The best books in a box that rocks! Designed by a pediatrician, blue manatee boxes™ are a gift in two parts–books plus toy–featuring hand-picked board books in a package that is 100% eco-friendly and designed to be played with. They promote shared reading, creative play, and grownup-child engagement in a screen-free way, critical for healthy development. For younger children, they make perfect library starters and inspire basic exploration. Older children can employ emerging skills and unite art and science, shaking/dumping, decorating, and building castles, robots, race cars, and more. Such “old-school” flexibility and creativity explains the 2005 induction of the cardboard box into the National Toy Hall Of Fame. Books can be chosen individually (Build Your Own Box), or by popular theme, including the ZoomBox (vehicles), ArtBox, and EcoBox. They come in 3 sizes – 3, 6, or 9 books – along with quality add-ons such as hands-on toys, rattles, plush, and get well soon or new sibling books. Free domestic shipping is included in the price. Customers can also “transform” any box into a GiveBack Box by making a donation to a non-profit partner, matched to 10% of the box cost. Boxes and packaging, including tape, decorative stamps, and enclosures, are 100% sustainably sourced and compostable. Packing “noodles” are corn-based, non-toxic (even edible, though don’t taste like much) and stick together with modest moisture (mini-sponge included), ideal for building. A personalized gift enclosure features a message alongside original “boxy” artwork by featured author/illustrators such as Lois Ehlert, Loren Long, and Mark Teague, plus a coloring page inviting parent and child to create their own vision (chunky crayon included). Illustrated “User’s Guides” tailored to developmental stage also provide ideas and reinforce why such open-ended play is important. Kids are even encouraged to plant their box when they're finished - a box garden! Users are invited to send photos of creations for the website gallery. Though wonderfully analog, they are easy to order by digital grownups via a playful, state-of-the-art website. From materials to mission, blue manatee boxes exemplify green products for children, as literally nothing is wasted. Whether fostering reading or play, they are what a toy should be: an open-ended catalyst for exploration and creativity, inspiring engagement with caring grownups. Most importantly, they help develop critical "old school" skills, increasingly at risk with the advent of screen-based media. They are endorsed by experts in child development, pediatrics, and natural play, including Audubon medalist, author, Richard Louv (his only endorsed product). blue manatee boxes™ were developed in 2011 by Dr. John Hutton, a pediatrician, father, and owner of blue manatee children’s bookstore, an award-winning independent, and Kelli Gleiner, a veteran art educator. They were inspired as a sustainable, meaningful re-think of the traditional children’s gift basket, and to address the need for developmentally-stimulating, screen-free activities for this critical age. Sustainability has long been integral to the blue manatee mission, and Dr. Hutton’s passion and expertise are focused on the effects of excessive screen-based media on young children, and shared reading and creative play as healthy alternatives. Blue manatee boxes are a "retro-lutionary" gift concept in two parts–book plus toy–featuring hand-picked board books in a package that is not only 100% eco-friendly, but designed to be played with. Such open-ended play – the kind that children thrive on - justifies the 2005 induction of the cardboard box into the National Toy Hall Of Fame. Book-savvy grownups can choose books themselves (Build Your Own Box), or select a theme corresponding to popular interests and occasions. The inventory is hand-picked, comprised of books worth reading over and over and keeping forever. Customers can “transform” any box into a GiveBack Box by making a donation to a non-profit partner, matched up to 10% of the cost of the box. As for materials, the boxes and all packaging are 100% locally-sourced, maximal recycled content, and compostable. Packing “noodles” are corn-based, non-toxic (even edible, though don’t taste like much), and stick together with modest moisture (mini-sponge included), perfect for building. A customizable gift enclosure features original “boxy” artwork by notable children’s author/illustrators, and doubles as a coloring page inviting parent/child to dream up their own vision (chunky crayon included). Original, illustrated “User’s Guides” tailored to developmental level also provide ideas on how the box might be transformed, and why such play is important. Users are invited to send photos of creations for website gallery. Though wonderfully analog, blue manatee boxes are easy to order by digital grownups via a playful, state-of-the-art website.
DrToy.com is powered by ToyBase: Dr. Toy's comprehensive online searchable database of children's products.
About Dr. Toy
Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, is one of the world’s leading experts on play, toys, and children’s products. With 30 years of direct experience, Dr. Auerbach includes educationally oriented, developmental and skill building products from the best large and small companies in her four annual award programs. Many parents, teachers and toy buyers use Dr. Toy’s guidance in making selections. Continue reading...