Tuesday 21 August 2018

Mrs Wordsmith Social Journey Subscription Box - Review

I am fortunate enough to be able to bring you a lot of reviews from toys to homeware products and very rarely do I come across something that I fall in love with instantly, but that's exactly what happened with Mrs Wordsmith's Social Journey.

Mrs Wordsmith Social Journey is a subscription box suitable for children aged 2-5 years old and its aim is to develop deeper social and emotional intelligence through introducing new vocabulary on the basis of words that the child will already know.

Instantly, anything with the word "social" in it, and I am like a moth to a flame. One thing that I haven't written much about on the blog yet is the fact that C has been officially diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder which really affects his ability to interact socially. Before receiving our one month's subscription to the Social Journey, I thought that it would be a great way to help him add to his vocabulary (even though he is at the higher age range and will be 6 next month) and maybe help him verbalise his feelings and emotions better. I went into this review with positive thoughts and it has completely blown that out of the water and excelled my expectations.

Inside your box you receive:

  • Instruction booklet
  • A Picture Book
  • Word of the Day Activity Book
  • Word of the Day stand
  • Word Cards
The first thing that you are instructed to do is read your picture book. Inside that book there are five sets of words and for this month's box, they were: Self-awareness - hungry words (hungry, peckish, starving and thirsty), Resilience - eat words (eat, nibble, gobble, gulp), Creativity - make words (make, invent, design, concoct), Communication - funny words (funny, silly, hilarious, hysterical) and Community - share words (share, collaborate, include, together). Each set of words begins with a short explanation of the types of word you are going to learn about then each individual word has its own short story and beautiful illustration. You are also prompted to ask your child a relevant question at the end of each story.

C absolutely loved the illustrations and found himself in fits of giggles at some of them (mostly the bubble beards in the 'Hilarious' story). The stories were well suited to his age and he understood them all. It was really lovely to see the same characters throughout the book as it held it all together. Involving your child at the end with a question is a great idea. A lot of the time, C would just say "I don't know" but once I pushed a little more, he really thought about it and gave me some great answers. For example, in the 'Invent' story, you are prompted to ask your child what they would invent if they could invent anything. After a few seconds of thought, C replied, "A robot that would do all of the things that I don't like doing."

Once you have finished your picture book, next up is the Word of the Day Activity Book. This book contains a sheet of paper focusing on each of the 20 words that your child has been introduced to in their picture book. You place your activity book on the stand with the first word displayed for a day or two so that your child can soak up the meaning.

Each word has three activities: Say It (where you will read the word aloud and encourage your child to repeat it, focusing on the pronunciation), Trace It (having your child trace around the outline of the word. This is configuration and will help your child become familiar with it and be able to recognise it when it's in a longer text) and Pencils At The Ready where you rip off the activity sheet from the book and do one of four activity types.
  • Letter jumble - circling the letters which appear in the word to recognise letters and identify letter shapes
  • Colouring - colouring the illustration to boost the retention, develop fine motor skills and improve concentration
  • Free writing - practising forming letters independently
  • Drawing - encouraging your child to engage with and interpret their newly learned word

This is a great way to get your child learning. C has had so much fun doing these that it doesn't even feel like he's learning. After we have finished our word for the day, we put another up on display until the next morning, where he can't wait do his activity sheet. The fact that it's one a day for 20 days is a good thing as I feel like he has enough time to take in and remember what he's learning, rather than being bombarded with a lot at once.

Finally, the Word Cards. These come in their sets and, as you can imagine, each of the words that your child will have learned previously has it's own individual card with the word and accompanying image from the picture book. There are different tasks that you can do, depending on how difficult you want it to be.

  • Peek-a-boo - look at the card and read the word aloud. Cover the word and see if your child can remember the word based on the picture.
  • Storytime - see if your child can tell you a story based on the picture and you can help by asking a question that is relevant.
  • One player game - set all the cards out and see how fast you can put them in the right category
  • Two player game - place the cards in a pile face down, each player draws one card each then race to see who can get their card into the correct category first.

I loved doing these with C and truly felt like it was a little bit of a bonding moment. One thing he really struggles with is losing a game so the two player game is definitely one we will be playing a lot of to try and get him used to it and not have a meltdown. I've also discovered that he has a eidetic memory and the covering of the words is simple for him!

I honestly cannot recommend this enough and I would go as far as to say that it is probably my favourite thing that I've reviewed to date. For someone like C with ASD, visual stimulation and learning is fundamental but your child doesn't need to have ASD to really benefit from this. It will be amazing for starting school and if you begin this early on, they'll be flying when they do eventually go into school. I've since overheard C ask his little sister if she is feeling peckish and telling her that he is starving. It is really nice to hear him using his new words and putting them into context.

The Mrs Wordsmith Social Journey is £21.95 per month but you can choose one bulk payment of £233.40 which works out at £19.45 a month and they also ship throughout Europe and the US.

You can find out more about the subscription at the Mrs Wordsmith website.

(We received this subscription for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
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