Why I Cancelled My Kids’ Subscription Boxes and What I Did Instead

I will reluctantly admit that I am a bit on the gullible side. I drool over every newly-released subscription box for kids when I see the ads in my Facebook or Instagram feed! The stickers, gadgets, and clever packaging are just what my childhood self would have adored. Subscription boxes are something I put on my kids’ birthday and Christmas wish lists every year. After all, they are educational and fun!

boy doing project


But when I saw that Sonlight now carries Hands-On History Kits, I opted for that route instead of signing up for yet another subscription service. It was a good choice, and here are a few reasons why.

1. The Cost Beats a Subscription Box

A Sonlight history project kit is priced at $49.99, and it includes enough projects to last for a whole school year. The kit includes almost everything you’ll need for each project, with the exception of household items such as a screwdriver, a Sharpie, and an oven.

Many subscription kits cost $19.95 or more per month. At that price, a subscription would have cost a whopping $360 more for a school year worth of projects! That’s a lot of money we could definitely put to better use.

Also, because it’s a one-time purchase, we don’t have to worry about keeping up with monthly payments or going through the dreaded hassle of canceling a subscription.

2. Ready Anytime, On Our Schedule

The Sonlight Hands-on History Kit is ready anytime we are. If we are ahead of schedule, the coordinating project is in the box, waiting on us. I’ve also been known to skip around in our curriculum, so I love that I don’t have to wait for our next box to be delivered before we can start a project.

Another positive for us is the fact that I can pull out the project and have it started within a few minutes. My kids don’t have to wait on me to go to the store for materials, and they don’t have to go around the house, collecting all the pieces they will need. Once we decide to do the project, we can get started immediately.

3. Durable, High Quality Activities

As I’ve researched various subscription boxes, I’ve noticed that a lot of the popular options are lacking in quality. Many of the boxes seem to be full of low quality fillers such as stickers and cheaper, flimsy toys.

Sonlight project and supplies

In contrast, the Sonlight crafts are durable and high quality! My kids built the wooden catapult from the World Cultures Hands-On History Kit a few weeks ago, and it has been through the wringer since! After several weeks, it’s still holding together, and it’s still something they are enjoying. My kids try it out every time they pass by. I can see this catapult lasting far beyond this school year— a lasting reminder of our study of Medieval times.

4. Enhanced Learning Connections

Because Sonlight’s kits are designed to coordinate with a History / Bible / Literature curriculum, these projects directly enhance learning. I feel confident that my kids won’t forget their lessons on Medieval war tactics after constructing that catapult! These projects provide another layer of concrete teaching that help to bring history to life.

Note: Sonlight’s hands-on kits can also be used as a stand-alone product for homeschoolers using a different curriculum or for afterschoolers looking to add enrichment to a traditional school situation.

While subscription boxes are educational, too, it’s not easy to coordinate them to your homeschool curriculum. I considered subscribing and then storing each kit until we came across that particular topic in our studies, but I quickly realized how unrealistic that plan was. I couldn’t bring myself to pay $20-$40 per month just to clutter my shelf space as I hoarded kits for future use!

5. Easy-to-Follow Instruction Manual

I don’t love following assembly instructions. But, the Sonlight Hands-On History Kit comes with a full color manual illustrated with large, detailed step-by-step pictures that my kids followed easily. The manual also supports learning by including the historical context of each project.

catapult-making booklet

To learn more about Sonlight Hands-On History Kits, click the image above, or click this link!

While I’m sure that some families enjoy the popular subscription boxes available, I’m really happy that I didn’t fall for the shiny ads this time. I feel that my choice of the $49 Sonlight Hands-On History Kit for an entire year is a deal. And I’m thrilled that I don’t have the added hassle of a subscription service.

Build Play Learn image

Go beyond books and bring history to life with hands-on activity kits your kids will love. To learn more, click the image above or click this link! 

author's photoDeana Wood is a homeschooling mother of four precious children, ages 10, 9, 6, and 4. She has been married to Tim, a plumber and children’s pastor, for 13 years. She blogs about homeschooling, adoption, and family life at Redeeming the Days Blog.



About the author

Guest Blogger


Click here to post a comment

  • Thank you so much for sharing! I have never heard of the Sonlight kits but will definitely take a look after your review.

  • I’m going to go check this out! I’m hoping they have a middle school option for this! It would really be up my daughters ally! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • I admit that I LOVE subscription boxes. The appeal of getting the first box discounted and receiving all the supplies for crafts and projects. It definitely makes it easier for me. However, it is not cheap! As a one income family, we just cant always afford subscription boxes for 2 kids. I didnt know about the Sonlight kits so I’ll definitely check them out. Thank you!

  • I definitely need to look into this. I love the idea of subscription services, but the cost always stops me in my tracks. I just can’t get on board with the monthly costs.