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29 May, 2017

Lucky Gecko Discovery Boxes – A Parent’s Review

Posted in : Reviews on by : Fat Dad

Both Oscar and Phoebe love surprises and have been fascinated with the current craze of “loot crates” – a subscription system where you get sent a box of goodies sent to you every month with no idea what you will get. Personally I’m not a fan of these loot crates – mainly because the ones I’ve seen end up being a box of old stuff that shops can’t sell anymore. But I’m old and cynical so what do I know?

When I saw the Lucky Gecko Discovery Box I was initially cynical until I looked into what they were providing. What makes Lucky Gecko different from the other crates is that they have an aim and a purpose and don’t just function to clear warehouses of stuff that didn’t sell as well as expected. You see, Lucky Gecko Discovery Boxes are educational – and I mean that in the sense that they are actually educational and not just an afterthought (you know, those toys that have a number on them so are passed off as ‘educational: helps with maths’?). Let me explain…:

Lucky Gecko was set up by Charlie, a private tutor with over 12 years of experience of working with children aged 7 to 18. Knowing that children learn in different ways and that some children struggle with the traditional “teacher with blackboard in front of a class” techniques used in most schools she decided to use her knowledge to help on a wider scale. This is where the Discovery Boxes come in.

Charlie, the founder of Lucky Gecko Discoveries, worked for more than twelve years as a tutor – providing out-of-school support to hundreds of children aged between 7 and 18.

As well as helping students prepare for exams, stretch themselves or improve their marks in a particular subject, Charlie was passionate about helping students develop confidence in their own, unique abilities. She found that getting them to believe that they could do something was often the key to making it happen.

Lucky Gecko Discoveries was founded on exactly the same principles. Our aim is to use our experience and expertise to inspire children to think beyond the classroom, understand their own learning style and embrace their unique set of talents.

We want to help educate, challenge and inspire the whole child – not just focus on getting them through their next exam. We want to get kids out in the world – exploring, inventing, creating and asking questions; believing in themselves and trusting in their abilities.

We believe learning should be fun. The world should be exciting. And imaginations should run wild. We only get one shot at childhood. Let’s make theirs amazing.

There are 3 different types of Discovery Box:
WISDOM: designed to help students that are coming up to exams; boost confidence and core skills as well as providing stress release and exam/revision techniques.
IMAGINATION: uses stories and creative thinking to explore the world.
CURIOSITY: practical exploration of the world for students who find traditional classroom teaching difficult.

Each month the boxes have a theme – the theme for our review was Ornithology – and the idea is you would subscribe to one type depending on which style suits your child’s learning needs. They are aimed at children up to KeyStage 2.

You can see the contents of the ornithology boxes in Oscar and Phoebe’s videos below – and keep scrolling to see the full parent’s review:

 

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Oscar has always struggled with exams, confidence and anxiety – a lot of this is to do with his autism. If he chose a box it would be the Wisdom box as it contained some good stress-busting toys. Although Oscar, almost 12, is slightly older than the target age for the boxes the themes and ideas in the workbook were still beneficial.

Phoebe chose the Imagination box as she loves reading although, if there is any criticism to be given, it was that she wasn’t keen of the chosen novel. You can’t have everything though and the chosen novel was an integral part in the work book’s activities. Just like at school, you can’t choose everything!

Subscriptions cost £36 per month per box which initially, I admit, seems a bit on the expensive side. If you are only looking at the gifts in the box, like you would a traditional loot crate, then yes – the value of the gifts/toys doesn’t warrant the price tag. However, what you need to remember is that the Discovery Box is a home-learning package and the activity book is a large part of it. You know, the activity book that is written by a private tutor with over a decade of experience in teaching children that struggle with the normal classroom environment. It’s not a bargain crate of cheap toys, it’s actually an educational resource.

Overall, as a parent of special needs children that struggle in school I can certainly see the advantage of Lucky Gecko – it joins the dots between learning and the real world and is well thought out. If you are looking for a bargain crate of ‘educational’ toys then this isn’t for you. But if you are looking for a crate that will genuinely help your children learn then I would definitely recommend them.

Website: http://www.luckygecko.com/

Note: We were sent the Lucky Gecko Discovery Boxes free of charge for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and words are our own opinion.

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