Little Hands Learning | Santarella Box

a box with a book and a box of items

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

It might seem strange that I’m posting this box considering:

  1. I haven’t yet posted November’s subscription box; and
  2. It’s no longer Christmas

But once again, I couldn’t help but order Alfie the explorer (3+) box, as well as the investigator (6+) box for Christmas. Expect a few reviews in quick succession.

We opened the explorer box first – which was inspired by the book Santarella. This was a festive take on the classic fairytale, Cinderella (obv). Much like the original, Cinderella is stuck at home, doing all the chores for her two sisters, when there’s unexpected visitor. No, it’s not the fairy godmother… it’s Santa! He’s hurt his back and needs help lifting his sack, so Cinders helps him and together they travel the world, delivering presents to all the good girls and boys.

The activities included in this box were:

  • Create a snowy small world
  • Make your own reindeer food
  • Design and craft wrapping paper
  • Record your travel adventures

We wish you a crafty Christmas

The first activity we jumped into was the reindeer food. I always include a packet of reindeer food in Alfie’s Christmas Eve box, but I can’t believe how many places sell it with glitter in – it’s so harmful to wildlife and certainly shouldn’t be sprinkled outdoors. This eco-friendly alternative was fantastic and so easy to put together – I let Alfie completely take the lead on it (and only stepped in when it came to spooning it into the pouch).

He carefully combined the flakes of stardust (oats), fairy seeds (bird seed) and glow red berries (dried cranberries) in a bowl, before putting it in the gorgeous jute pouch that we were provided with… I loved the kraft label too. I put it in his box, and he sprinkled it on mum’s lawn before bed on Christmas Eve. I hope he never loses that magic.

The other eco-friendly activity was making our own wrapping paper. We had a large sheet of brown kraft paper and a pot of white acrylic paint to print a design with. I suggested to Alfie that we use the leaves and petals that fell off our poinsettia – as we had no other natural resources to hand. He loved painting them, but then gave me the job of printing them onto the paper. It was nice to gift a present to someone using a handmade paper… I think I wrapped my mum’s and brother’s presents with it (along with a paper that Alfie had designed at school).

a person holding a map

Where in the world?

The world map was such a nice idea. Alfie often lists off places he would love to visit or go to on holiday so it was just so lovely that we could document them on the map. As well as the a4 map of the world, were some spotty stickers in a variety of colours. First up, we highlighted the countries he had been to (England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Portugal and Malta; as well as the islands of Lanzarote and Madeira). We then added a different colour to places he would like to visit (Canada, USA, Australia, France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece). He then asked me to add my travel bucket list – which was slightly more exotic (that’s what over 6 years working in the travel industry does to you… take a look at the yellow stickers)!

a glass jar with a white bear and a green tree inside

A winter wonderland

The small world was the last activity we completed – mainly because we didn’t have jar for so long (until I ended up buying one from Flying Tiger). We also had to wait a while for the tree to dry, but it was so much fun adding the water to the snow and watching it expand in the jar… although I think, perhaps, we added too much – we ended up with an avalanche!

Alfie added the tree, and I even found the polar bear from a previous box – which I didn’t blog about (typical). The lid went on and the small world was complete. It looked fantastic on our dining table over the festive period, and it was sad to put it away for another year.

As you can imagine, the Santarella box is no longer available, but you can get your hands on the Winter Treasures box or take a look at all the one-off explorer boxes (for children aged 3+). For parents of those aged 6+, there are a variety of investigator boxes available too – including the December box I’ll be sharing shortly: When the stars come out.

Remember to follow @littlehandslearninguk on Instagram to see the latest boxes, tips, and other educational activities.

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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