With the myriad of subscription boxes out there, when it comes to learning about the culture, there was nothing to be seen. That is, until we discovered the Toka Box.
My soon-to-be-kindergartener and I recently had the chance to check out the July Toka Box.
July Toka Box
Toka Box is a unique monthly subscription service that focuses on literacy, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) skills, life skills, fine-motor skills, and visual-spatial skills. In addition, while the monthly theme changes, there is an overarching theme of Indian cultural awareness that is informative, welcoming, and engaging.
Each box includes a book and an activity/craft. A recipe is also sent along via email and the recipe ties into the monthly theme. The theme for July was tigers in honour of International Tiger Day on July 29!
When we came home to find our Toka Box, Explorer for 5-8 year olds (they also have an option for preschoolers aged 3-5,) my son was thrilled to discover that not only did he have mail, but it included a book about tigers and some beautiful materials to craft with.
He’s a complete bookworm, so he instantly wanted to read the book (Sultan’s Forest). After I explained what the box was, we read through the book together. To be honest, when I saw the front cover that said the book was originally in Hindi, I was worried as we have received translated children’s books before and there are often errors or things that are just not culturally appropriate. This book blew my expectations out of the water.
The language is fluid and age appropriate. It introduced some new words and language without being a cumbersome language guide. The book incorporates real photos of the main tiger characters while also showcasing handmade Rajasthani folk toys. The main human character is also a real person (and a woman!). Bina Kak took all the photos in the book and is the former Minister of Forests and Environment in Rajasthan. Well written? Check! Good visuals? Check! Great role model? Check!
After we had read the book a few times, we got started on the craft. It comes with easy to understand visual instructions and there is also a YouTube video available to help you see what needs to be done. . The craft this month was a Dastkar Tiger pen stand. We really enjoyed doing the craft and it inspired us to use the same technique to make other animals that we like!
The Toka Box was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. It was relaxing, fun, and a great way for us to bond while my little one napped! . My son and I loved the Toka Box and he’s already started asking about getting another box!
If you’re interested in finding out more, check out the Toka Box site. In addition to the monthly boxes, they also have the Toka Celebrate boxes (featuring books and activities for Navratri, Diwali, Sankranti, and Holi), the Toka History boxes (featuring 4 books and activities that centre around Indian history), and Toka Goodies (a unique and interesting party favour service).