A Pirate Says, "ARRRRRRGH"

I wish BabbaCo was sponsoring me to write this, but even though they aren’t, I’ve got to sing the praises of their monthly subscription service for kiddos age 3-7, the BabbaBox. Holy Moly Cow. COOL thing!

Earlier this summer, my parents offered to get Harrison, my little preschool stud, a subscription service for his birthday present. So I did some asking and some looking online to compare different ones (like the KiwiCrate, Citrus Lane, etc.) and decided that the activities (arts, games, books) with the BabbaBox looked like the best fit for us. My mom did the ordering and then, viola, the goods started showing up at our house the end of July.

Truth? We still haven’t done a thing with the first month’s offering (Sorry, Mom!). We were traveling the day after it came and life was crazy and I wanted to save that stuff for when Ben went back to school, so I put it up on a shelf for a later date. Then, this week, another one arrived. Again, I wanted to wait until I was ready desperate, so I left it on the kitchen counter, unopened – that is, until this afternoon…HD had already had his share of PBS and the Kindle, and the other two were still napping, so I decided to pretend like the package had just arrived in the mail today. HD is pretty observant, so it could have been totally possible for him to call my bluff and say, “No, Mom. That’s been in the kitchen for days”, but he’s also 4 – it worked like a charm! I had him all excited about the package with his name on it and we tore into it on the couch.

Much to our delight, we found the coolest activity cards and supplies to get going right away with our “Pirate Treasure” box (although they have yet to show up in a box…always an envelope. Mom, I’ve been meaning to ask you about that. We don’t care that it’s not in a box, but is that some sort of green shipping option? If not, it’s funny that their name and packaging aren’t one and the same).

HD, not a costume wearer, got really excited about his pirate eye patch and wanted to get to the treasure chest decorating and gold coin hunting, straight away. So here is what we did:

Tacky glue and awesome plastic gems made Harrison’s treasure chest truly one of a kind (all supplies included in the kit, even the glue). I glued, he stuck, and then we played hide-and-seek with the coins in the next room while we waited for everything to dry. 

Of course, I had to have a pirate costume for hiding the coins, too, so I grabbed the bow from the original packaging and stuck it on my head. Perhaps a bit more fu-fu and sparkly than your average pirate, but hey, whatever works.

Our coin hunt (complete with verbal clues from me to him to find all 10) was very entertaining and lasted just long enough for the box to dry so we could add it to our fun and games.

It was Harrison’s idea, not mine or BabbaCo’s, to put the coins in two columns of perfectly matched patterned rows. “Look, Mama! A pattern!” Love this kid! Love him so much that we even went hunting for more pieces of our pirate costumes later when the littlest Littles were awake. I didn’t get a pic of HD w/ his bandana, but he did share the eye patch and treasure chest when he took this photo of me:

Eventually, Ben got in the fun, too, adding a treasure map of sorts to the treasure hunt. Making a map is one of the additional online activities, but rather than printing that off, Ben just made up his own version with torn up pieces of paper and quick sketches of items in our living room. From there, he would give Harrison the first drawing which would lead to the next item/clue and so on and so on until all the clues were found and he ended up at the treasure chest containing the coins. After 30 minutes of this (no, really, he played this for a solid 30 minutes, after 45 minutes of treasure chest decorating/coin hunting earlier in the day with me!), they switched it up and began placing the last clue in the chest and the coins in a final location. Harrison Ate. It. Up! For another 30 minutes!
                                      
And this is only one (and a half) of the ideas from this month’s box! What an awesome afternoon it provided for us. I can’t wait to see what else we discover, both with the box and with our own creativity. And the coolest part? Another one comes the next month and you get to have all new adventures. Of course, this would be totally possible with a little bit of effort planning on my part. Any small box or bag could be a treasure chest and the map/coins could be duplicated, too, but my brain is stretched too thin on sleep these days, so this subscription thing is currently a lifesaver. And don’t be surprised if you swing by our place and hear us saying, “ARRRRRRRRGH, Maties!” and “Shimber Me Timbers (HD’s version)!” in the coming days/weeks!

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