: subscriptions range from $16.95-$37.95

Shipping: Ranges from $5 USA to $18 out of the country. 

4. Toy Box Monthly

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What it is: The motto of Toy Box Monthly is to promote a spirit of play. When a child plays, they use their imagination, they explore, and they learn. For young children, learning through play is the best way to learn and the most important work of a child.

Ages: 3 & up

What you get: Every month your child will receive a box of four to six toys that have been picked by popularity and uniqueness from well-known brands. Some example of the items included are dolls, action figures, collectibles, and more. Why it’s worth the money: You don’t have to do the shopping. You do not have to think about which toys would be fun to bring home because these boxes are picked by what is trending and popular, so chances are, your kids will love them!

Price & subscription options: $17/month

Shipping: $5 within USA and $15 international

5. Kid Wonder

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What it is: Kid Wonder is a pretend-play or imaginary-play subscription box for young children. This was founded by two moms who know the importance of learning through play. They wanted to promote imaginative play, stimulate curiosity, and have a fun way to take a break from screen time. Some example box themes include Little Chef, Little Dreamers, Mad Scientist, and Wild West.

Ages: 3-6

What you get: Every month you will receive five complete activities curated by a new monthly theme. Included in the activities are various crafts and all materials needed.

Why it’s worth the money: Sometimes it can be difficult to set up pretend play for your child, but it’s so important to help build imagination as well as language skills. These boxes help set up play that will take your child’s imagination to the next level.

Prices & subscription options: Month-to-month: $29.95; 3-Month: $28.95; 6-Month: $27.95; 12-Month: $26.95

Shipping: Free and only ships within USA

6. Kiwi Co.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What it is: Designed by engineers, educators, and even rocket scientists, this subscription box covers all of the various STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) topics. There are several options to choose from ranging in age and projects.

Ages: 0 and up

What you get: Age-appropriate activities and projects with detailed instructions, step-by-step guides, and tips. In addition, many of the subscription boxes come with other resources, such as magazines, books, challenges, videos, or online printables.

Why it’s worth the money: Your child will be given hands-on and engaging projects to work on and help foster a love for creativity and scientific thinking. Not only will your child be stimulated and entertained, but you do not need to research age-appropriate topics; they are already thought about, planned, and delivered.

Prices & subscription options: Boxes range in price, starting at $16.65 and going up to $29.95 with the option three, six, or 12-month plans.

Shipping: Free

7. Girls Can! Crate

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What it is: Providing girls with fearless role models and the confidence that girls can and be whoever they want to be, this company was started by women who wanted more for little girls. Their mission is to show girls they can do anything they set their mind to and to try and close the gender gap and spark more interest in the sciences for girls.

Ages: 5-10 years old

What you get: Inside each crate box you will receive an introduction to five to 10 new female role models and a 20-page activity book that includes games and experiments, along with each role model’s story. The activities each pertain to the role model’s occupation. There are two to three activities ranging from science, engineering, or art. In addition, the box includes a collectible button as well as parenting tips.

Why it’s worth the money: There are so many different role models that are pre-researched and include activities to learn about their fearless occupation. Not only will your child learn about different strong and smart females, but they are also learning about various occupations within important fields. Some examples of females covered in one crate box is Frida Kahlo, Lois Mailou Jones, and Mary Cassatt.

Prices & subscription options: Standard crate box or a mini mailer. Monthly subscriptions are offered, along with options of three, six, or 12-month options. Prices are $25.95.

Shipping: Free

8. Hoot for Kids

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What it is: Hoot for Kids was created by a pediatric occupational therapist. This subscription box is designed to give kids purposeful play to help work on specific developmental domains such as fine motor, gross motor, and sensory processing. Each box is completely customized by a questionnaire the parent fills out about their child. This questionnaire helps to decide the developmental age of the child as well as their interests

Ages: 0-6 years

What you get: In each box, you will get at least three toys from major brands, including Green Toys, Educational Insights, and Learning Resources. You will also get a personalized activity card to help guide the parent in purposeful play and activities that are customized for your child’s chronological and developmental age.

Why it’s worth the money: The hard work is done for you. All you need to do is let them know where your child is developmentally, and they do the rest! New toys and planned out activities related to those toys to help strengthen and improve certain skills.

Prices & subscription options: 1 box for $34.99 or 3 boxes for $98.97 with the option to cancel at any time.

Shipping: US shipping only

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