Ivy Kids Subscription Box Review + Coupon – The Lion & The Little Red Bird

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Ivy Kids is a monthly educational subscription box for children ages 3-8. The box costs $39.95 each month, and you also have an option to get the 3-month or 6-month plan and save up to $54. Shipping is free in the US. Designed by early childhood educators, each box contains tons of fun, thematically-focused activities that reinforce children’s math, literacy, and science skills. Each month, your kit will contain a classic children’s book, 10 activities related to the book of the month, detailed instructions, and a personalized item for your child.

DEAL: Save 20% on your first box with coupon code IVY20 OR Get 10% off on any past kits with coupon code PASTKITS10!

If you have multiple kids, you can choose the sibling add-on at sign-up for $5.95 a month and they will send you extra consumable materials (paints, brushes, craft projects, etc.) for a sibling to be able to fully participate in all the projects and activities in the kit. However,  sibling add-ons don’t automatically mean they will double everything in the kit because there are items and activities designed to be shared.

This is a review of a sibling box with extra materials!

The box is full!

There’s a sheet attached to the inner part of the lid and it lists all the activities in this month’s box, including the featured book by Elisa Kleven, The Lion and the Little Red Bird.

Some of the items were wrapped in plastic.

Everything in my box!

All the activities include a guide sheet that lists all the materials needed and details all the instructions as well.

Bookmark. The featured book is always accompanied by a bookmark and it also has reading tips and questions to encourage and develop the reading comprehension skills of the kids.

Activity: Story Retelling. The first activity is about the retelling of the story from this month’s featured book using the materials provided in the crate.

The box provided some pompoms, glue dots, little birds, and some lion plushies!

The Lion and the Little Red Bird by Elisa Kleven ($6.18)

From an author whose work is said to “burgeon with joy,” here is a gentle mystery about a silent, gallant lion and a sweetly cheerful bird–two friends who are attracted to each other through the universal language of art. Elisa uses watercolor, gouache, ink, colored pencils, pastels, markers, and crayons to collage this charming and colorful tale.

“Illustrated with mixed-media collages so richly colored and textured that readers will want to feel the pages.”–Kirkus Reviews (pointered review)

“A sweet and captivating book with gorgeous illustrations. Its story line and artwork both have unusual and unexpected qualities that work together to generate a magical, light mood.”–School Library Journal (starred review)

ABA-CBC Children’s Books Mean Business and Kansas State Reading Circle

This month’s featured book is about a red bird that wonders why the tail of the lion changes colors.

The story is cute! It was told in a simple and child-friendly way.

Aside from the adorable story, the illustrations are amazing as well! My kids love that every glossy page is colorful and full of life!

First, before re-enacting any scene, my kids read the book. One of my kids also read the book aloud.

They can’t help but get amused by the images in the book. We also prepared the materials for the retelling by putting the colorful pompoms in the tacked cups and have the lion on stand by at the side.

Now, it’s time to change the color of the lion’s tail! They used the pompoms to replace the furry tip of the lion’s tail. My kids enjoyed re-enacting the scenes and they enjoyed changing the colors of the lion’s tail as well.

Activity: All About Lions. For the next activity, the kids identified the lion’s body parts and also filled out the lion fact board.

The box provided the sheets. From home, all we needed was a pair of scissors.

My kids read the fact board first before they labeled the body parts in the body part identification board.

My son attached the label to the space provided for each body part.

Activity: Color Matching Memory Game. The next fun activity is about matching cards! It also helps build the kids’ vocabulary and aid in cognitive development.

There are 2 perforated sheets provided for this activity. Each sheet has 16 cards on them, with one having different colors, while the other has lion images with different tail colors!

The kids get a turn to match the cards. First, we created 4 rows of 8 cards. They flipped the card and tried to match them, and if they did match, they can take the cards. The winner is the one who gets to match the most numbers of cards/colors!

Activity: Lion and Bird Roll & Cover Game. The next activity is like a gameboard but it can be played by a single person or even a group of four people.

The box provided us with Lion and Bird Roll & Cover boards, a die, and a pack of color chips.

For a single-player game, the player gets to roll the die and cover the number on the board until all of them gets a chip cover. For two to four players, the players get to choose their board, and the first one to cover all the numbers on the board wins!

Activity: Vowel Race. For this activity, the kids learn both math and literacy as it involves counting and identifying numbers and vowels.

The box provided vowel race boards, a die, and some colorful chips. To play, roll the die and then see what letter corresponds to your number and put a chip on that column, from bottom up. The column that gets full first with chips will win the vowel race. There is also a legend where a number corresponds to a letter.

There are also additional activities where you can use the cops and enhance math skills!

Activity: Colorful Flowers. This activity tests the kids’ creativity as it involves making their own colorful flowers. It also teaches them science concepts about color diffusion and color blending.

For this activity, the box provided a craft kit packed in a plastic pouch.

The pack contains liquid colors, absorbent filters, pipe cleaners, cups, and a pipette.

The first step is to lay out the absorbent filter on a table. It’s also important to cover your work area to avoid staining. When it’s done, my kids started dropping some liquid colors on the filter.

The kids can add droplets of colors as much as they like!

When they’re satisfied with the color drops, it’s now time to use the pipette to drop some water on the filter and let the colors spread and blend all around it!

It came out looking like abstract art! Before proceeding to the next step, we let it dry.

After drying, you just need to fold it in half then fold it again to form the flower.

Here’s the paper flower my son made!

It looks so colorful and pretty!

Lastly, we tied the pointed ends with a pipe cleaner and separated the folded filter pieces.

Activity: The Lion and the Little Red Bird. Now, it’s time to make our own lion and little red bird, the main characters from this month’s book!

For this activity, the box provided wooden lions, ceramic birds, paintbrushes, and sets of paint.

Each of my kids had an animal piece that they worked on.

They proceeded to painting right away! My kids painted one side first, as instructed by the information sheet, and waited for it to dry before proceeding to the other side.

It’s up to them on what other details they would like to add to their painting project.

Painting is a great activity as it enhances not just the kids’ creativity but also their fine motor skills.

Here’s the final look of the birds! One of the birds is in red, just like the character in the story. With the other bird, they got more creative and tried to paint it differently.

Meanwhile, here are the lions! One of the wooden lions even got a smiling face!

Activity: The Lion and the Little Red Bird – Handprint. Here’s another fun activity that involves painting, and this time the kids used their own handprints and thumbprints instead of a brush!

The box provided us the boards, paintbrushes, and sets of paint.

For the first step, we painted my daughter’s hands with yellow paint.

Then, we stamped her hand on one of the boards!

The handprints created the lion’s mane and its body, while the thumbprint is for the little red bird’s body, as well as the lion’s tail end.

At the bottom part of the sheet, there’s a sentence that kids can complete. They just need to write the reason why the lion and the bird are good friends. My kids answered it’s because of the pretty tail!

Activity: Create Your Own Artwork. The next activity also involves painting and this time they started from scratch.

For this activiity, we have watercolors, acrylic paints, paintbrushes, and canvas boards from the box.

Kids can choose whether they want to use watercolor, acrylic, or both. My kids chose watercolor. Older kids may enjoy painting an object or a specific scene, but for younger ones, abstract art would be good!

Actitivy: Paint Like the Lion. The lion in the story uses the tuft of its tail to paint, and for this activity, the kids are encouraged to do something similar. They’re not going to use tails, but pompoms!

Aside from the white pompom, we also got a wooden clothespin, canvas boards, and some plastic cups for this activity.

We got two artworks that feature the lion.

My kids chose to color the sheets using crayons, and that’s okay too!

Here’s their finished coloring sheets!

Activity: Color Exploration. This activity focuses on color, particularly color mixing!

For this activity, we used the liquid colors, cups, and pipette.

The liquid colors are yellow, green, blue, and red.

We filled the cups with some water first, then we started dropping the colors using a pipette.

Then, we mixed one color with another.

As we mixed the primary colors, we got secondary colors. Mixing blue and red results in purple, and red and yellow create orange, while blue and yellow give us green!

My kids also tried mixing the colors that we produced with the others! It’s a fun experiment!

Activity: Natural Pigments. Lastly, we explored different colors from nature, using dried flowers and natural pigments.

The box provided dried hibiscus flowers and cups for this activity.

To create the paint, we soaked the dried flowers in hot water. It produced a beautiful red hue!

Activity: Natural Pigments. The last activity is Nature Walk or Shopping Trip, where kids are encouraged to explore other colors in nature. They provided plastic cups for this and the kids just need to get other materials from nature like fruits, flowers, or vegetables that also produce beautiful hues, like sunflower for yellow, or carrots for the orange color.

Ivy Kids is jampacked with activities and it’s well-organized! We were able to go through each one easily because of the provided information sheets per activity. Most materials are also provided and we only needed a few things from home. It even includes a book, which is the inspiration for some of the activities. My kids surely had fun reading the story about the bird and a lion! It’s also great that the activities in the box don’t just focus on one area but helps improve different skills including fine motor skills and creative skills. They even teach science concepts. Another thing we appreciate about this subscription is that we can add more materials through the siblings add-on option, which is great for households with multiple kids. Looking at everything in the crate and my kids’ outputs, it’s evident how well-thought-out this whole box is! It’s definitely a good way to keep kids busy while having fun at home. It would be an great activity box for homeschooling as well!

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