Keeping toddlers entertained during normal times is challenging enough. Keeping toddlers entertained during a global pandemic can drive a parent (and perhaps even a whole household) downright insane.
That’s the predicament Lisa Camp and Katie Price — Fort Worth friends and both mothers of two young children — ran into last year when spring break 2020 lasted months longer than expected due to COVID-19. With backgrounds in elementary school education, Camp, 36, and Price, 33, quickly put on their teacher hats to come up with a solution — not only for themselves but for other struggling mamas of littles.
The Little Learning Tub — a box of fun and educational activities that promote learning and exploration for kids age 3 to 6 — was born. A year later, it's gaining national attention.
“When the COVID quarantine hit, and ‘mommy school’ became full-time overnight, we immediately saw a need for engaging activities that were not only fun and educational, but also required very little preparation for the parent,” says Camp.
Each box includes eight to 10 hands-on, ready-to-go, learning activities allowing for independent and guided exploration. Examples include using toy fishing poles to “catch” letters to spell words, learning colors in Spanish by decorating a paper piñata, and studying the lifecycles of frogs and butterflies using craft materials.
“We include everything you need: instructions and pictures for each task, a parent page with guided extensions, labeled materials plus reusable learning tools,” says Camp, who has 5-year-old twins. “It is so rewarding to see all the social media posts and emails with pictures of engaged learners and completed projects.”
At first, it was mainly friends and family who ordered the fun-filled boxes. But after a year in business, the boxes are now ordered by folks as far as Georgia and California, the creators say.
Camp and Price, both alumni of Texas Christian University, create each box together out of their Fort Worth homes. Activities incorporate math, science, sensory, personalization, art, reading, and writing for each month.
While many schools have been back in session both in-person and virtually, Price and Camp anticipate that with summer quickly approaching, the need for kid-friendly activities (that don’t involve a screen) will still be in high demand.
“We both love to think in themes,” says Price, who has a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old. “After the initial planning, we test out each activity, which feels more like playing. The best part of it all is the final step, which is enjoying these activities with our own children to ensure learning and fun is had by all ages.”
Right now, they offer one seasonally-themed box each month, but Camp and Price are planning to soon create tubs that can be used year-round and expand the age range of the tubs to reach more children. Tubs are $40 each (plus shipping) and can be ordered via messenger on Little Learning Tub’s Facebook or Instagram pages.
“What motivates us to continue growing Little Learning Tub is the positive feedback and support from repeat customers and subscribers, and the kind words from fellow moms, educators, and pediatric therapists,” says Price. “We are both former early childhood educators who have turned our passion of educating into teaching our own children, and now, we are hoping to share it with everyone.”