Little Hands Learning | Detective box review

Cardboard box containing a book, biscuit mix and cutter, pencil, and elephant toy

 “A monthly subscription box, inspired by the magic of books.”

Let’s throw it back to august now – my last Little Hands Learning box review was all about a one-off box I purchased for Alfie, and we are now back to subscription boxes. August’s box had the theme of detectives, inspired by a fantastic (I know I say this every time, but every book really is wonderful) book – The Elephant Detectives. Not only is it written and illustrated by Ged Adamson, but our copy was signed too! I do love the extra touches.

The Elephant Detectives tells the story of a boy called Alan, who loses his friend elephant and cannot find him anywhere. He enlists the help of a girl called Edie, who claims to be an elephant detective. Together, they go in search of the elephant – but do they find him? And will they strike up a friendship on their adventures? It’s a funny story with some really great illustrations that bring to life the elephant hunt.

The book also has a QR code – much like other titles from Nosy Crow – scan it, and you can hear the story being read. I try and read to Alfie every night, but every now and again he will ask for a phone story (or he’ll say, “have you got your scanner, mummy?”) and I’ll let him listen to it. It means we can cuddle up and look at the pictures together!

The activities in this box were:

  • Going on a top-secret rescue mission
  • Baking biscuits
  • Writing secret messages
  • Sending a postcard

Boy opening an envelope, which reads top secret

Where’s my elephant?

I think the elephant hunt is Alfie’s favourite Little Hands Learning activity of all time. The day we opened the box, we played it three times and it ended up being our after-school game for the next two weeks. Once he fully got the hang of it, we switched roles – and he did the hiding, and I did the hunting. I even tried mixing it up – putting the clues in the freezer instead of the fridge, trying to find really difficult places in the pot cupboard – and it was still always as fun as the last time!

Alfie read the clues so confidently and without help, I ended up filming him reading them all – and uploaded some of them to Tapestry to show his teacher what we get up to. One of the teachers actually commented to say how impressed she was with him! I keep meaning to make some cards of my own, to try and make it harder – he knows all the locations now, so it’s not very top-secret!

Boy in pyjamas mixing butter and sugar in a bowl, to make biscuits

Up, up and away!

Baking together is always a firm favourite – and tasty too! We loved making our balloon biscuits, it was very much a team effort. Alfie did the pouring and the mixing; I did the rolling and the cutting. Once the biscuits were cooked, we also decorated them together. I had intentions of decorating them for his birthday with number 5 iced on, but we ended up using up the Percy Pig icing we had in the cupboard. We added the sprinkles too, and then Alfie raided the cupboard for the other decorations we had – hundreds and thousands, chocolate beans, and unicorn confetti!

I’ve noticed the cutter could also make pumpkin-shaped biscuits, and with Halloween on the horizon, I might have to make some PSL biscuits. Either that, or just use a basic biscuit recipe and decorate them with pumpkin faces… spooky!

Shh… it’s a secret!

The secret messages activity was SO cool. I remember as a child, doing similar things – writing with white crayon on paper and then adding a watercolour wash, or even having an actual invisible ink pen. But this was new on me – and I loved it.

The invisible ink was actually lemon juice, which we dipped cotton buds in to write our messages. I say our – Alfie drew some scribbles, and I wrote a couple of messages. Once the messages had dried, we then put the paper in the oven for a few minutes (you could also hold it to a light bulb, or other source of heat) and the messages then appeared. Alfie was so impressed and without realising, he learnt about science!

If you're interested in purchasing a one-off box or even subscribing, visit the website. And if you're looking for a discount on a future box or anything in the shop, use code: LUCYLOCKET – and in the notes, mention that I sent you.

For sneak peeks of future boxes, as well as other crafty and educational ideas, follow Little Hands Learning on Instagram.

Love, Lucy xx

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