9 Toy Subscription Boxes We Recommend for Kids Based on Their Age and Interests

Whether you have a budding artist or a STEM enthusiast, these toy subscription boxes will be sure to delight.

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Science project with mom

AleksandarNakic / Getty Images

There aren't a lot of shortcuts in parenting, but when it comes to playtime, there’s one hack that can help keep things simple: using a toy subscription service. Toy subscription boxes take the guesswork out of keeping your playroom stocked with toys, games, and activities that are age-appropriate, engaging, and (often) attractive. “Play is essential for a child’s growth and development,” says Tammy Clower, ASTRA Certified Play Expert. “Quality toys enhance that play.” 

The best toy subscription boxes are those that include items that appeal to kids in the advertised age range, are high-quality and durable, and feel like a good value to parents and caregivers. Bonus points if they’ve been curated by a child development expert. We researched more than 20 toy subscription companies, and tested several subscriptions ourselves, considering factors such as price, design, delivery cadence, and age range. Read on to discover which toy subscription box is the perfect fit for your family.

01 of 09

For Babies and Toddlers: Lovevery

Lovevery logo


Key Specs

  • Price: $80-$120 per kit
  • Delivery Cadence: A new kit is delivered every two to three months, based on your child's age
  • Plans Available: Kits available for newborns to 4-year-olds 

Pros & Cons

  • High-quality, durable toys

  • Curated by child development experts

  • Toys are attractive and don’t flash, beep, or sing

  • More expensive than some toy subscription boxes

  • Cannot customize boxes

  • Toys are not particularly novel or unique

Why We Chose It

If you’re starting fresh and planning to stock your playroom over time as your baby grows, Lovevery is the kit for you. Lovevery kits include everything you’ll need to stock your toy shelf in real time as your baby grows through toddlerhood and into young childhood. That means high-quality toys that are as attractive as they are durable, and that are designed to engage your child at each developmental stage. The kits include enough items that you truly won’t have to buy any other toys to give your baby or toddler a complete playroom. 

Lovevery kits ship every two months through the first year of life and every three months after that. Each kit contains around eight toys that your baby will love at the stage they're at and that are of high enough quality that you’ll be able to pass them down to any future siblings. While many toy subscription boxes boast that their toys are developmentally appropriate, Lovevery kits are curated by child development experts. The interest that even young babies and toddlers show in these toys speaks to the expertise that went into picking them. One of our testers noticed that with several toys her son played with. "he adored the Number Sense Nature Counters from the Problem Solver Play Kit, which he called a 'number game,' she noted. "He insisted we bring it with us on our trips to see family so he could work on his counting skills." 

Lovevery kits do have a higher price tag than some other toy subscription boxes, and they arrive every couple of months versus every month like many other subscriptions. Kits that come every other month cost $80 and kits that come every three months cost $120, making the monthly cost around $40 either way. You can also gift Lovevery boxes starting at $80 per kit.

While the toys in these kits truly are engaging and very high quality, parents on a tighter budget can buy toys piecemeal in the Lovevery shop without investing in a subscription.

02 of 09

For Ages 4-7: KiwiCo

KiwiCo logo


Key Specs

  • Price: $24-$44 per crate 
  • Delivery Cadence: Monthly or bi-monthly  
  • Plans Available: Lines for kids 0-16 plus a variety of special interests 

Pros & Cons

  • Budget-friendly

  • Themed options

  • Include a mix of toys and crafts

  • Kits require parental support 

  • Projects are hand-made and some lack durability

  • Cannot customize boxes for younger kids

Why We Chose It  

KiwiCo is a popular toy subscription service that offers boxes or “crates” full of hands-on activities and toys that will keep kids between four and seven busy and happy as they explore new themes with art, science, and craft projects. It also has options for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, older kids, and teenagers. While all KiwiCo boxes are interesting and offer quality products, their boxes for kids aged four to seven stand out from the crowd. 

As kids grow out of toddlerhood and into more dexterity and a desire for more challenging projects and multi-use toys, KiwiCo steps up to offer just what they need. Each box contains STEAM-based projects, an instruction booklet, and a magazine that shares information about topics that kids in this age range are interested in. 

The projects included in the KiwiCo crates are unique because they are designed to be used as toys after completion, rather than simply stuck on a shelf or hung on the fridge. So, not only do kids have fun building and creating, they end up with a new toy, like an arcade claw machine or a special kite, to play with and enjoy until their next box arrives. (Or until a sibling accidentally steps on it; ask me how I know). One of our testers got the arcade claw machine in her box, and her sons managed to do a lot of the setup on their own thanks to the detailed included guide. "They certainly didn't need my help once it was time to play," she said. "They both had a blast taking turns trying to win prizes from the claw machine. As of now, it hasn't broken or been destroyed and continues to provide entertainment."

KiwiCo boxes for kids in this age range are around $24 per month, though you can expect a discount when you prepay for several months at a time. Shipping is free across the U.S. Since KiwiCo also offers boxes for older kids, it’s simple to change your subscription to a box that fits your child's interests as they age, making your life just a little bit easier as your kid grows.

03 of 09

For STEM Toys: Mel Science

Mel Science Chemistry Kit

Mel Science Chemistry Kit

Key Specs

  • Price: $30 per kit
  • Delivery Cadence: Monthly
  • Plans Available: Kits for kids 5-16 plus a variety of special interests 

Pros & Cons

  • Offers boxes for specific science-based interests

  • Budget-friendly

  • Includes everything you need to do the project

  • Younger kids may need support to complete projects

  • No option for a less-than-monthly delivery cadence

  • Cannot purchase individual special-interest boxes

Why We Chose It

If you have a future scientist in your family, Mel Science kits feature everything you need to ensure they’re set up with all the science-based learning and fun they want. Mel Science offers kits for people from ages 5 to 99 that include materials and instructions for science experiments, crafts, and building projects.

Kits for younger kids are labeled as STEM kits, while those for older kids have more specific focuses such as medicine, space, physics, and chemistry. The STEM kits expose kids to various science, technology, math, and engineering concepts through developmentally appropriate projects and experiments that are as educational as they are entertaining. STEM kits start at $30 and are delivered monthly, though you can save a little bit of money when you prepay for several boxes at once. 

Subject-specific boxes vary in cost and are filled with items and activities that help kids dig into more specialized interests. For example, the medicine-focused boxes include a dentistry-focused box, a surgery box, and a therapy box. You can browse the special subject boxes online and see what activities and items are included. While you may find some of these more exciting than others, you cannot buy them individually; you must subscribe to the subject. 

Overall, Mel Science kits are an excellent option for kids with a special interest in STEM or parents who are STEM enthusiasts and want to try out new experiments and projects alongside their kids. 

04 of 09

For Budget-Friendly: Pipsticks

Pipsticks Kid’s Club

Pipsticks Kid’s Club

Key Specs

  • Price: $12-$50 per month
  • Delivery Cadence: Monthly
  • Plans Available: Kids Sticker Club, Pro Sticker Club, and Stationery Club

Pros & Cons

  • Offers a low-cost subscription option 

  • Includes interesting novelty stickers

  • Options for kids and teens/adults

  • Not suitable for babies or young toddlers

  • Kids’ enthusiasm for stickers may wane over time

  • Access to a Facebook group for sticker lovers may not be desired by parents

Why We Chose It 

Getting mail is exciting, and getting a Pipsticks shipment makes any day a great day for sticker-loving kids. Pipsticks is a sticker and stationery subscription that offers one of the lowest-cost monthly subscription boxes on the market: as low as $12 per month. These $12 petite packs include seven sheets of stickers, a holographic sticker pouch, a colorable postcard, an activity booklet, and access to a VIP Facebook group (which parents may or may not want their child to have).

Those who are open to spending a little bit more can choose the classic pack, which includes everything in the petite pack plus an additional eight sheets of stickers for $18 per month. The sticker sheets included in both the classic and petite packs go beyond your typical gold star; your kid can expect novelty options like scratch-and-sniff and puffy stickers. 

The Pipsticks website is easy to navigate and moving from one subscription level to another is simple. Pipsticks also has a shop where you can order single items. So if your child uses a sticker they love in the wrong place, they won’t have to live with regret—you can simply order a replacement. 

While this subscription box is likely not a fit for babies, toddlers, or very young children, many kids start collecting stickers in preschool and keep up the practice as they grow. 

05 of 09

For Books: Literati



Key Specs

  • Price: $10 per month plus the cost of the books you keep 
  • Delivery Cadence: Monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly 
  • Plans Available: Newborn-age 3, ages 3-5, ages 5-7, ages 7-9, ages 9-12, ages 13+

Pros & Cons

  • Low monthly cost

  • Only pay for what you keep

  • Personalized to your child’s interests 

  • Not great for older kids

  • Can fluctuate in actual cost each month

  • Subscription fee applies even if you don’t end up keeping any of the books

Why We Chose It

A subscription to Literati is like having the librarian who loves your child curate a monthly shipment of books you know they’ll adore. When you sign up for a subscription, you’ll be saving yourself countless trips to the library and bookstore, but still be creating a library of beloved books. 

Literati offers books appropriate for newborns all the way through teens, and boxes ship monthly. To get started, you share basics about your kid's reading level, age, and interests. After you receive your box of books and read them with your child, you keep what you like and return the rest. Returns are always free and the books you choose to return, along with monthly feedback, help the Literati team make sure each box is more tailored than the last. You’ll pay around $10 a month for the service and you’ll be charged for the books you don’t return. Books are never priced higher than comparable booksellers, so you don’t have to worry about being overcharged. 

A Literati subscription is a great way to build a library for your budding reader. But as they grow, you may find that you don’t feel the need to purchase as many books, since your older child may be less interested in reading the same books over and over—as is typical of toddler and preschoolers. That’s not to say this service isn’t valuable, but it likely has a shelf life (pun intended) of several months to a couple years. 

06 of 09

For Activity Kits: Little Learners Busy Box

 Little Learners big box logo

 Little Learners big box

Key Specs

  • Price: $20 per kit
  • Delivery Cadence: A la carte boxes or monthly delivery
  • Plans Available: Preschool kits plus seasonal and special interest options 

Pros & Cons

  • Subscribe or buy individual boxes

  • Holiday and special interest boxes available

  • Activities are designed to be used again and again 

  • Activities have lots of pieces

  • Projects require some explanation from parents

  • Activities not suitable for older kids

Why We Chose It  

If your child gets a kick out of preschool, or you’re doing preschool at home, Little Learners Busy Box may be a good fit for your family since it includes everything you need to create enriching, fun, and educational activities for kids in this age group. The boxes provide activities for preschool kids that help them master basic skills like counting, sorting, colors, shapes, and more. The activities included in these boxes can be used again and again, and parents will enjoy seeing how engaged their little one becomes when a new box arrives. 

Little Learner Busy Boxes are more affordable than many other toy subscription boxes we reviewed, costing just $20 per month. Monthly delivery is the default, but you have other options; if you prefer not to subscribe or if your child has a special interest (like animals or under the sea) you can also order boxes a la carte. 

While these boxes are a hit with preschoolers, they are not suitable for older kids and the company does not offer any options for babies younger than 2. That does mean that you’ll have to cancel your subscription when your child gets older rather than transfer it to a new kit with the same company. Luckily, the Little Learners Busy Box website is easy to navigate and both subscribing and canceling are simple.

07 of 09

For Arts and Crafts: We Craft Box

We Craft Box logo

We Craft Box

Key Specs

  • Price: $35 per kit
  • Delivery Cadence: Monthly 
  • Plans Available: Monthly kits plus special interest single-box options 

Pros & Cons

  • Several crafts per box

  • High-quality supplies and materials

  • Simple-to-follow photo directions and craft tutorial videos

  • Slightly higher cost than some other subscriptions we reviewed

  • Crafts are less free-flowing and more instruction-based

  • Younger crafters will likely need assistance

Why We Chose It  

The We Craft Box allows families to get crafty together with monthly boxes that include everything needed to create four to five coordinated crafts. Boxes are built around an included story and come with high-quality materials, clear instructions, and tutorials for creating crafts. Each box contains enough supplies and materials for two crafters to enjoy the experience together. 

While kids will simply enjoy the crafts they get to make, you can be confident that the boxes are designed to engage kids' artistic talents and introduce progressive visual arts skills, techniques, and processes. These boxes cost slightly more than many other similar subscription boxes. However, considering that they include enough crafts for two, they are likely a better value than ordering multiples of another company's craft boxes if you plan for siblings to craft together. 

The We Craft Box website offers lots of images and descriptions of past projects and boxes, which makes it easy to see what sort of items you’ll be getting. Many of the crafts lean more prescriptive and less free-flowing—which can be a plus or a minus, depending on your personal preferences. The crafts are also designed to appeal to a fairly wide age range; from about 3 to about 9, though the company states that younger crafters will likely need help to complete the projects as intended. 

08 of 09

For Eco-Friendly: Tiny Earth Toys

Tiny Earth Toys logo

Tiny Earth Toys

Key Specs

  • Price: $35-$65 per month
  • Delivery Cadence: Every two months 
  • Plans Available: Five toys, eight toys, or 10 toys at a time 

Pros & Cons

  • Helps reduce clutter and keep toys out of the landfill

  • Takes the guesswork out of toy rotation

  • Can include multiple kids of different ages in one subscription

  • Returning toys adds a chore to parents’ to-do list

  • Does not include toy options for kids over 4

  • May feel expensive when you do not keep any toys

Why We Chose It  

No one wants to send old toys to the dump; with Tiny Earth Toys, you don’t have to. The company allows you to rent and return high-quality educational toys so you don’t have to worry about creating unnecessary waste. It’s a great option for those who are focused on minimalism and making eco-friendliness a central tenet of their playroom. You also don’t have to worry about toy clutter, filling your playroom with cheap toys that break, or continuously seeking out developmentally appropriate toys as your child grows. 

When you purchase a membership to Tiny Earth Toys, you’ll receive a box of high-quality toys that are tailored to your child’s age. Then, after two months of playtime, you’ll receive a shipment of new toys that meet their new developmental stage. All you have to do is box up and ship back the toys from the last box.

This toy rotation program truly does keep toys out of landfills and makes it possible to feel good about restocking your playroom every couple of months. With Tiny Earth Toys you can select a membership that includes five, eight, or 10 toys. A particularly intriguing benefit is that toys within a box can be split between differently aged siblings. For example, if you have a 6-month-old and a 2-year-old, you can choose the single 10-toy subscription and indicate that you’d like five toys for each child. 

Memberships are billed for six months at a time and range in cost depending on how many toys you choose to include.

  • Five toys per box: $210 every six months (three shipments)
  • Eight toys: $288 every six months
  • 10 toys: $390 every six months 

A six-month subscription includes three shipments and the value of each box if you were to buy the toys outright ranges from $250 to $460. While these subscription costs are higher than some other companies, they break down to $35 to $65 per month, which is comparable to other toy subscription boxes on this list. That said, you typically don’t keep any of the toys in the boxes (though you can opt to purchase and keep anything your child gets very attached to). You do have to make a trip to FedEx or another drop-off location to return the prior shipments of toys in the prepaid and provided box, which is another chore on your likely already long to-do list.

09 of 09

For Culturally Inclusive: Little Passports

Little Passports logo

Little Passports

Key Specs

  • Price: $25-$30 per kit
  • Delivery Cadence: Monthly 
  • Plans Available: Ages 3 to 7+

Pros & Cons

  • Focused on different countries and cultures

  • Includes a range of items designed to build interest

  • Includes consistent characters so boxes feel connected

  • Books and stories may require parental support to enjoy

  • Some items may feel like clutter once they have been completed

  • Includes a limited range of countries

Why We Chose It 

Many parents want to show their kids the world; Little Passports gives you an easy way to teach kids about other countries and cultures before they’re ready or able to hop on a plane. Its fun stories, themed boxes, and reasonable pricing make it a great choice for parents who want a toy subscription box that is focused on travel, geography, and expanding kids’ minds about the world around them.   

The World Edition boxes from Little Passports follow the adventures of their signature characters, Sam and Sophia, as they travel across the globe. The first box includes a passport book, a world map, a small suitcase to keep their treasures in, plus all items that come in a typical country-based box, such as a coin from the featured country, a book about Sam and Sophia’s time in the country, an activity booklet, stickers, and a craft-based activity. Each monthly box after that is themed around a new country and includes the above items plus access to additional online content and some fun extras and surprises. 

Little Passports costs around $25 per month, but you can get a discount when you pay for a three or six-month subscription upfront. While the items in these boxes all stay on theme, many are single-use (such as the fillable activity booklets) and the crafts are not always durable enough to earn a permanent place on the toy shelf. Little Passports currently has a long list of countries that have a box, but the list is not exhaustive and parents looking to connect with a specific country or access materials that are culturally relevant to their specific family may not find what they are looking for. 

Compare Toy Subscription Boxes

Company Price Delivery Cadence  Plans Available 
For Babies and Toddlers
$80-$120 per kit Every 2-3 months  Kits available for newborns to 4-year-olds 
For Ages 4-7
$24-$44 per crate  Monthly or bi-monthly  Lines for kids 0-16 + a variety of special interests
Mel Science
For STEM Toys
$30 per kit Monthly Kits for kids 5-16 + a variety of special interests
For Budget-Friendly
$12-$50 per month Monthly Kids Club, Pro Club, and Stationery Club
For Books
$10 per month plus the cost of the books you keep  Monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly  Newborn-age 3, ages 3-5, ages 5-7, ages 7-9, ages 9-12, ages 13+
Little Learners Busy Box
For Activity Kits
$20 per kit  A la carte boxes or monthly delivery Preschool kits + seasonal and special interest options 
We Craft Box
For Arts and Crafts
$35 per kit Monthly Monthly kits + special interest single-box options
Tiny Earth Toys
For Eco-Friendly
$35-$65 per month Every 2 months  5 toys, 8 toys, or 10 toys at a time
Little Passports
For Culturally Inclusive
$25-$30 per month Monthly  Ages 3-7+

How to Choose a Toy Subscription Box for Your Kid

When considering which toy subscription box is the best fit for your family, it’s important to think about the factors that are most important to you. Some of those might include:

  • Price: While toy subscription boxes range in price from around $20 to nearly $200, it is valuable to also consider the cadence of delivery. Some boxes that come less frequently but are each more expensive may cost the same as subscription boxes that are lower in cost individually but come more often. Think about how much you are comfortable paying for a toy subscription over a six- or 12-month period and choose an option that fits within that budget. 
  • Age range: Not all toy subscription boxes suit kids of all ages. Reviewing the website of the toy subscription boxes you are considering will offer information about which ages they are best suited for. While some toy subscription boxes “grow” with your child, others are designed just for kids in a certain age range, such as infant to toddler or 4 to 7. 
  • Quantity of items: When you receive a toy subscription box, you don’t want to be disappointed by the number of items included. Toy subscription boxes range in the number of items they include, from three to five to many more. Most companies will note how many are in each box, so you can decide if it’s enough for your family.
  • Quality of items: As you shop, think about how important the quality of the items included in your toy subscription box is to you. Some boxes include items that are meant to be used once or just a few times (like craft and art boxes), while others include items that are meant to last on your toy shelf for quite a while. Thinking about whether you want the items in your box to be “pass-down” quality (good enough to pass along to future siblings) can also help you choose which box is the best fit for you. 
  • Delivery cadence: Not all toy subscription boxes come every month; some come bi-monthly, quarterly, or even on demand. Consider whether you want a box each month or less frequently as you shop for the toy subscription box that is best for your family. 

Key Considerations

Are Toy Subscription Services Right for Your Child?

Toy subscription services are right for any family who wants to introduce new toys or activities to their kids without having to shop for them or select them individually. Subscriptions can be tailored to a child’s specific interests or offer more general toys and activities that kids of certain ages like. 

If your child enjoys trying new things, getting packages in the mail, or has an interest that can be difficult to shop for, subscription boxes can be a particularly good option. Toy subscription boxes also make great gifts since they include multiple months of packages, so many families and kids add these sorts of boxes to their birthday or holiday wish lists.  

What Toys Are Good for Child Brain Development?

In general, open-ended toys that kids can engage with in a variety of ways and that don’t have a “right” way to play with them are good for brain development. “Children should have a variety of toys that range in interests and developmental opportunities,” says Scott C. Mazerall, ASTRA Certified Play Expert and owner of Maziply Toys.“ Every child is different, so what is best for them may vary.”

“Toys can play a crucial role in children's development, providing them with a fun and engaging way to learn and grow,” Mazerall continues. “Developmental opportunities include cognitive, language, emotional, physical, and social skills.”

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What Kinds of Toys Are in Toy Subscriptions?

    In general, boxes that focus on kids' age and developmental stage will include toys and books that help them explore the world in a way that is useful for them. Toy subscription boxes that focus on a special interest, like world cultures or science, will have toys and activities that align with the overall theme of the box or plan. Some items that are common to find in toy subscription boxes include open-ended toys like blocks and play silks, prescriptive toys like puzzles and shape-sorters, art supplies and craft materials, books and activity booklets, and experiments and science-based items.

  • Is It Easy to Cancel a Toy Subscription?

    While each toy subscription company has a slightly different policy or process for canceling a toy subscription, it is generally not difficult. Most companies require you to cancel before a certain date each month if you don’t want to be charged for the upcoming month. With most companies, you can cancel after logging into your account by navigating to a tab that says “manage my subscription,” or something similar, and then answering a few questions about why you’re canceling.  

  • What’s the Benefit of a Toy Subscription Over Buying Toys in Stores?

    These services let someone else do the legwork when it comes to selecting which toys are best for your child’s age and interests, saving you the time you’d have to spend researching. Most toys in a subscription are selected by experts based on developmental stage, brand reviews, safety, and quality materials. Some toy subscription boxes also include themed toys, games, and activities that would be difficult to curate as an individual. If your child has a specific interest in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), for example, you can order a curated box that will help them learn and gain new skills.

  • Are Toy Subscription Boxes More Eco-Friendly?

    Some toy subscription boxes allow you to try out new toys or boxes before you choose to buy or keep them (or even rent them in lieu of buying them), while others essentially allow you to rent toys so you enjoy them for a time and then return them in exchange for new toys that fit your child’s next developmental stage. Both options can help reduce waste, keep your home clutter-free, and save you serious money on toys and books you would have had to buy to discover if your child enjoyed them if not for the subscription box option.


We researched more than 20 companies that offer toy, activity, arts and crafts, and science subscription boxes in the United States to identify the best options for families with a range of priorities. We focused our research on the factors we know matter most to parents, such as pricing, the quality and quantity of the items included in each box, and what special interest each box focused on. Selecting a toy subscription box that is the best fit for your family can be challenging, since there are so many to choose from. Thinking about what you can afford to spend each month, what special interests your toddler or big kid has, and what sorts of toys or activities you wish to receive can help you make the best decision for your family.

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