The box arrived with the mail. It didn't fit in the box so our mail carrier had to come up our drive and ring our bell. This was very exciting. Nobody ever rings our bell. The package was smaller than I expected but the perfect size for a two year old to carry into the living room all by himself. I had to cut a piece of packing tape that was holding it shut, and then he was able to open the box by himself as well. This was very exciting.
Please excuse the stains on my carpet. Kids live here.
Inside we found a little tea set, some flash cards, a cute little ice pack and a coupon for a free language video download and a note from Citrus Lane explaining what everything was.
Green Toys. The little tag says that it is 100% recycled plastic, made in the USA and free of BPA, phthalates and PVC. Good thing because the first thing he wanted to do was make tea and drink it. I made him special blueberry "tea" by tossing a few blueberries in the blender with some water and putting it in his new tea pot. His day was made. Especially when I put some graham crackers on a plate. It's just the two cups, two saucers and a tea pot with a lid. I love that it's gender neutral. It's also nice and sturdy, it has a wide lid that fits snugly (doesn't fall off while pouring) but is easy to remove and it says it's dishwasher safe. Not that I own a dishwasher. Anyway, he played with this thing all day, then took it in the tub, and then insisted on used it to serve his daddy some milk before bed (don't worry, I washed it. Super easy to clean.). I'd say this one is definitely a win.
I know most people associate flash cards with unpleasant things like cramming for finals and math drills but Sunshine loves flashcards. He loves anything with a picture and a word to go with it. So the Alphabet Art animals A-Z flashcards from PetitCollage were a good, age-appropriate call (even though the package says ages 3 and up because kiddos who chew on them could bite off bits). I love these flashcards. I admit, I love them more than he does. They are gorgeous. They are also nice and simple. I hate flashcards with a lot of busy imagery. They lose the point. We're not learning Tarot here. But look at those beautiful pictures! I think I am going to use these to decorate his room when I finally get around to doing it. In fact, they are inspiring me to get around to doing it. The cards are about the size of a standard greeting card and they are good, thick card stock. I think Sunshine thought they were greeting cards, he kept asking me to "Ope it" for him. Sturdy, gorgeous and packaged in a nice, sturdy box you can put them back into when they're not in use. What more is there to want? Oh yes, they're made from recycled materials and vegetable based inks. My one complaint: V is for Viper. Really? My kid knows that's a snake. There is no convincing him otherwise!
The little ice pack is Cool it Buddy by Me4Kidz. It is cute, flexible and soft so that you don't have to wrap it up in something else and dilute the cold before you apply it. It's also just the right size for a bump. Sunshine wasn't impressed at first and didn't want to model it, but once it was frozen it became very interesting and he enjoyed putting it on his head, and my head and the head of anyone else who would hold still for him. I have no idea where it is right now. The search continues. I'm going to be annoyed if I can't find it when he has a bump.
The fourth and final surprise was a free language video download from LittlePim.com. I could choose from 11 languages and I chose Spanish because I figure it's the one he's most likely to run into in life and MrRabbit and I both took Spanish so we know a little. Latin wasn't an option. The video was cute and he liked it okay. He kept laughing at them saying names of food in Spanish and "correcting" them with the English word. I'm not sure that's how it's supposed to go. But I was a little irritated that I had to download it onto my computer. I don't want him using my computer. I feel like there are videos that are just as good available for free on Youtube (which he can watch on all sorts of devices that aren't my computer). I went ahead and downloaded the app for Kindle and it was just okay.
Finally, the box. It's a good box. It's a nice, sturdy reusable box. So I stuffed it with shoes and a coat that no longer fit my Sunshine to send off to my husband's friend, who I am told has a 1 year old. I am excited to use future boxes for craft projects. We shall see.
The final verdict on the Citrus Lane Box? I signed up for the 6 month subscription which is $21 a box and I had a coupon so it was a little less. Did I get $21 worth of merchandise that I liked in this box? Yes, I believe I did. The tea set and flash cards are probably worth somewhere around $20 each on their own. So, I'd say I got my money's worth and then some. Plus the fun we had just opening the box! This box seriously gave me an entire day when I didn't have to figure out what to do next to entertain my two year old. And I love that they give you information about the manufacturers so I can discover lots of cool new stuff to drool over on their websites. I think we'll do this again next month.