My husband and I have always loved to travel to exotic places. When our kids were babies—and we were both too exhausted to contemplate a transatlantic flight with a toddler and a newborn—we spent lots of time imagining all the countries we would visit once they were old enough to appreciate a trip to a far flung locale. 2020 was going to be the year! We got their passports, researched home exchanges, and were just about to book our plane tickets when…the pandemic struck.
While we may not be able to travel any farther than our backyard in the near future, Little Global Citizens is bringing the world right to our doorstep—and it’s the best subscription box for kids that my family has ever tested.
What is Little Global Citizens?
Founded by married parents who backpacked around the world, the mission behind Little Global Citizens is to share a love for travel and adventure, and to show kids that despite people’s outward appearances, everyone is more similar than they are different. With everyone stuck at home and international travel reduced, I love that Little Global Citizens makes it easy—and fun—for my kids to learn about other countries and cultures without leaving the couch.
How does Little Global Citizens work?
Every two months, Little Global Citizens sends a new box right to your doorstep themed around a different country. Each box includes a colorful informational brochure with age-appropriate facts about the spotlight country, and some suggested activities. Also included are several crafts and craft supplies, as well as a full-size children’s book. I was really impressed with how many items are packed into each of these slim boxes.
What is Little Global Citizens like in real life?
Our first Little Global Citizens box was all about Kenya, so all of the crafts and activities focused on the unique culture of the African nation. The crafts included building a model hut out of styrofoam blocks, painting a traditional mask, and creating a paper version of a Maasai necklace.
There was also a coloring page with crayons and a number of Kenya-themed activities such as learning about—and coloring—the Kenyan flag, a recipe for a traditional bean stew dish, and a Swahili language card. The included book, Mama Panya’s Pancakes, is a Kenyan fable about sharing and gratitude. A treat was tucked inside as well: an organic spicy mango lollipop meant to mimic the flavor of a popular Kenyan treat called maembe pelpili, or mango with spice on it.
I was really impressed with how many activities and learning opportunities were packed into one box. I was especially surprised to discover that the book was a full-size, full-color tome, and not a throw-away chapbook.
What we thought of Little Global Citizens
The included brochure says that each Little Global Citizens box is “designed to be an immersive experience for you and your child to get a taste of life in a new country,” and that’s definitely true. My kids were intrigued the minute we opened the box, and they wanted to know right away where Kenya is in relation to the United States. We had fun getting out our globe and hunting for Kenya—and it turned into an impromptu geography lesson.
One of my favorite things about the Little Global Citizens box is that each bi-monthly brochure features a profile of a child who lives in the country. This made it really personal for my kids, and they were curious about our Kenyan host, 9-year-old Sokoro, and his daily life. They were so intrigued that we actually ended up googling images of Nairobi (where Sokoro lives) so that we could see pictures of the National Park right outside the city—it’s full of wild animals!
The first craft that we tackled was building an Inkajijik, or a Maasai hut. It was tied to a section in the brochure all about the Maasai Tribe, and there was a profile of a Maasai boy as well. Little Global Citizens sent everything we needed to complete all of the crafts—even two glue sticks—which, as a parent, I really appreciated. There’s nothing worse than having a kid be interested in a project and not having everything you need on hand to complete it.
There are so many different crafts and activities in each Little Global Citizens box that it’s not something you can do all in one afternoon. It’s the perfect thing to put on a shelf and pull out when your kids complain about being bored. Nothing to do? How about painting an African mask, or making a Maasai necklace? In fact, that’s exactly what I did, and when two of our learning pod friends came over for a playdate, I brought out the mask templates and paint to keep everyone busy.
According to their site, Little Global Citizens is designed for kids ages 4 to 10. While a 4-year-old would certainly enjoy the craft projects, they’re probably a little too young to grasp the relation between making a beaded necklace and another country. Older kids can definitely complete everything independently, and even our 11-year-old friend enjoyed reading about Kenya and painting her own mask.
Why we love Little Global Citizens
I’ve tested a lot of subscription boxes over the past year, and Little Global Citizens is, hands down, the best. In fact, this is the only subscription box for kids that I have signed up for after we tested it. We loved our second box (about England) as much as our first, and my kids constantly ask what country is coming next.
Little Global Citizens gets everything right. The creativity of the craft projects, as well as the quality of the art supplies, really sets Little Global Citizens apart. While you probably won’t end up keeping the completed craft projects forever, the books will likely become some of your child’s favorite reading material. In fact, Mama Panya’s Pancakes has become one of the most requested books in our house, and it’s sparked a lot of conversation with my kids about how much we have, and how important it is to share generously.
Another thing I love about Little Global Citizens? The included recipes are inspiring my kids to try new foods and flavors. Even my picky 7-year-old wanted to try the Coconut Milk Chili Bean Stew recipe from our Kenya box—a dish he would have absolutely thumbed his nose at if I’d suggested it of my own accord.
How much does Little Global Citizens cost?
As with most subscription kits, the cost for Little Global Citizens depends on whether you sign up for a bi-monthly membership or one of the year long subscriptions. The bi-monthly cost is $39.95. A 12-month subscription costs $239, and it includes one free box, meaning your child will get seven kits instead of just six.
Little Global Citizens also offers a sibling option, which includes a second full set of all craft and activity materials so that your kids can explore a country together without fighting over a glue stick. The sibling option costs $49.95 for a bi-monthly subscription, and $299 for the full year.
You can also purchase single kits for $39.95, and shipping is free.
Should you sign up for Little Global Citizens?
Yes, yes, and yes again. Little Global Citizens provides so many activities in each box, that it truly gives you bang for you buck. Plus, in a world that feels increasingly isolated and xenophobic, it seems especially important to teach kids about people from other countries and how similar they are to us. Sure, you could try to do it in a boring, social studies sort of way, or you could just order Little Global Citizens and make it fun for your kids—and you’ll likely learn a lot, too.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.