Get Qurious Maker Box Review

Thanks Get Qurious for sending us this box to review.

Maker boxes are all the rage these days. You can can order boxes with crafts, art projects, literacy based activities, science experiments, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Now I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon of any trend very quickly, so I hadn’t ordered any such boxes yet, however, the idea is an intriguing one. After all, it’s like opening a present, and who doesn’t like presents? Plus, what parent wouldn’t love a box filled with activities to entertain, educate, and encourage imagination for their children?

So, when I was given the opportunity to review the Get Qurious Maker Box, I jumped at the chance.

Get Qurious was started through a Kickstarter campaign in 2016. In their own words, their maker box creates an “augmented reality play experience that combines physical game pieces with an immersive, interactive digital world.” In a nutshell, the box combines stories, puzzles, games, and props that all connect to a digital app, allowing users to play with the contents of the box both physically and virtually. For today’s technology-driven world, it’s a pretty cool concept.

Interested? Here’s everything you want to know:

What comes in the box:

  • story cards
  • sticker book and reusable stickers
  • play masks
  • a double-sided puzzle

What you need to know to get started:

I didn’t even open the box before I gave it to my boys to explore. That was fine, except that I didn’t know much about the box and didn’t realize I needed to download an app to go with it.

It takes a little time to download the app and get things going, so I recommend doing so before you give the box to your kids. That way you can have the app downloaded and familiarize yourself with it before you introduce it to the kiddos. Really, it only takes a few minutes, but that’s a long time when you have two little boys crawling on top of you, trying to look at the iPad, and asking “Is it ready yet? Is it working?” A little preparation goes a long way.

How my kids reacted:

I have two little boys, ages 2 and 4, and they both really enjoyed this maker box. The box is marketed to kids ages 4-9, which is probably about right, but even my two-year-old liked playing with it along with his older brother. So, if you have younger kids, they may need a little more direction, but they can definitely still enjoy it.

When I showed it to my four-year-old, you would have thought it was his birthday. When his little brother woke up from a nap, the four-year-old was beyond excited to show him the “present” Mommy had for them and get to the important part of opening it.

Of all the items in the box, the thing that grabbed their attention first were the simple masks of the wolf and pig. They recognized the characters immediately and insisted we act out the story of the three little pigs. So we did, and it was fun to watch their interpretation of how the story should end (their version ended with the wolf agreeing to be nice and the pigs inviting him to a birthday party—love preschool imaginations!).

Eventually, I convinced them to peek at the other items in the box, and they spent the better part of an hour exploring the story cards, creating their own story in the sticker book, and playing with the puzzle.

It made for a great rainy day activity, and the boys were genuinely interested in all of the activities provided. In the days since we first opened our maker box, the masks have definitely been used the most, partly because they don’t require any adult help or technology. Let’s just say we have a lot of oinking and huffing going on around here. Still, they have also asked to pull the box out several times and wanted to do the puzzle again and play with the story cards.

Pros:

My kids loved the interaction with technology. They thought it was magical how “taking a picture” of the cards made the story come to life on the screen. As a mom and educator, I loved that breaking the story down into small chunks gave me a chance between cards to ask my kids to predict what they thought would happen next or get their opinion or reaction about things (great reading comprehension strategies).

I also liked that the box builds on a commonly known story. My kids recognized the story right away, but they weren’t limited by the traditional story. The activities encourage kids to manipulate the plot in creative ways. I love that this empowers them to not only consume stories but to be storytellers themselves.

Most of the activities have at least some level of replayability. The stickers in the storybook are reusable, so you can change the story you create whenever you want. The puzzle pieces can be flipped over to create new versions that behave differently when you scan the pieces with the app. And the masks are so open-ended that you can act out any story you want with them.

Cons:

The app that accompanies this box is ONLY for iOS, not Android. I have an Android phone, so I couldn’t download the app on it. We do have an iPad though, and it was probably better to use the bigger screen anyway, so it didn’t end up being a problem for us. Just be aware that you must have iOS to take advantage of the augmented reality activities (which are a big part of the box). Hopefully, in the future they will expand their app to be Android compatible as well.

The only other downside I can see is that the box accommodates a limited number of kids playing at any given time. There are only two masks (one wolf and one pig), so if you have more kids, you might need to make extras or work on taking turns. This wasn’t a problem for us because I didn’t feel left out by not having a mask, but a third child would have made things tricky. However, as long as you’re only using this for one or two kids, there is plenty of fun to go around.

Final thoughts:

At first, I was not thrilled with the idea of bringing more technology into my kids’ play time, but I ended up really liking the way that the activities encouraged kids to be active participants and creators, not just passive consumers. Technology is going to be a part of our kids lives, and it’s important to teach them the cool and amazing things you can do with it (rather than just the mind-numbing consumption of endless cartoons).

Most of the activities required my help and supervision, so it’s not a great independent activity (at least for my young kids; this wouldn’t be the case for older kids), but that was okay with me. It was nice to have an already-planned set of activities to keep us all busy having fun and learning together for awhile. Plus, as a former English teacher, I’m always in favor of more literacy activities!

Overall, I was really impressed with the maker box. I hope to see the company create more maker boxes like this one using other favorite stories for kids.

Disclaimer: We were provided with a free product in return for our honest review. All opinions and thoughts expressed herein are our own and not influenced in any way.

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