As a child of the ‘90s, I’ll never forget how exciting it was to see my monthly Highlights magazine waiting for me on the counter when I came home from school. First I’d do the ‘Hidden Picture’ and all the other games and mazes, then I’d comb through the stickers deciding which ones to trade, and I always saved the jokes for last. Well, now the fun doesn’t have to end when kids close the back cover of the magazine (which is still in print after 74 years) because there’s a new subscription box from Highlights called 15 Minutes A Day that will educate, engage, and entertain your young kids.
The monthly box is catered to your child’s grade level (preschool, kindergarten, or first grade) and the concept was developed alongside teachers to help supplement learning in a fun and independent way. Each month, your child will receive two skills-based workbooks, a bonus learning book that’s always age-appropriate (which helps avoid the frustration that comes when things are too hard), a guide for parents, plus an award certificate where you can write their name. As if getting a package in the mail wasn’t exciting enough, the box itself has jokes and other fun activities on the outside.
Learning in short bursts (say, 15 minutes) has been shown to give the brain more time to absorb new information, resulting in greater recall and even higher test scores, per Forbes. While it’s worth mentioning that this research was done on young adults and university students, the same findings can apply to young elementary school children of all learning styles who may not have fully developed attention spans (and let’s face it, sometimes can’t even sit through a 25 minute show).
That’s why the Highlights Box is great; it breaks learning down in a way that’s quick, enjoyable, and doesn't feel totally academic. Plus, you’ll get 15 minutes to answer that email, start dinner, or “rest” your eyes.
The Highlights Subscription Box retails for $24.98 a month, and you'll get 50% off your first month (no code required). The first shipment comes with a complimentary "School Success Starter Kit" which includes a wall-sized progress poster (and the accompanying stickers), a double-sided board that can be easily wiped clean, plus a program guide.
Kids will have the opportunity to apply what they've learned at school on their own, which can help build confidence and a sense of independence that they'll take back to the classroom. The directions are kid-friendly and encourage self-supported learning while following instructions. And, if you have a preschooler on your hands who always wants "homework" like their older siblings, you'll love the preschool box.
So what's inside each? The Pre-K box introduces the building blocks of learning, pre-handwriting skills, and maybe most importantly, it correlates learning with fun — a mindset they'll carry with them into all the learning that comes next. The kindergarten subscription builds on motor skills, introduces reading, writing, and math, and as the Highlights website says, "encourages creativity and open-minded thinking." First grade builds on the core subjects introduced in kindergarten while also starting on new subjects, and it encourages, "thinking, reasoning, and following directions," as well as independent learning.
Every box includes motivators like the stickers and special award certificate, which will make kids feel proud of their progress. Who knew so much good could happen in the time it takes to cook mac and cheese?