Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - HOME - Janita Singh Box for Mon­keys is de­liv­ered on the third week of the month; each box is $59.95; de­tails: BoxForMon­ MT DRUITT-ST MARYS STAN­DARD, Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 20, 2016

PAR­ENTS will love this: a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice that de­liv­ers cool craft stuff for you chil­dren each month.

Crafty mum Sarah Donges started Box for Mon­keys last year be­cause she needed to spend qual­ity time with her two chil­dren.

“I’m not a par­ent­ing ex­pert, but I con­nect with my chil­dren by read­ing, cook­ing and do­ing crafts with them, so I thought other peo­ple might get the same re­ward as well,’’ she says. “Ev­ery time I got the paints and craft out, the kids were well be­haved and happy.

“I thought that maybe there was some­thing in this that other par­ents would like to ex­pe­ri­ence too, plus I also want my chil­dren to have skills and hob­bies be­yond watch­ing tele­vi­sion.”

Box for Mon­keys may just be the an­swer for all those fes­tive and school hol­i­day projects.

The sub­scrip­tion ser­vice de­liv­ers a box full of chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing ma­te­rial and in­struc­tions, to ex­plore that month’s theme.

“Ev­ery box is full of fun ac­tiv­i­ties: some­thing to ex­plore, a recipe to cook, a craft ac­tiv­ity to make, ideas to cre­ate, a mu­sic ac­tiv­ity to en­joy, a game to play and a book to read,’’ Donges says.

“Each of our boxes is lov­ingly cre­ated by ed­u­ca­tors and cre­ative par­ents. Ev­ery box has to have a mix of fun, cre­ativ­ity, ed­u­ca­tional el­e­ments and, of course, pro­mote in­ter­ac­tion be­tween par­ents and kids. We test each item with kids. Our boxes are also uni­sex, aimed at three- to six-year-olds and themed ... to make it su­per fun.

“Our in­struc­tions are very easy and all you have to do is want to spend time with your ‘ mon­keys’ and help them with some of the ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Her chil­dren, Jack, 4, and Ted, 2, and a bunch of other chil­dren come up with ideas then test the craft packs.

Donges says that in a fast-paced world dom­i­nated by tech­nol­ogy, craft is a won­der­ful way to con­nect with chil­dren.

“There is al­ways a place for tech­nol­ogy but chil­dren need to learn an al­ter­na­tive to tele­vi­sion and apps,” she says.

“All of the items in our boxes are cre­ative and ed­u­ca­tional. Some of the items the chil­dren can do on their own and oth­ers are aimed at you do­ing them to­gether, like cook­ing or a craft pack.

“When­ever we spend time with the kids do­ing a pro­ject, read­ing a story or just colour­ing in, they love it ... we are try­ing to make par­ent­ing that lit­tle bit eas­ier.”

Box for Mon­keys is a great idea for any­one who wants to be crafty but isn’t, or is sim­ply too busy to or­gan­ise it. No ex­cuses when it gets de­liv­ered to your door.

Box For Mon­keys was cre­ated by Sarah Donges, with help from her chil­dren, Jack (stand­ing) and Ted. Top right: Teach­ing Ted how to make a money box. In­set: Testers Joanna and lit­tle Archie have a go at a gar­den pro­ject pro­vided by Box For Mon­keys.

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